Members of the Council of State reportedly complained about Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after the minister pressured them to reverse a decision concerning main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) mayors.
Soylu was infuriated by the Council of State's decision to lift investigations into the mayors back in 2019 and visited the Council of State's then-head Zerrin Güngör to force them to reverse their decisions, Deutsche Welle's Turkish service reported on July 1.
The minister in 2017 removed CHP Ataşehir Mayor Battal İlgezdi from his post over various accusations, but the mayor sued the decision and the Council of State's First Chamber ruled for three investigation decisions to be lifted.
Two other rulings related to İlgezdi that contradicted the Interior Ministry were issued in 2019. Similar decisions regarding former Beşiktaş Mayor Murat Hazinedar were adopted in 2018.
The rulings were conveyed to both İlgezdi and Hazinedar, as well as the Interior Ministry, prompting Soylu to visit the Council of State in September 2019 to convey his criticism.
He then called the First Chamber's head, İlyas Arlı, and told him that their decisions "put the government in a difficult position."
Arlı shared the phone call with other Council of State members, Deutsche Welle said, adding that the members agreed on the need to criticize Soylu for trying to influence the judiciary. They initially decided to file a criminal complaint against the minister, but then agreed on conveying the issue to President Erdoğan.
Soylu's name has been making headlines for the past couple of months due to mafia leader Sedat Peker's allegations.
Peker, an ally-turned-foe of the government who is currently in the United Arab Emirates, claimed that his organization backed Soylu throughout his political career, but was let down.