Pro-gov’t former columnist resigns from Istanbul municipal board following criticism

Hasan Bülent Kahraman, an academic and former columnist at the pro-government Sabah newspaper, was on Aug. 19 appointed to the CHP-run Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality's Culture and Art Platform Advisory Board. Following widespread criticism of this appointment, Kahraman on Aug. 20 resigned from his duty, according to OdaTV.

Duvar English

Hasan Bülent Kahraman, a former columnist close to the government, resigned from the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality's Culture and Art Platform Advisory Board, one day after his appointment amid public criticism.

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality on Aug. 19 announced the new list of members of its Culture and Art Platform Advisory Board. Kahraman's name on the list drew ire as he is known to have a stance against the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).

Kahraman in 2012 penned a column in pro-government daily Sabah, titled “Conservatives will save Istanbul.” He in this column praised Ahmet Misbah Demircan, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s former Beyoğlu mayor, for “cleaning Beyoğlu from lumpen people who are drinking alchol for 2 kurus.”

In 2017, he penned a column in Sabah titled “The blind describes an elephant and this elephant is the CHP.” “The CHP thinks itself as leftist or social democrat. Since developments in its military tutelage plan have once again cleared the bottom of the CHP, it has today turned into party that does not know what it is defending in its ideological plan,” Kahraman wrote in the piece.

In 2018, Kahraman held a closed-door meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the Presidential Complex.

After the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, run by the CHP, was widely criticized for this appointment, Kahraman announced his resignation, according to a report by OdaTV on Aug. 20.

Kahraman has been working as a writer and art critic since 1977. From 1992 to 1996, he served as a senior advisor in the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Between 2007 and 2019, he was a columnist for daily Sabah. Currently he is the vice chancellor at Işık University and dean of Architecture and Design Faculty.