Ankara's incumbent mayor, Melih Gökçek, broke down on TV three days ahead of the crucial polls.
The long and tough electoral campaign has stretched the nerves of more than one, with Ankara’s incumbent mayor, Melih Gökçek, who is running for a fifth term at the helm of the Turkish capital, the latest to get emotional at the pressure, breaking down on TV three days ahead of the crucial polls.
A candidate from the ranks of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Gökçek tearfully expressed his dismay for calls to vote for the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) candidate to scuttle his plans of rounding off his mayoral tenure to a quarter of century.
“Fine, don’t vote for me, but how can you vote for the CHP? This is unbelievable,” Gökçek said, sobbing during a live interview on Kanal A late March 27.
The campaign in Ankara
has been particularly harsh, with the CHP’s Mansur Yavaş and Gökçek warning of possible assassination plots ahead of the polls.
“Who closed the Quran courses? Who closed the İmam Hatip [religious vocational schools]? How could you vote for that party?” Gökçek asked, resting his case against those that could consider voting for the putatively social democratic party.
Ankara’s spotlight-loving mayor also shed tears during an interview in the wake of the Gezi protests last summer (included in the video embedded).
Gökçek said at the time that he was crying “out of rage.” “We don’t fear anyone but God. No one is strong enough against us,” Gökçek is heard to say.
During the protests, in which Ankara
police shot dead protester Ethem Sarısülük in Kızılay Square, Gökçek expressed his lamentations that “vandals” had broken a fountain in one of the city’s parks.