3 metropolitan city mayors unite against Erdoğan’s demand to resign, columnist says

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Hürriyet daily columnist Abdülkadir Selvi said on Friday that Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek, Bursa Mayor Recep Altepe and Balıkesir Mayor Ahmet Edip Uğur have decided not to resign despite the fact that ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chairman and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently demanded their resignations.

Speaking during a news program on Friday evening, Selvi claimed the three mayors are in contact and are taking decisions together on Erdoğan’s order to resign. “There is news that they have decided not to resign. This issue has become damaging for the image of the AKP in the eyes of the public as this has been an issue for a long time now.”

Upon his return from Poland this week, Erdoğan was quoted as saying: “People do not take these offices as independent candidates but as candidates put forward by parties. We cannot regard these posts as chairs that are kept forever and never given up.”

According to reports Erdoğan has requested the resignation of Altepe, Uğur, Uşak Municipality Mayor Nurullah Şahan, Niğde Municipality Mayor Faruk Akdoğan and Nevşehir Municipality Mayor Hasan Ünver in addition to that of Gökçek.

According to the Diken website, Altepe said, “We are staying on the job,” in response to questions from reporters as to whether he plans to resign or not.

Mayor Edip Uğur on Thursday held a press conference and said he would leave his position.

Kadir Topbaş, mayor of İstanbul, Mehmet Keleş, mayor of Düzce and Faruk Akdoğan, mayor of Niğde, have resigned in accordance with the call from President Erdoğan.

Underlining the importance of the will of the people, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Thursday 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.”

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