Turkish EU minister supportive of any decision for Istanbul municipality
ISTANBUL – Radikal
Turkish EU Minister Egemen Bağış said he was not a candidate for any post but added that he was ready for any duty the AKP would assign him to. DHA photoTurkish EU Minister Egemen Bağış has said he will support Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş as well as the government’s decision as to who will run for the mayoralty in next year’s local elections amid growing speculation about the party’s candidate.
“Everyone should know that I will stand by whatever decision [Topbaş] and our party [the Justice and Development Party - AKP] will give,” said Bağış at an iftar dinner in Istanbul’s Mahmutpaşa neighborhood. Bağış said he thought Topbaş had been very successful as mayor of Istanbul and “felt honored” to support him.
The local elections are set to take place on March 30, 2014. According to an internal AKP bylaw, a member cannot be a deputy candidate for parliamentary elections for more than three times in a row. Around 70 deputies, including Bağış, will not have the chance to stand during general elections in 2015. As such, formulas to employ the deputies in different levels of the political system are being sought.
Bağış said he was not a candidate for any post but added that he was ready for any duty the AKP would assign him to.
“I have tried to do whatever job my party has given me in the best way,” said Bağış, while stating that there was no good or bad job for the members of the AKP.
Noting that he was the only deputy in the Cabinet besides Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who was elected from Istanbul, Bağış said it was normal for him to deal with issues concerning the city. “Therefore, it is my duty to take care of Istanbul’s problems,” Bağış said.