İstanbul elects new mayor after Topbaş’s resignation

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ISTANBUL, TURKEY - SEPTEMBER 28: Mayor of Basaksehir district, Mevlut Uysal is seen in Istanbul, Turkey on September 28, 2017. Justice and Development Party (AK Party) announced Uysal as their candidate for the Mayor of Istanbul post. AFP

The city council of the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality on Thursday elected Mevlüt Uysal, the mayor of İstanbul’s Başakşehir district, as the new mayor of İstanbul after former mayor Kadir Topbaş resigned on Friday.

Uysal was elected the new mayor by the votes of 179 out of 309 city council members from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) against the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) candidate, Ekrem İmamoğlu, the mayor of İstanbul’s Büyükçekmece district.

At a press conference on Friday Topbaş said: “I am not leaving my party. The opposition cannot benefit from it. A person can forgive anything but not being treated like dirt.”

CHP İstanbul deputy Barış Yarkadaş tweeted early on Friday that Topbaş decided to resign after the İstanbul City Council approved zoning in İstanbul despite his objections. The zoning changes were passed by the council in a unanimous vote since AKP members also voted in favor.

Yarkadaş said AKP Chairman and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wanted Topbaş to wait until Oct. 5 to make a final decision to resign.

Topbaş has been İstanbul mayor since 2004

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