Turkey’s ruling Islamist party has demanded veteran Kurdish politician Ahmet Türk, elected mayor of the southeastern province of Mardin, not be allowed to take up the post on the grounds that he is too old, Demokrat News Site reported on Friday.
Türk, born in 1942, was first elected a member of parliament in 1973 and is a veteran of the Kurdish movement. Türk won the election for mayor of Mardin with 56 percent of the vote on March 31 and is among dozens of elected candidates from the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) waiting for the Supreme Election Council (YSK) to issue certificates of election so they can take office.
A report on Wednesday said 48 out of 70 successful HDP candidates had still not received their official election certification.
Türk was also elected Mardin’s mayor in 2014, but was later dismissed by the government and replaced with an appointed administrator. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had previously asked the provincial electoral council to give the certificate of election to its candidate who came second in the vote on the grounds that Türk had previously been removed from office.
The provincial council declined the request, but also left the final decision to the YSK head office in Ankara.
The YSK on late Friday has ruled that Türk will be given his mandate 12 days after the local elections, according to Turkish news site Gazete Karınca. Following the decision, the veteran Kurdish politician posted a tweet and said: “Where were we?”