Turkish prosecutors want Istanbul mayor jailed for “insulting” employees

Turkish prosecutors want Istanbul mayor jailed for “insulting” employees
Turkish prosecutors want Istanbul mayor jailed for “insulting” employees

Turkish prosecutors want Istanbul mayor jailed for “insulting” employees

Turkish prosecutors want Istanbul mayor jailed for “insulting” employees

His sentence may result in a four-year ban from political work

Friday – 17 Rabi’ al-Thani 1444 AH – 11 November 2022 AD

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu (Reuters)

Ankara: Said Abdel Razek

Turkish prosecutors have asked for a prison sentence of between 15 months and 4 years for Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu for insulting employees of the Supreme Electoral Council. This comes after the council annulled the result of local elections in Istanbul on March 31, 2019, following Imamoglu’s victory over his rival, former Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, and decided to repeat it on June 24, allowing Imamoglu to win for the second time Through a landslide.
Kemal Boulat, the lawyer for the mayor of Istanbul, who belongs to the opposition Republican People’s Party, said prosecutors at the meeting held on Friday to hear witnesses called for his client to be jailed for periods of up to 10 years and a year three months to four years and one month. The defense called for the charges against Imamoglu, who did not attend the hearings, which he describes as “tragicomic,” to be dropped. The court decided to adjourn the case until December 14. Sentencing the mayor of Istanbul to more than a year, even a day’s imprisonment, will deprive him of political activity for 4 years.
The indictment states that 11 people, including Sadi Govan, the former head of the Supreme Electoral Council, were humiliated by Imamoglu, who called those who agreed to the decision to annul the election results “idiots”.
Imamoglu won the mayoralty for a second time when elections were repeated in June of the same year, but by a much larger margin of more than 800,000 votes over his rival Bin Ali Yildirim. This was the first time in more than a quarter century that Islamist parties and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Istanbul have lost control over 19 years, giving a dangerous hint at the possibility of the ruling party affecting Turkey as a whole at the losing in the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.
After his victory as mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu became a permanent candidate, according to opinion polls, who will compete with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the country’s presidency in elections due in the middle of next year. Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavas is the strongest candidate to challenge Erdogan, according to recent opinion polls.
Lawyer Bulat viewed the lawsuit against Imamoglu as a “political matter” and noted that any prison sentence of more than one year, even if it was one year and a day, would automatically deprive his client for a period of 4 years to do political work.
In connection with his trial, Imamoglu appeared in a television interview on the Fox channel, which supports the opposition, and expressed his indifference to the process, saying: “I am not at all interested in what will happen to me, and I do. I don’t feel fear or anxiety, but I am ashamed of this process… You cannot stop a process like this… It’s a comical tragedy. At the same time, he emphasized that he “trusts the great Turkish judiciary”.
Imamoglu’s court session came a week after he filed a lawsuit against Turkey’s opposition leader, Republican People’s Party leader and likely candidate for the presidency, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, for “spreading false news,” the punishment for who, according to a recently passed new law to combat the spread of misleading information. If sentenced to more than one year, he will be barred from standing in the June 18, 2023 presidential and parliamentary elections.
The case was brought against Kilicdaroglu after he tweeted that he blamed what he called the “methamphetamine epidemic” in Turkey on the Justice and Development Party government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that she was siphoning off drug sales to pay off debt.

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