Culture minister Gunay Uslu steps down to head Corendon

Gunay Uslu. Photo: RVD – Valerie Kuypers and Martijn Beekman

Junior culture minister Gunay Uslu is leaving the government to take over as chief executive at her family’s travel firm Corendon. The tour and charter flight firm was set up by her brother Atilay.

Uslu said in her resignation letter that it was “not an easy decision” and she had not taken it lightly. But, she said, she felt going back to the company was the responsible thing to do.

Steven van der Heijden, the company’s current CEO, is standing down due to “personal circumstances” and the company had made an urgent appeal for her to return. Uslu left Corendon to become culture and media minister on behalf of D66 in the outgoing cabinet.

Prime minister Mark Rutte said he understood Uslu’s decision and said she would be missed. “Her unending support for the culture sector was widely valued,” he said.

Uslu will be replaced once a new candidate is found to take over the role, until a new government is sworn in. Education minister Robbert Dijkgraaf will take over her duties until then.

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