At a party meeting after a repeat İstanbul mayoral election on June 23, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Chairman Hayati Yazıcı said even if the new mayor, Ekrem İmamoğlu, is convicted of insulting the Ordu governor, he would not be dismissed from office, contradicting an argument put forward by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and creating tension in the room, a pro-government columnist claimed on Thursday.
Erdoğan had said the opposition’s İmamoğlu may not be able to assume office due to an incident in the Black Sea province of Ordu, where İmamoğlu allegedly insulted the province’s governor.
According to the Hürriyet daily’s Abdülkadir Selvi, when the AKP’s Yazıcı said even if a court convicts İmamoğlu, he would only get an administrative reprimand, it created tension between Erdoğan and Yazıcı.
Selvi also reported that at the meeting Turkish president mentioned “betrayal” by his old friends, referring to former AKP officials who have become critical of Erdoğan’s rule.
Former President Abdullah Gül, former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and former minister Ali Babacan are reportedly engaged in efforts to establish new political parties.