Turkish main opposition temporarily terminates xenophobic mayor’s membership

Turkey's main opposition CHP has for a period of one year terminated the membership of Mayor Tanju Özcan, who is known for introducing a series of racist measures against foreigners in Bolu.

Duvar Engslih

The main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) High Disciplinary Board on Sept. 26 terminated the membership of Bolu Mayor Tanju Özcan for one year.

Özcan, known for his anti-refugee discourse, introduced a series of xenophobic measures in the province.

He proposed that foreigners have to pay 100,000 Turkish liras if they want to get married in the city and that they are charged extra for water fees. The proposals were later halted by a local court.

Moreover, during the city council meeting, Özcan said to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) city council member Hacer Çınar, who raised her hand during the voting: "Why are you waving at me? I'm a married man, it's a shame.”

In June, the CHP referred Özcan to the High Disciplinary Board for his expulsion from the party, citing his “stance and behaviors that contradict the party.”

The CHP’s disciplinary board on Sept. 26 unanimously sentenced Özcan to one year temporary dismissal from membership.

CHP deputy chair Seyit Torun said that Tanju Özcan had been verbally warned many times.

On the other hand, Özcan said: “I will go to court. I don't think I deserve any punishment. I can't bear to be apart from this party even for a year.”

“The party administration did not dare for a permanent sentence. I'll get back to my party somehow,” he added.