Amid a crisis between several mayors from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Thursday called on Erdoğan not interfere in municipalities run by the CHP in order to cover up problems within his own party, the T24 news website reported.
“We recommend that he not attack our mayors to hide some actions on the part of their mayors. We will hit back hard and very seriously,” said Bülent Tezcan, CHP deputy chairman and spokesperson.
“The presidential post is not one from which to threaten or blackmail,” added Tezcan, criticizing a recent statement by Erdoğan about some mayors from the AKP.
Erdoğan on Thursday called on the AKP’s mayors running Ankara, Bursa and Balıkesir to resign or face “grave consequences.”
Hinting at the possibility of legal action against mayors from opposition parties, Erdoğan also said, “If there are problems [in municipalities run by opposition parties] and their parties are not doing anything about them, the Interior Ministry will have to launch an investigation.”
Underlining the importance of the will of the people, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Thursday also slammed Erdoğan for his call for some AKP mayors to resign, saying: “If there is any corruption or illegality, the Interior Ministry should take action. In other cases, I find that forcing people to resign is neither democratic, nor moral, nor right.”