Ruling AKP’s Topbaş to re-run for Istanbul Mayor post
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
AA PhotoTurkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced the current Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş as his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate for Istanbul in the 2014 March local elections.
Erdoğan said there was no need to comment on Topbaş’s candidacy since “his work is apparent,” in a meeting where he announced 20 other provinces’ candidates along with Istanbul on Dec. 5. Topbaş will run for the post for the third time. He was first elected mayor in 2004.
The crowd in Istanbul’s Haliç Congress Center greeted Topbaş when his name was announced.
The congress center, which has the capacity to host up to 10,000, was fully loaded from the morning hours forward.
“Everywhere is Tayyip, everywhere is Erdoğan,” chanted the crowds in a reference to the famous slogan from the summer protests in Turkey, “everywhere is Taksim, everywhere is resistance.”
Topbaş was born in 1945 in the Black Sea province Artvin, moving with his family to Istanbul a year later. He graduated from the Marmara University Faculty of Theology in 1972 and Mimar Sinan University’s Department of Architecture in 1974. He then obtained a Ph. D in architectural history at Istanbul University, going on to work as a freelance architect for several years. Between 1994 and 1998, he served as the architectural adviser to the then-Istanbul Mayor and now-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, overseeing the restoration of a number of historic buildings in the city and was also appointed to act as deputy director of the Ministry of Culture’s Heritage Protection and Monuments committee at the time.
Before becoming Istanbul mayor in 2004, Topbaş attempted a political career by twice standing for the national parliament in his place of birth, on the first occasion for the National Salvation Party (MSP) and then for its successor, the Welfare Party (FP).
European Union Minister Egemen Bağış was speculated to be the AKP’s candidate. Bağış was quick to congratulate Kadir Topbaş from his twitter account right after his name was announced.