DENİZLİ - Doğan News Agency
The mayor of Bekilli, in the Aegean province of Denizli, called on residents of the grape-rich district to sample wine during the district's eighth culture, arts and wine festival Friday.
Halil Yaşar Yiğit, who describes himself as both a Kemalist and a devotee of the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, said in a speech at the festival that wine production was the main economic activity in the district as 90 percent of its residents earn their livelihoods through grape production, arguing he had to serve for the prosperity and well being of his district, where wine production is a big source of income.
�And this has nothing to do with the fact that I am a member of the AKP,� said Yiğit. �Cannot there exist an utterance of the word wine and the acronym AKP together at the same time? Indeed, are they paradoxical?�
However, Yiğit noted that what he said should not be misunderstood, misinterpreted, and therefore, reflected inaccurately to the public. �What I say is not that the two -- the wine and the AKP -- should come side by side. But there is no such idea that the two are oxymoronic,� he added.
Yiğit said the AKP and its members have been labeled as if they blindly hold that the AKP and wine at odds. �I defend the opposite of that,� he added.
AKP deputies Mehmet Salih Erdoğan, Mehmet Yüksel and Selma Aliye Kavaf, who attended the festival, did not drink wine but did eat the grapes.