Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş sent a written directive to municipality personnel on June 2 regarding their social media use, warning against engaging in public political arguments on social media platforms.
“Those using social media are not to use their duty and rank or their names to send political messages or those which target people or institutions, and they are not to engage in unnecessary political arguments,” Yavaş wrote in the directive.
“While carrying out their duties, all of our personnel must abide by the principles of impartiality, and should refrain from any sort of stance or position that would bring harm to the perception of impartiality,” Yavaş said.
In the directive, the mayor of Turkey's capital referenced legislation pertaining to civil servants’ neutrality and commitment to the state. Civil servants are legally barred from being members of political parties, and are expected to act in a manner that is neither harmful nor beneficial to specific political parties, and to not attend politically or ideologically-charged demonstrations.
“In their posts and in the images they use, they should refrain from including expressions, symbols, emblems, and other open references to affiliation with a political party. They should also refrain from making laudatory remarks about the mayor and other high-level administrators. Those acting in discordance with these provisions will be subject to necessary administrative and punitive procedures that will be instituted by the relevant authorities,” Yavaş said.