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Bursa mayor defies Erdoğan’s call to resign

Bursa Mayor Recep Altepe (L) and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Despite an explicit message from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that he either resign or face serious consequences, Recep Altepe, the mayor of Bursa, on Friday said he is remaining on the job, the Diken news website reported.

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 Bursa Municipality Mayor Altepe, Balıkesir Municipality Mayor Ahmet Edip Uğur, Uşak Municipality Mayor Nurullah Şahan, Niğde Municipality Mayor Faruk Akdoğan and Nevşehir Municipality Mayor Hasan Ünver in addition to that of Ankara Municipality Mayor Melih Gökçek.

“We are staying on the job,” Altepe said 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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