By Associated Press - Friday, July 3, 2015

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has reappointed a 75-year-old former defense minister to the same post, to replace Ismet Yilmaz who was elected Turkey’s new parliament speaker this week.

Davutoglu said Friday Vecdi Gonul, who was defense minister between 2002 and 2011, will again head the defense portfolio until a new coalition government is formed.

The appointment of an experienced minister comes at a time when Turkey has increased security at parts of its border with Syria, deploying tanks and armored vehicles. Davutoglu has denied reports that claimed Turkey planned a military intervention in Syria soon.

Davutoglu’s ruling party lost its parliamentary majority in last month’s national elections and is expected to begin talks next week to build a coalition government with one of three smaller parties represented in parliament.

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