Ruling AKP to run with current mayors in 19 Istanbul districts
Fatih Mayor Mustafa Demir, who is one of the most prominent suspects in the ongoing corruption probe, is set to rerun for his current office in March. DHA photoThe ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will run in the upcoming March local elections with its current mayors in 19 of Istanbul’s districts, including some controversial names, daily Hürriyet has reported.
The party decided to mount its municipal elections bid with its current mayors across the city, including in the controversial Beyoğlu and Fatih districts. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan joined his party’s officials over the weekend, where a number of mayoral candidates were determined.
Fatih Mayor Mustafa Demir, who is one of the most prominent suspects in the ongoing corruption probe, is set to rerun for his current office in March. Demir, arrested on Dec. 17, 2013 and released four days later, was accused of receiving a bribe to give the green light for a construction project that allegedly threatened the safety of the cross-continental Marmaray tunnel.
The AKP also decided to have its current Beyoğlu mayor, Ahmet Misbah Demircan, run for the office again. Beyoğlu has lately been the site of many protests, including the Gezi protests last year, which were initially sparked in reaction against a shopping mall that was planned to be built at Taksim’s Gezi Park. The Beyoğlu municipality has also come under fire over its decision to remove tables and chairs from outside local restaurants and bars.
The following figures will also run again for the party in Istanbul in this year’s local elections: Çekmeköy Mayor Ahmet Poyraz, Pendik Mayor Kenan Şahin, Tuzla Mayor Şadi Yazıcı, Şile Mayor Can Tabakoğlu, Sultanbeyli Mayor Hüseyin Keskin, Ümraniye Mayor Hasan Can, Başakşehir Mayor Mevlüt Uysal, Esenler Mayor Tevfik Göksu, Bağcılar Mayor Lokman Çağırıcı, Bahçelievler Mayor Osman Develioğlu, Fatih Mayor Mustafa Demir, Arnavutköy Mayor Haşim Baltacı, Sultangazi Mayor Cahit Altunay, Beyoğlu Mayor Ahmet Misbah Demircan, Bayrampaşa Mayor Atilla Aydıner, Güngören Mayor Şakir Yücel Karaman, Kağıthane Mayor Fazlı Kılıç, Esenyurt Mayor Necmi Kadıoğlu, Zeytinburnu Mayor Murat Aydın.
In the only change, the AKP announced the name of Hilmi Türkmen for the Üsküdar district, instead of current mayor Mustafa Kara.
Only two of Istanbul’s 30 districts have female candidates in the ruling party’s list. The party’s candidate for the Şişli municipality, which has been held by Mustafa Sarıgül from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) since 1999, is Mukadder Başeğmez. The AKP’s other female candidate is Prof. Edibe Sözen, who will run in the Maltepe district, which is also held by the CHP.