MESOP FLASH : AKP local official resigns, slamming brutal police crackdown over protests

IĞDIR – Doğan News Agency – 8.6.2013 – A local official of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the eastern province of Iğdır has resigned, criticizing the brutal police raids against demonstrators protesting the demolition of Gezi Park.

“Deeming excessive violence and disproportionate practices in Taksim [Istanbul] and in other towns worthy of our own people’s democratic demonstrations has deeply saddened me,” read a statement Mehmet Soyuk, who had worked for seven years in the AKP’s provincial organization.

“The changing structure of the political movement in which I have worked and the stance that it put forward does not overlap anymore with my views,” he added. Soyuk also expressed his unease with the name chosen for Istanbul’s third bridge over the Bosphorus. A name that could “contribute to peace” could have been chosen instead of “Sultan Selim, a controversial Ottoman sovereign historically known for persecuting Alevis,” he said.

Soyuk said the government should be more sensitive to the demands of those who did not vote for the AKP. He said the AKP had “repressive policies against those who think differently.” “Because the approach to alienate and despise those who have other beliefs, [I decided] to announce my resignation,” he said.