Ankara Mayor Gökçek highlights possibility of political killings ahead of local polls
Melih Gökçek told daily Hürriyet that he had prepared a will in case he was murdered. AA photoAnkara Mayor Melih Gökçek has alleged that current political tensions could act as a catalyst murders targeting people from and outside the Justice and Development Party (AKP), including himself, ahead of the March 30 local elections.
“[Threats] happened all the time but we have never received more threats than we do now. There will unfortunately be murders 15 days before the elections. [Some] will try to escalate the incidents by making attempts on the lives of people from the AKP and opposed to the AKP,” the Turkish capital’s outspoken mayor told daily Hürriyet on Jan. 27 in statements that are likely to provoke fresh controversy.
“They can plot an assassination against me too. But believe me, it’s not important because I have left five letters to my two sons containing the codes of those who want to try to establish a dark order in Turkey,” said Gökçek.
His statements came as an adviser from the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) was killed and seven others were wounded in an attack on one of the party’s campaign offices in Istanbul.
In the event that he dies, Gökçek said the whole country would know who the plotters are thanks to his letters. “When my will will be read out, the plots of those who have plans on Turkey, whether inside or outside from the country, will become notorious,” Gökçek said, without elaborating on the reason preventing him from divulging the identities of the would-be plotters at the moment and thus, ostensibly, saving his own life.
The mayor has kicked off a campaign to ask for one more term – which will be the last, he says – as the head of the Turkish capital’s metropolitan municipality. If elected, Gökçek will round off his tenure as mayor after a quarter of a century.
Gökçek drew international attention last year thanks to his frequent Twitter campaigns and hashtag wars against the coverage of the Gezi events by international media outlets such as the CNN and the BBC.
With over 46,000 tweets and retweets – usually written all in capital letters – from his account, Gökçek is also by far the most active Twitter user among the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) figures.