“No chance” of Sözcü column for Gökçek

The Sözcü newspaper has responded with a resounding “no” to the former Ankara Mayor Gökçek’s offer to write a column for the paper as a “dissenting voice”.

Gökçek, a veteran politician for the AKP, served as the mayor of Turkey’s capital for 23 years until President Erdoğan requested his resignation last October. He gained a reputation over that period as a colourful presence on Turkey’s social media, from which he regularly attacked opposition parties and secularists, but also for allegations against him including corruption and bribery.

The former Ankara mayor told a reporter from Sözcü, a stridently secular, opposition newspaper with the third-highest circulation in the country, that he would gladly write a column and would not request a high salary.

Rahmi Turan, a columnist for Sözcü rejected Gökçek’s proposal, saying:

“Our world views and understanding of democracy are too different. Of course, there is no chance that he can write for Sözcü!”