İZMİR – Doğan News Agency
The mayor of Buca in the Aegean province of İzmir, Cemil Şeboy, has decided to erect a statue of Bülent Ecevit, who was a dominant force on the political left for three decades until his death in 2006.
The statue of Ecevit, who served as prime minister several times from both the Republican People's Party, or CHP, and Democratic Left Party, or DSP, during his long political career, will be located in the new Ecevit Park built by the mayor, who is from the conservative ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP.
When asked, Şeboy said he was proud of having built a park and statue for Ecevit who was known for his peaceful nature, politeness and exemplary conduct.
Şeboy, who seemingly was aware of all the new shifts in the political winds of the past two decades, has been serving as the mayor of Buca since 1994. He was first elected from the Motherland Party, or ANAP, before joining the DSP and winning a second term in 1999. In 2004, he ran from the AKP ranks and won the mayoral post for a third time.
He also was a member of the short-lived New Turkey Party, or YTP, experiment in 2002.
DSP leader Zeki Sezer, who is currently on a collision course with Ecevit's wife Rahşan over the party leadership, will attend the opening ceremony to unveil the statue in September, before holding a political rally in İzmir.
It is being said that Şeboy is eyeing the post of İzmir mayor in the coming local elections and wants to score points with the dominant leftist electorate of the province.