A mayor of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has demanded that a couple leave the city after a private video of theirs leaked to social media, Artı Gerçek online news outlet reported on Nov. 7.
Mustafa Lafcı, the mayor of the Central Anatolian province of Çankırı's Eldivan district, conveyed the decision to the couple at his office at the municipality building.
Along with the mayor was a group of “opinion leaders” and “tradesmen" who formed a so-called "court" to issue decisions on ethical matters for citizens. Decisions of the so-called "court" have no legal basis.
“The joint opinion of most of our opinion leaders in the district is that this action, whether it was done on purpose or not, did not befit the values of our district. We are of the opinion that it is no longer appropriate for you to live, to stay here. And what everyone wants, regarding this, is that you leave Eldivan for other places as soon as possible,” Lafcı told the citizen known by initials A.A.
The citizen said that he had received a visit from Mayor Lafcı's father Hasan Lafcı and neighborhood head last week, who told him that the video in question had been also seen by the pseudo court.
“The mayor's father Hasan Lafcı and neighborhood head came to my shop. I did not want to go to [the mayor's office]. But, they told me, 'If you do not come, they will lynch you in front of the municipality building,'” the citizen said.
He said that he wanted to file a complaint against Mayor Lafcı, along with others, for harassing him and his family, but was scared.
He said that he was receiving threats, was being blackmailed and was being told to leave the city by some locals.
“My wife cannot go to her work because of what we are going through. My 24-year-old daughter can also not go to her work. They have also made up rumors about my daughter. My 17-year-old son is staying with the social services. He does not want to come to us,” he said.
A.A. further said that his workplace had been shut down following the incident. “They have covered its windows completely so that its inside is not seen. They have also put a 'closed sign' on its door. When I went to get my equipment, I saw that its lock had been changed,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mayor Lafcı released a statement confirming that he had asked the family in question to leave the city. He said that the decisions of the opinion leaders "mattered as much as the mayors.”
“In this [decision], there is also them. There is no such thing as a 'court.' The demand comes from the tradesmen and neighborhood head. I have watched a part of the video in question and I got sick. How are we going to send our children to such a man's shop?” the mayor said.