Marriage registrar dismissed from duty for referring to opposition chair Akşener as 'my leader'

A marriage registrar of the AKP-run Çorum Municipality has been dismissed from duty after he referred to opposition İYİ Party chair Meral Akşener as "my honorable leader" during a marriage ceremony. AKP Mayor Halil İbrahim Aşgın replaced registrar Erdem Sakınmaz with a new marriage registrar, without citing a reason for this dismissal.

Elvan Yılmaz / DUVAR

A marriage registrar of the Çorum Municipality has been dismissed from duty after performing a marriage ceremony in which opposition İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener served as legal witness.

Mayor Halil İbrahim Aşgın, from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), replaced registrar Erdem Sakınmaz with a new marriage registrar. The mayor has not cited a reason for Sakınmaz's dismissal.

Akşener was in Çorum last week to attend the marriage ceremony of the son of Sungurlu Mayor Abdülkadir Şahiner, from İYİ Party. During the ceremony, registrar Sakınmaz referred to Akşener as “my honorable leader Meral Akşener” while the İYİ Party leader requested an applause for Sakınmaz from the guests.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has recently urged İYİ Party to join the alliance between the AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), named the People's Alliance. Akşener in return said that she would accept such a proposal only if there is a return to a “strengthened parliamentary system.”

Before founding İYİ Party in 2017, Akşener used to be a lawmaker from the MHP. She was expelled from the MHP on Sept. 8, 2016 for organizing an emergency convention that aimed to challenge the leadership of long-standing MHP head Devlet Bahçeli.

She then promised to found her new political party. Once she announced the formation of İYİ Party on Oct. 25, 2017, several other MHP members resigned from the party and joined İYİ Party.