The resignation of Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek is not on the agenda “at the moment,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, without categorically denying the possibility in the future.
Rumors about Gökçek’s and another 5 mayor resignation have heated up amid ongoing restructuring in the local administrations of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Erdoğan hinted that the recent resignations were part of the party’s preparations ahead of the 2019 elections.
“I hope we will prepare for the elections with a much livelier, more dynamic, stronger structure,” he said.
“The media reports about the resignation of Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek do not reflect the truth,” AKP deputy Chairman and party spokesman Mahir Ünal told reporters on Oct. 3.
Ünal's explanations are as follows: "Performance criterion studies are being conducted. There has been no work in press on requested resignation of our mayors. As AK party, public perception of 2019, opinion of public opinion and demands of public opinion, both local governments and agency are conducting this work. None of news about resignation of our Ankara Metropolitan Municipality president, Mr. Melih Gökçek, reflects truth."