A lawsuit was filed against Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu for "publicly insulting a public official" for allegedly affronting Istanbul’s Tuzla district Mayor Sadi Yazıcı during his speech at the opening of a treatment plant in the district in 2022.
The Istanbul Anatolian Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has requested a maximum prison term of 2 years and 4 months and a political ban for İmamoğlu in the indictment.
The prosecutor stated that the Mayor of Tuzla, who proceeded to his vehicle after his speech at the inauguration ceremony, was subjected to actions by some people in the area "exceeding the legal limits of protest and criticism."
"Ekrem İmamoğlu, who were making a speech at the time, did not help to ensure calmness in a manner befitting a statesman, but on the contrary, he used expressions fueling the the aggressive behavior of the people,” the prosecutor claimed.
İmamoğlu was quoted in the indictment saying, “That friend (Tuzla Mayor) came here to cause disturbance. He continues provocations without courtesy, a bad word belongs to its owner.”
In his statement, İmamoğlu said that while people were booing Yazıcı, he stood up three times, turned to the audience and gestured to calm and silence them. He also asserted that “the complaint in question was far from serious and politically motivated.”
A Turkish court on Dec. 14 sentenced Mayor İmamoğlu from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) to two years and seven months in prison on charges of “insulting” 11 members of Turkey's High Election Board (YSK). The court also imposed a political ban on İmamoğlu, a popular rival to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, which must be confirmed by an appeals court before application.
İmamoğlu is one of the figures targeted frequently by Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) ever since his decisive victory in the Istanbul elections in 2019. Infuriated by losing Turkey's largest city to the main opposition, the AKP has been making İmamoğlu face investigations on bogus charges.