AKP’s Istanbul provincial head Selim Temurci resigns
The ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Istanbul provincial head Selim Temurci resigned from his post on Feb. 9.
“I took up this position with honor and now I am leaving with honor,” Temurci said during a press meeting.
He said the decision came after he received a call from the party’s headquarters on Feb. 8, marking three years since he was elected as the party’s provincial head.
“I received a call from the headquarters last night and I was asked to adhere to the [resignation] text,” Temurci said.
During his speech, Temurci spoke about the past activities of the party’s Istanbul provincial branch and the coup attempt, widely believed to have been orchestrated by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) on July 15, 2016.
“The last three years have been historical for the country and we have witnessed this period. No matter what, we have kept working hard to reach our goals,” he said.
“The Istanbul provincial branch has become one of the top points of instruction regarding resistance against the coup attempt by FETÖ. I see this day as a victory day for our provincial branch and I commemorate the victims of the coup attempt once again,” Temurci added.
Temurci has been the AKP’s provincial head since 2015. However, his name hit headlines in October 2017 when he and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan did not shake hands during Erdoğan’s visit to the AKP’s Istanbul provincial branch.
Temurci’s resignation comes after the replacement of the AKP heads in the provinces of Aksaray, Hakkari, Şırnak, Ağrı and Muş last year.
In a bid to be better prepared for the local elections scheduled for March 2019, a number of AKP mayors across Turkey were also forced to resign by the party, including Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek and Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş, as well as the mayors of Bursa, Balıkesir, Niğde and Düzce.
Erdoğan openly said the AKP was working on a “restructuring program for the 2019 elections,” and underlined the need to renew municipal leaders who have been occupying their seats for too long and suffer from what he calls “the metal fatigue.”
Another instruction Erdoğan previously gave mayors was to coordinate more with the AKP headquarters, while warning that some “local heads cannot produce solutions, are insensitive to problems and act slowly on developing projects.”
Several hours after Temurci’s resignation, Bayram Şenocak, a member of the board of directors of the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association (MÜSİAD), was assigned as the ruling party’s new Istanbul provincial head on Feb. 9.
Shuffle in bureaucracy
Meanwhile, a number of bureaucrats working in different ministries were shuffled, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Feb. 9.
Some bureaucrats, including Besim Şişman, CEO of Turkish Petroleum, and Tülay Akyüz, the adviser in the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, were removed from their posts to be assigned to a new post while others were assigned to the office of ministerial counsellor.
The shuffle has affected institutions such as the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, Directorate General of Agricultural Enterprise, and the Directorate General of State Theatres.