Enver Yılmaz, mayor of the northern Turkish city of Ordu, has resigned after first reportedly rejecting a call from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to step down four days ago.
“There are so many things to say but I’m pushing them into the depths of my heart so that they cool down. I am ending my 23-year career in politics,” Mayor Yılmaz said in a tweet on Tuesday, according to a report by the pro-government Hürriyet Daily News.
Yılmaz was reportedly at party headquarters in Ankara on Sept. 13 when he was reportely asked by AKP leaders to resign. Instead of resigning, Yılmaz tweeted negative comments about AKP Deputy Chairman Numan Kurtulmuş after his meetings. He later deleted the tweets, which referred to Kurtulmuş’s criticism of the AKP before his switch to the ruling party.
Yılmaz’s bodyguards had fought with the bodyguards of a police chief in front of Kurtulmuş during a festival in Ordu last year. The Interior Ministry launched an investigation into the incident.
With the March 2019 local elections approaching, Erdoğan had previously demanded the resignation of the mayors of İstanbul, Ankara, Bursa, Düzce, Balıkesir and Niğde.
They all complied with the order.