İmdat Atmaca, an imam in the Ayvacık district of northern Samsun province, announced at the end of Friday prayers last week that he was running in local elections slated for March 2019.
The imam, who will run for mayor of Ayvacık, where the central mosque is located, said it was his farewell speech when he made his announcement in the mosque, sparking criticism on social media for using a religious post to deliver a political message.
Atmaca announced his resignation on Friday to run for office, adding that he would plan to resume his job of imam if he is not elected mayor from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Imam also argued that some people were trying to make political gains by criticizing his “farewell” speech. (turkishminute.com)