AKP deputy plans ‘nightlife’ tours

AKP deputy plans ‘nightlife’ tours

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
AKP deputy plans ‘nightlife’ tours

Rıfat Sait says he will take 50 people to Istanbul on New Year’s. DHA photo

An İzmir deputy from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) announced he is planning to take a group of civil society representatives from İzmir on a tour in Istanbul to show them there has been no intervention to citizens’ lifestyles in the AKP-run metropolitan city.

The AKP hopes to win local elections in İzmir, a city that remains one of the strongholds of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), by using a tour of the nightlife of Istanbul to İzmir resident civil society representatives to sway opinions.

AKP İzmir deputy Rıfat Sait said they were planning to dispel concerns regarding the fear that venues selling alcohol would be closed by showing Istanbul bars to managers in İzmir.

According to Sait, Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş has expressed his support for the plan.

“I spoke to Mayor Kadir Topbaş last week and he gave his support. We will go to Istanbul on New Year’s and [take] a Bosphorus tour. Then we will tour the nightlife hot spots around the Kuruçeşme district. I don’t drink but those who want to may do so. We want to spread the message that Istanbul is ruled by the AKP, but they do not interfere in anyone’s lifestyles,” he said.

During the Oct. 1 AKP Party Congress, AKP leader and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also emphasized that the AKP has not and will not interfere with people’s lifestyle. The prime minister stressed that they would protect everyone’s rights even if they got the support of the majority.

“Everybody’s lifestyle is under our assurance. We would protect the rights of the one percent even if we got the support of the 99 percent, let alone the 50 percent,” Erdoğan has said.