Istanbul’s İmamoğlu Indicted for ‘Insulting’ Important Institute, Investigated for ‘Improper’ Incident
Turkish authorities have indicted the mayor of Istanbul, a prominent member of the Republican People’s Party which is opposed to strongman President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, state-owned news agency Anadolu reported Saturday. Ekrem İmamoğlu, who was elected to head the nation’s largest city in 2019 after an earlier vote, also successful, was canceled by Erdoğan, faces up to four years in jail for insulting Turkey’s Supreme Election Board. He is quoted as saying the committee members were “foolish” for succumbing to Ankara’s pressure and invalidating the first election’s results. Earlier this month, prosecutors launched a different investigation, this time into İmamoğlu’s alleged “disrespectful” behavior – which included facing a sultan’s tomb with his hands folded behind his back – while visiting an Ottoman shrine. The popular mayor, who has in some recent polls overtaken Erdoğan and appears poised to challenge the incumbent in the 2023 presidential elections, is facing several other probes, as Erdoğan’s Justice and Development party looks to dismantle any hint of opposition.