Istanbul’s mayor stepped down on Friday, giving no reason for his action a year and a half ahead of the next scheduled elections, according to media reports.
Kafir Topbas said he would remain a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
“As of today, I have retired from my office as the mayor, I resigned.
“I am a member of my party right now,’’ Topbas told a news conference on Friday, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.
Topbas had served as the mayor since 2004. His job would not have come up for election again until March 2019.
Istanbul, with a population of nearly 15 million, is key for all political parties. Topbas warned opposition parties not to exploit his resignation.
Local media cited earlier discord between Topbas and AKP city council members about some development plans.
Back in July, Topbas sent five development plans back to the city council.
However, members from his party overturned his rejection and voted in favour of these plans again, the Hurriyet daily reported.