The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) is under the spotlight for one of its mayors' attempts to stifle dissent.
Ülgür Gökhan, mayor of the northwestern city of Çanakkale, silenced a female member of the city council from the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party by turning off her microphone when she criticized him.
Tülay Ömercioğlu was speaking at a recent city council meeting when Gökhan, apparently disturbed by her criticism of irregularities in a local election, ordered staff to turn off Ömercioğlu's microphone. The councilwoman and other council members from the AK Party left the city hall after the incident.
Ömercioğlu told reported that both her and fellow AK Party members were insulted by Gökhan at Wednesday's meeting. "He contradicted his motto, ‘a city of freedoms,' by shutting me down. He also called us immoral people, and when one of my colleagues criticized him, [Gökhan] scolded him. He also told another female colleague to shut up. We are elected council members and we couldn't stand his stance. He told us to leave when we opposed him," Ömercioğlu said.
The mayor claimed he intervened to stop the council member when she "talked about something political rather than issues about Çanakkale."
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