Turkish rescue association head Mahruki to quit at next general meeting
İZMİRTurkish Search and Rescue Association (AKUT) head Nasuh Mahruki will reportedly quit at the next general meeting, which will be held on Nov. 22.
AKUT will hold an extraordinary congress at 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 22 in a cafe in the Şişli district of Istanbul.
An item about “approving the honorary presidency” of Mahruki, who has been working as head of AKUT for many years, has been added to the agenda sent to branches around the country.
This item was interpreted as a suggestion that he would not play an active role within the association in the future.
Saydun Gökşin, a board member at AKUT, is touted to become the next head of the association.
The meeting will convene again on Nov. 29 if a majority is not reached on Nov. 22.
Mahruki was released on probation shortly after being referred to court with a demand for his arrest demand on Oct. 24 for allegedly “insulting” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Mahruki, a famous mountain climber who is widely known in Turkey for his volunteer rescue work and social projects, had testified to the prosecutor at Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse after Erdoğan’s lawyer filed a complaint regarding his remarks on a program on the pro-government private broadcaster Kanal A. He had later referred to court for arrest but was released on probation.
Founded in 1996, AKUT is Turkey’s biggest rescue operation NGO and gained widespread acclaim thanks to its responses during natural disasters, especially its efforts after the 1999 Marmara Earthquake that claimed over 17,000 lives.
The association recently made headlines when the Istanbul Governor’s Office ordered it to move out of the building it rented for 49 years, citing rights problems. Mahruki claimed that the decision was politically motivated and noted that it came after he had spoken against Erdoğan in the TV broadcast.