Mustafa Tuna becomes new Ankara mayor, replacing Gökçek

Mustafa Tuna becomes new Ankara mayor, replacing Gökçek

Mustafa Tuna becomes new Ankara mayor, replacing Gökçek

Mustafa Tuna, previously mayor of Ankara’s Sincan district, replaced Melih Gökçek, the capital’s long-time mayor who recently resigned, on Nov. 6.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) announced on Nov. 5 that its candidate for the Ankara mayoralty would be Mustafa Tuna, then incumbent mayor of the Turkish capital’s Sincan district.

The announcement came after the AKP reportedly conducted a survey in the party headquarters on Nov. 4, in which Tuna came out on top, followed by current Altındağ District Mayor Veysel Tiryaki and Kahramankazan District Mayor Lokman Ertürk.

The survey, carried out in consultation with AKP leader and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, aimed to find a replacement for Melih Gökçek, who announced his resignation on Oct. 28.

Tuna was elected mayor of Sincan in the local elections of 2009 and 2014. He had been a deputy from the AKP between 2002 and 2007, serving as Turkey’s member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE PA).

Gökçek’s resignation marked the end of a long saga that saw a number of resignations from the ruling party ahead of the local elections in 2019.

Gökçek was first elected as the mayor of the Turkish capital in 1994 and joined the AKP in the early 2000s. He was re-elected in Ankara in four consecutive elections in 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014, becoming the first Ankara mayor to keep his post for five terms.

His resignation comes after the resignation of Kadir Topbaş as Istanbul mayor and the resignations of the AKP mayors of Niğde, Düzce and Bursa, amid warning from Erdoğan for the party to avoid what he calls “metal fatigue.”

Erdoğan on Oct. 13 said the AKP was working on a “restructure for the 2019 elections” and “could not afford to waste time.”