AKP mayor declares candidacy for Ankara municipality

Murat Köse, the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) incumbent mayor of Ankara's central district Mamak, has officially announced his candidacy for the capital's metropolitan municipality in the upcoming elections in March.

"If God wills it, I express my aspiration to run for mayor of Ankara. I aspire for Ankara," Köse told daily Hürriyet on Dec. 16. The 55-year-old politician, who also serves as the AKP's deputy leader in the municipal council, had previously held positions in various Ankara municipalities as a council member, councilor and commission chair before securing the mayoral position in 2019.

Ankara's metropolitan municipality, traditionally under the rule of the AKP, saw a significant shift in 2019 when main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate Mansur Yavaş, supported by the İYİ (Good) Party, emerged victorious. Yavaş has declared his intention to run again under the CHP banner, while the İYİ Party has opted to field its own candidate, signaling a departure from its strategy in the last polls.

"Right now, Ankara is a city that has lost its sparkle and energy. Problems and needs have not been addressed, so they have accumulated into a ball," Köse argued. "I believe that on the evening of March 31, we will bring Ankara back with works of service."

The announcement comes ahead of the AKP's plan to reveal its slate of candidates by the end of this month, as stated by party leader and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during a press interaction on Dec. 15. Köse confirmed that the AKP's candidate for Ankara would be disclosed approximately a week later.

In the parliamentary elections in 2015, Köse ran as a candidate for Ankara with the AKP but was not elected.

Continue reading on: