Turkish mayor denies being a racist after introducing series of xenophobic measures

Tanju Özcan, the mayor of Bolu province, has denied being a racist after introducing a series of xenophobic measures against the foreigners in the city. "I'm not a racist. I'm an individual trying to protect the future of Turkish children," Özcan said.

Duvar English 

The mayor of the northwestern province of Bolu has denied that he is a racist and claimed that his recent policies are not xenophobic. 

"I'm neither a racist nor a fascist," Tanju Özcan, who is from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), told broadcaster HaberTürk on Nov. 28. 

"I'm an individual trying to protect the future of Turkish children," he added. 


Özcan has been introducing measures designed to keep foreigners out of Bolu. According to the most recent measures, not only will foreigners have to pay 100,000 Turkish Lira if they want to get married in the city, but they will have to pay their water bills in lira.

This is yet another in a series of racist proposals and actions taken by Mayor Özcan. He has openly said that Afghans are “one hundred years behind Turkey.” Earlier this month, he introduced the marriage fee proposal to, he said, stop immigrants from marrying and having families in his city. The CHP has previously said that Özcan's views concern himself.

During the interview on Nov. 28, Özcan said that he is not afraid of the CHP sacking him, as he commented on a disciplinary process launched into him over his remarks concerning a woman. 

"I'm not afraid to pay a price. There are reports of appointing a trustee. No one can do that," he said. 

Özcan currently faces a penalty from the CHP because he "joked" about a woman seeking his help for fertilization treatment.