Court delays trial of Istanbul mayor
The prosecutor reiterated his demand for a sentence of up to four years and a month for İmamoğlu, a member of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), who may face a “political ban” if he is sentenced to more than two years.
Evaluating the interim decision of the court, the mayor denied insulting members of the council, insisting his words were “a response to Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu” calling him “a fool” and accusing him of criticizing Türkiye during his visit to the European Parliament after the cancellation of the local elections on March 31, 2019.
İmamoğlu’s reply to Soylu was: “When we look at where we fall in the eyes of Europe and the world, those who canceled the election are fools.”
After nationwide local polls and İmamoğlu got his first certificate of election, the YSK canceled the results, citing irregularities and illegalities.
Then in a June 23 do-over poll, İmamoğlu won 54.21 percent of the votes, leading the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) candidate Binali Yıldırım to concede the race.