Erdoğan appoints former AKP mayor as Diyarbakır governor

In another example of the party-state system, Turkey’s President Erdoğan has appointed Murat Zorluoğlu as the new Diyarbakır governor. Zorluoğlu was Trabzon's mayor from the ruling AKP between 2019 and 2024.

Kadir Cesur / DUVAR

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on July 10 appointed former Trabzon Mayor Murat Zorluoğlu as the new Diyarbakır governor.

Zorluoğlu was Trabzon’s mayor from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) between 2019 and 2024. He was appointed to a state post only three months after his mayorship ended with the local elections. 

Before his Trabzon mayorship, he served as Elazığ governor between 2015 and 2017, and Van governor between 2017 and 2018.

During his Van governorship, he was appointed as the trustee mayor in the eastern province, replacing pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-mayors. 

During his trustee mayorship, he drew ire for dismissing 306 subcontracted workers.

Mustafa Yalçın, then-general secretary of the Van Municipality, said he “had a lot of fun, and enjoyed it” when dismissing the workers. 

Moreover, the Court of Accounts cited several irregularities in the municipality during Zorluoğlu’s tenure.

The Court of Accounts is the supreme governmental accounting body of Turkey responsible for the controlling of the public accounts and the auditing of the accountancy of the political parties, in accordance with the Constitution.

In a 2018 report regarding the municipality, the court said the allocation of property to public institutions was not carried out in accordance with the legislation. It added that the employment of workers employed through personnel-based service procurement violated the provisions of the relevant legislation.

Zorluoğlu again caught the Court’s eye during his Trabzon mayorship, as its 2022 report said some tenders that should have been realized by the open tender method were realized by bargaining.

He also drew criticism for buying furniture worth 898,000 liras for his municipal office.

(English version by Alperen Şen)