Selim Temurci, head of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) branch in Istanbul, the country's most populated city, resigned from his post on Friday. He is the latest AK Party official to quit from his post after the party's leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan highlighted a need for renewal in party ranks last year.
Temurci, who started out in the party's youth branch, was appointed as director of the Istanbul branch three years ago after his predecessor quit the post to become a lawmaker.
Holding a press conference on Friday, he said the resignation was part of "a process of renewal and change" in the party after President Erdoğan returned to the leadership following a referendum that enabled a president to stay as the leader of his or her party. He pledged that he would remain loyal to "the cause" of the AK Party and was "happy to have an honorable exit." Bayram Şenocak, head of AK Party branch in Istanbul's Avcılar district, replaced Temurci.
He is the second high-profile person to quit from his post in the AK Party in Istanbul. Last year, the city's longstanding mayor Kadir Topbaş became the first mayor among several to quit from his post upon the decision of the party's ruling cadres.
In a landmark speech last summer, Erdoğan said there was "mental fatigue" within the AK Party and took up the task of rejuvenating it ahead of three crucial elections in 2019: The local elections, parliamentary elections and the presidential election. In addition to the mayors, provincial and district branch directors for the party also announced their resignations.