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    Tufan Turenc: Erdogan's municipalities and the Goztepe mosque

    Hürriyet Haber
    19.10.2005 - 13:03 | Son Güncelleme: 19.10.2005 - 13:03

    The accusation by Kadikoy Mayor Selami Ozturk that Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas had been "stripped of his authority" is true, but does not even go all the way. The situation is actually true for every AKP mayor in Turkey, with the exception of AKP's Ankara Mayor, Melih Gokcek.

    Prime Minister Erdogan holds every AKP run municipality in his hands. The Prime Minister, who never stops speaking of democracy, is doing this precisely because it was what was done to him when he was mayor. Years ago, before Erdogan was prime minister, one of Necmettin Erbakan's right-hand men, Sevket Kazan, explained the situation. Kazan said that Erdogan's mayorship of Istanbul was just a show, and that the real work in the municipality was being carried out by cadres from the party:
     
    "If Erbakan had not sent those cadres to Istanbul municipality, Erdogan would not have been able to do anything, because he had not the slightest idea about or experience in running a municipality."
     
    The reality that current Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas has no authority came out clearly in the comedy involving the mosque to be built in Goztepe Park. It was clear that the Mayor was unable to prevent this project, which went against all reasonable thinking. Because he is not running the municipality, Tayyip Erdogan's cadre is. And they had made a decision: 'A mosque will be built in Goztepe Park."
     
    It seemed, in the beginning, that Kadir Topbas would be able to stop it, but then he announced that he would respect the decision to build it. Actually, the whole situation reminds me of when Erbakan decided, unsuccessfully, that he would build a mosque in Taksim.
     
    What explanation, other than political show, could there be for the mosque in Goztepe Park? Just take a look at the modernity of the Istanbul municipality. With their mentality, they are trying to destroy the few green areas saved from the hands of those building shanties. They are so set on it that they refuse the few sensible suggestions coming from former leaders.
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