AKP members want Interior Minister Soylu to act more responsibly

AKP members are discontent with the actions of Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and want him to act more responsibly, sources said, as they commented on the ministry's recent move to probe the Istanbul Municipality.

Duvar English 

Members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) want Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu to act more responsibly, sources told the daily BirGün on Dec. 29. 

AKP members said that the accusations hurled by the Interior Ministry against the opposition harm the ruling party instead, since they lack necessary evidence or documents. 

Their remarks came after the ministry on Dec. 26 said that an investigation was launched into the claims that the Istanbul Municipality, which is run by the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), employed people linked to "terrorist organizations." 

The probe was blasted by the CHP, with mayors of all CHP-run metropolitan municipalities releasing a statement to show solidarity with the Istanbul Municipality and Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu. 

According to AKP members, Soylu's accusations and the investigation paved the way for the CHP to make a show of strength and caused İmamoğlu, who is already seen as a potential challenger to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to make a powerful return to the political scene.

"Baseless moves that we don't know the results of shouldn't be made anymore. Soylu should urgently reveal the evidence he has if there is any or refrain from speaking if he has no evidence," AKP members are reportedly saying.

Although the government's motive was to blame the CHP and İmamoğlu over the alleged terror-linked personnel, AKP deputy chair Numan Kurtulmuş on Dec. 28 said that mayors can't be held responsible even if said people are employed in municipalities. 

"Did we blame the chief of general staff when thousands of people were determined to be linked to a terrorist organization in the Turkish Armed Forces?" Kurtulmuş asked, possibly referring to the dismissals of army personnel over their links with the movement of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen following the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt. 

Sources said that the majority of AKP members supported Kurtulmuş's remarks.