The mayor of the northern Turkish city of Ordu has resigned after reportedly rejecting a call from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to step down four days ago, the Hürriyet Daily News reported.
“There are so many things to say, but I’m pushing them into the depths of my heart, so that they cool down. I am ending my 23-year career in politics,” Ordu Mayor Enver Yılmaz said in a tweet on Tuesday.
Yılmaz was at party headquarters in Ankara on Sept. 13 when it was claimed that he was asked by AKP leaders to resign.
Instead of resigning, Yılmaz tweeted negative comments about the AKP’s Deputy Chairman Numan Kurtulmuş after his meetings. He later deleted the tweets, which referred to Kurtulmuş’s criticism of the AKP before his switch to the ruling party.
Yılmaz’s bodyguards had fought with the bodyguards of a police chief in front of Kurtulmuş during a festival in Ordu last year. The Interior Ministry had launched an investigation into the incident.
With the March 2019 local elections approaching, the ruling party had previously demanded the resignation of the İstanbul, Ankara, Bursa, Düzce, Balıkesir and Niğde mayors. They had all complied.