Ankara mayor calls for deputy PM’s resignation over row with President
Melih Gökçek (L) accused Arınç of serving the movement of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek has called on Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to dismiss Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç after he engaged in a war of words with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over the Kurdish peace process.
Gökçek accused Arınç, one of the founders of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP or AK Party) along with Erdoğan, of serving the movement of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, which has been deemed an “illegal parallel structure within the state.”
“Arınç can no longer be the spokesperson of the AK Party. He cannot represent us. What Arınç has to do from now is to resign first from his job as the spokesperson and then from his seat in the government,” Gökçek said through his Twitter account.
However, Gökçek argued Arınç would not resign, as he had been instructed to fight until the end by the “parallel structure” and therefore it should be the government’s duty to unseat Arınç. “Bülent Arınç: We don’t want you,” Gökçek tweeted.
The Ankara mayor said he was always curious about what the last blow the “parallel structure” would strike against the AKP would be. “I should confess that I was not thinking that they would hit us from inside. And they did through Bülent Arınç. Everybody regarded Arınç’s statements as the government’s view. Arınç’s statements have nothing to do with the government,” he said.
Arınç recently openly criticized President Erdoğan over his interventions into governmental affairs, which many say has tarnished the government’s credibility in the eyes of the public during the run-up to parliamentary elections in June.