AK Party deputy chair: Mayors resigned after party political inspections

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 26.10.2017 21:25

Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputy Chairman Hayati Yazıcı said that the recent decision to remove several mayors was made in line with the party's right to exercise political inspections over them.

"There is nothing odd. We exercised our political inspection right," Yazıcı said while answering questions from the press amid recent criticism from opposition parties.

He added that since local authorities have five-year terms, their positions in office should be ended after failed inspection.

"Mayors can't be left to their own devices after elections," Yazıcı said.

He said the AK Party inspects the harmony of its mayor with the party's principles. Explaining "judicial, administrative and political," means are three inspection methods to control mayors and local authorities, Yazıcı said that it is the domain of the judiciary if a mayor commits crime or allegations are made against him.

As for administrative methods, Yazıcı said, "Administrative inspections are made by the Interior Ministry. If it requires, related authorities investigate a possible suspicion and necessary steps are taken."

Asserting that elected officials should act in compliance with their party's principles, political style and policies, Yazıcı said that mayors are inspected to evaluate their actions; harmony with the party's principles.

"They are assumed to put their party's policies into practice," he said.

Yazıcı reiterated that the resignation of mayors should be dealt with within the context of the right to conduct politically inspections.

"A political inspection was made and our party regarded these changes as necessary. The AK Party exercised its right to [conduct] political inspections," he said.

Kadir Topbaş, the mayor of the country's most populated city, Istanbul, was the first to step down after serving multiple terms and, earlier this month, Mehmet Keleş, the mayor of the northern province of Düzce, also submitted his resignation.

This was followed by the resignation of Faruk Akdoğan, the mayor of central Niğde province, and Bursa Mayor Recep Altepe.

The mayors of Balıkesir in the west and the capital Ankara are also expected to announce their resignations in the coming days.

In the 15 years it has been in power, the AK Party has seen a number of changes in its ruling cadre before and after the multiple elections it has won, but this is the first time that a number of mayors have offered their resignations in such a short period of time.

In a landmark speech last summer, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said there was "metal fatigue" within the AK Party and took up the task of rejuvenating it. Erdoğan also said in a recent interview that he is expecting three other mayors to submit their resignations.

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