Turkey’s main opposition, Republican People’s Party, Ankara’s mayor candidate, Mansur Yavas, claims that former mayor Melih Gokcek has wasted the city’s 10 billion TL (1.88 billion USD). This amount of investment would make water and transport cheaper for Ankara residents, Yavas told Sozcu daily.
“I will win 52 percent vote. Ankara wasted many years under Gokcek’s leadership, 5 billion TL were wasted only in Ankapark project,” Yavas stated.
Yavas, who ran for Ankara’s mayor position in 2014, in last seconds lost the election against ruling AKP’s candidate Gokcek and since then it has been a huge dispute that Gokcek hijacked the results and declared his victory through a gerrymander. At least there is a general public belief that in reality Yavas won the election, but Gokcek declared his triumph.
Message for Unity
CHP candidate Yavas said that when he wins the elections, he will not carry the CHP badge, but the Turkish flag badge in a bid to represent everyone in Ankara. “Ankara’s current mayor Mustafa Tunali, who came to power after Gokcek’s resignation, has implemented some of the projects which I was the mastermind of. If we calculate losses in parking, billboards and excavation revenues, Gokcek wasted Ankara’s 10 billion TL,” Yavas claimed.
Yavas further criticised Gokcek who earlier announced that he will bring more services to the areas where he will receive more votes. Contrary to Gokcek’s policy, Yavas promised that he will bring services to every region equally, without considering the number of votes he is going to receive.
Yavas warned that political polarisation is high in Ankara and said that he is working to bring people together from different segments of the society. Yavas is going to visit CHP leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, Good Party leader, Meral Aksener, and Felicity leader, Temel Karamollaoglu, to receive support for mayorship campaign. “I expect to get votes from every party, I even asked for votes from the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Ankara candidate, Mehmet Ozhaseki,” Yavas said.
First Priority: Protecting Ballot Boxes
Yavas assured that in order not to repeat previous mistakes, his first priority is to protect ballot boxes and prevent votes stealing. “We failed in coordination among us in the previous election. I admit that we were not successful to protect ballot boxes in the 2014 elections. We are working on a perfect software that will control the voting system manually and digitally. This software will provide the result within two hours,” Yavas explained.
CHP’s candidate Yavas said that fighting obesity is his priority, as irregular urbanisation causes obesity in the metropolis. “I am planning to visit Istanbul to discuss this issue with some experts. We create unhealthy environments. Residents get into the car in front of their houses, then head straight to the elevator. People do not even take 500 steps until reaching their offices from their houses. Europeans take at least 10 thousand steps a day. Walking is very healthy. We will focus on public transportation to reduce pollution and traffic volume,” Yavas explained his projects.
CHP’s Ankara Candidate further emphasised the importance of building planned urbanisation by criticising AKP’s city hospital projects which were built in remote areas. Yavas explained that to reach these hospitals, AKP municipality spent 800 million TL (150 million 419 USD) to build roads. “How ambulances can transport patients to hospitals on time. There are no such projects in the world,” Yavas questioned.
Yavas served two terms as a mayor of Ankara’s Beypazari district. During his term, Beypazari became a tourism destination and visitors were flocking to it from many parts of Turkey. Yavas was Nationalist Movement Party’s Ankara candidate in 2009 and increased the party’s previous votes in the city from 4 percent to 27 percent. In his Ankara candidacy on 2014, CHP won 44 percent vote compared to 32 percent in the previous municipal election.