CHP’s Kılıçdaroğlu: Half of Turkey’s population not governed by elected leaders

Main opposition CHP chairperson Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

The half of Turkey’s population are not governed by the elected politicians, the country’s main opposition Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said on Saturday.

“Can you imagine? The mayors are either being dismissed or forced to resign. The half of the population reside in those cities where mayors were dismissed, resigned or replaced with the appointed ones. They either remove them from the office with the government decrees or threaten them. They blackmail [the mayors] and say: ‘You’ll resign.’ Half of the population are not governed by the mayor they elected,” Kılıçdaroğlu said during an İstanbul meeting on Saturday

The mayors of Turkey’s major provinces, including capital Ankara, İstanbul, Bursa, Düzce and Niğde  resigned, apparently succumbing to weeks of pressure from Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Melih Gökçek, the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality mayor, announced his resignation on Saturday, saying his decision came after an order from the Turkish President.

“Not for being unsuccessful, tired or any other concerns, I only indulge the demand of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who I believe will make my country a leading country,” Gökçek said, underlining that he had rejected suggestions by some to refuse to leave the post.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on October 11 that the government seized the administration of 101 municipalities under the elected Kurdish mayors including the populous Kurdish majority province of Diyarbakır, and that trustees were appointed to run those municipalities, across to date.

Soylu said 93 of those municipalities were targeted over their alleged ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) while the remaining 8 were suspected of links to the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. The movement denies role in the failed putsch. (

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