Court delays trial of Istanbul mayor

Court delays trial of Istanbul mayor

Court delays trial of Istanbul mayor

A Turkish court on Sept. 21 delayed Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu’s trial until November, that could see him banned from politics over a remark he made over the 2019 local elections.

İmamoğlu’s office said the trial was adjourned until Nov. 11 moments after it started on Sept. 21.

“There is a litigation process that should not have happened. The hearing of the evidence was extended to November with the hearing of witnesses,” İmamoğlu told reporters.

The court could keep him from seeking higher office - and possibly force him to give up his post - as punishment for a remark he made in the aftermath of the mayoral race.

The file suit came after the mayor said, “Those who cancelled the March 31 elections are idiots,” at the time.

Prosecutors have asked for İmamoğlu to be banned from politics and jailed for 15 months “for insulting members of the Supreme Election Board.”

After the 2019 polls, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had appealed to the Supreme Election Board (YSK) to withhold the mandate from İmamoğlu while its appeal for the annulment and renewal of the Istanbul election was assessed. But the election watchdog rejected the appeal because after the recount, the results were clear that İmamoğlu had more votes than the AKP’s candidate Binali Yıldırım.