|Mayor of Ankara|
27 March 1994
|Preceded by||Vedat Aydın|
|Born||October 20, 1948
|Political party||Justice and Development Party|
|Alma mater||Gazi University|
İbrahim Melih Gökçek (born on 20 October 1948, in Keçiören, Ankara, Turkey) is a Turkish politician who has been the mayor of Ankara since 1994. Between 1991-1994, he was a MP. Gökçek has won municipal elections in 1994, 1999, 2004, and 2009.
The Gökçek family, originally from Halfeti, moved to Gaziantep for father Ahmet Gökçek's career as a lawyer. Having his primary, secondary and high school education in Gaziantep, Melih Gökçek graduated from Gazi University, College of Journalism, in Ankara. He worked as Parliament Correspondent and newspaper representative. Gökçek completed his military service as a Reserve Officer at Güzelyurt in Northern Cyprus.
After he returned from military service, Gökçek set up a business. Then from 1984 to 1989 he acted as the Mayor of Keçiören, a district in Ankara, under the leadership of the Mayor of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, Mehmet Altinsoy.
The following two years Melih Gökçek ran the Social Services and Child Protection Society as the General Director between the years 1989-1991. In 1991 he entered the parliament as Ankara MP for the Welfare Party. While he was a MP during local elections in 1994, he stood for the Mayor Office of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality and won the election. He was elected for the same duty again in 1999 as the candidate of the Virtue Party and became the first person to be successively elected as the Mayor of Metropolitan Municipality for two times in the history of Ankara. He then joined the Justice and Development Party and was elected for the same duty for third time in 2004 and even a fourth time in 2009 and thus became the first person to be successively elected as the Mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality for four times in the history of Ankara. Gökçek is also the first mayor in the history of Ankara who was elected four times in a row.
He supports Ankaraspor in Ankara. He is the honorary chairman of MKE Ankaragücü. Football and photography are the greatest hobbies of Gökçek, who is married with Nevin Gökçek, and has two sons, Ahmet and Osman.
Achievements and Awards
Ankara received certain international prizes during his office during Gökçek's administration.
These awards include the "European Flag of Honour" (2001) and the "European Plaque of Honour" (2003). On 10 October 2009 Gökçek received the "Europe Prize" by the President of the European Parliament, Luis Marie de Puig, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Although these awards has been publicized by Gokcek as "the most prestigious award for cities and municipalities at a global level for exemplary projects in the urban, social, cultural and international relations area"  in truth, as explained in Europa Prize website, all EU aims by these is "to reward local and regional authorities for their active promotion of the European ideal (twinnings, European events, exchange visits, etc.) In other words, these awards are not related to the quality of municipal services.
The Greater Municipality of Ankara received three awards for its city projects by the OICC which has four prize categories during an award ceremony held in Doha in May 2010 with the participation of 170 representatives from 54 different countries. It won the first prizes in the “Urban and Regional Planning” as well as the “Landscaping” categories for the “North Ankara Urban Renewal Project” as well as the “Göksu Park” project and the second prize in the “Environment, Conservation and Sustainable Development” category for the “Mogan Park” project.
The municipality of Turkey's capital city Ankara was also presented with the World Water Organization's (WWO) "Best Practice Award" with its "Kizilirmak River Project" on 8 April 2010. WWO presented its "World Water Awards" during a ceremony held at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York, USA, on the first day of a two-day international conference on "Water and Global Health". Speaking at the ceremony, WWO's board member Elaine Valdov said that Ankara had experienced a serious water shortage problem from 2007 to 2008, and "Kizilirmak River Rehabilitation Project" had been initiated under the guidance of Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek to solve the matter. "This water project has been a perfect example that displays the cooperation between public institutions and the private sector," Valdov said.
||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (January 2011)|
In 2003 Gökçek tried to ban the pedestrian crossing in the city's busiest crossroads, demanding that pedestrians walk through the underpasses. Activists protested the city center being closed off completely from pedestrians  and declared that unilaterally taking such a decision is against law. Gökçek announced that he would make a referendum. The court eventually decided the referendum was unlawful. He has also closed the middle 4 lanes of a major road and constructed a recreation complex on them (called 'Gökkuşağı', Rainbow). As being placed in between the city's busiest lanes, the cafes and shops in the complex has never been put in use. The complex has cost 3.610 million Turkish liras, (approximately 3.11 million dollars), and has been sitting empty since 2005.
During 2007 water crisis of Ankara, he suggested the water be transported from Kızılırmak. The Department of Environmental Engineering of Middle East Technical University tested the water and concluded that the samples contained toxins and were not suitable for drinking.
On June 1, 2012 Gökçek was critized by Orhan Cerav for commenting “Women kill their babies born out of adultery. Why do babies die because of these so-called mothers? Let mothers kill themselves.” during a television broadcast. 
- "Melih Gökçek (1948 - .... )" (in (Turkish)). kimkimdir.gen.tr. Retrieved 2011-01-15.
- "Melih Gökçek ( 20.10.1948)" (in (Turkish)). biyografi.net. Retrieved 2011-01-15.
- "Ankara wins the 2009 Europe Prize". Assembly.coe.int. 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- "A press release from the Architects' Chamber of Ankara about the underpasses" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- "Chamber of Civil Engineers of Ankara: "underpasses are not a solution to Ankara's traffic problems"". Yapi.com.tr. 2009-02-20. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- "Hürriyet Newspaper | Corruption stays on Ankara agenda". Hurriyet.com.tr. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- "Today's Zaman | Kılıçdaroğlu, Gökçek clash over corruption claims". Todayszaman.com. 2008-12-19. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- "Article from the website of an activist group "Ankara Platform"" (in (Turkish)). Ankaramplatformu.org. 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- "Radikal Newspaper, "people from Ankara's rural areas were transported to vote in the referendum", "referendum declared invalid"". Radikal.com.tr. 2003-10-26. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- "Hurriyet Newspaper | Gökçek's Rainbow Project Became a Fiasco". Ankara.hurriyet.com.tr. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- "Consumers' Association, "Kızılırmak water is not drinkable"". Tudef.org.tr. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- Press release from METU's Environmental Engineering Department
- "METU's president Ural Akbulut: "Kızılırmak water contains 2 times more Arsenic than the limit"". Guncel.net. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- "Radikal newspaper | Gökçek takes revenge from University over arsenic claims". Radikal.com.tr. 2008-07-17. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
|Mayor of Ankara