Balıkesir Mayor Uğur becomes latest to resign amid AK Party reshuffle

Published 30.10.2017 17:16
Updated 30.10.2017 19:29
emIHA Photo/em
IHA Photo

As the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party pursues more changes in municipalities run by its mayors, Ahmet Edip Uğur, the mayor of the western province of Balıkesir, became the latest official to announce his resignation on Monday.

In a statement to the press, Uğur also said he would be leaving the AK Party.

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.

It was followed by resignation of Faruk Akdoğan, mayor of central Niğde province and, the mayor of the northwestern industrial hub of Bursa, Recep Altepe.

Melih Gökçek, the larger-than-life mayor of capital Ankara, also submitted his resignation Saturday after serving for 23 years.

Although the government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have not been clear on why several mayors were asked to resign, it is believed that these local representatives of the party have been subject to public complaints.

For his part, Erdoğan has said that the party, in power since 2003, has been suffering from "metal fatigue" and needs a renewal of its cadres. The AK Party then took up the task of rejuvenating it ahead of three crucial elections in 2019: local elections, parliamentary elections and presidential elections.

The party, in power for 15 years, saw a number of changes in its ruling cadres before and after the multiple elections it has won, but it is the first time that mayors have offered their resignation in such short period of time.

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