The Mayor of Fethiye Behçet Saatcı has resigned from his political party, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), following a controversial Festival of the Sacrifice message that mixed the Turkish and Kurdish language to make a nationalist statement on 9th October 2013.

The message hit the national headlines on 10th October when, it was reported, a message criticising the Governments latest democracy reforms that would allow Kurdish to be used as a primary language of education in private schools was published on posters around Fethiye.

The action was referred to the disciplinary board of the MHP in a matter of days because it broke their rules.

The Mayor tendered his resignation in a speech today, the first working day following the Festival of the Sacrifice, in the chamber of the municipal offices in downtown Fethiye.

Twelve members of the municipality also resigned from the party in protest at the proposed MHP action against the Mayor.

They include Mehmet Yılmaz Cesur, Metin Talaş, Naci Uysal , Sadık Çetkin, Şevki Çakal, Ümit Ersoy , Yıldırım Özdemir , Nurkaya Gündoğdu , Mustafa Şenol , Dilek Dinçer, Besir Pehlivan, Alaaddin Yıldırım.

Behçet Saatcı, currently in his third term as Mayor of Fethiye, said he will continue to lead Fethiye as its Mayor despite his resignation from the party that he had been a member of for 40 years.