Mayor of Kars resigns from nationalist party

Murtaza Karaçanta, the Mayor of Kars, has resigned from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) at the party’s request after it accused him of besmirching its reputation, secular newspaper Hürriyet reported.

Karaçanta and six members of the Kars provincial council have pledged to remain in their posts as independents after resigning their memberships in the party.

The seven had resigned “due to their behaviour which had been injurious to our party’s reputation”, party deputy chair Sadir Durmaz said, not adding any further detail.

The rift had emerged after Karaçanta had worked together with the majority-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) to secure a license for a petrol station in the province, a form of co-operation that was considered to be against party policy.

However, Karaçanta was quoted by Doğan News Agency as saying that he did not know why he had been ordered to resign.

“The people of Kars should know that Mayor Murtaza Karaçanta is very much on his feet,” he said. “I have resigned from the party I was a member of, (but) I am continuing my duty as an independent.”