Istanbul mayor will pursue legal action over surveillance photos taken at fish restaurant

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has said that he will pursue legal action as the photos showing him having a meal at a fish restaurant during snow-control efforts were taken by the city's surveillance camera (MOBESE). Meanwhile, the former chief imam of the Hagia Sophia mosque has said that Istanbul grappled with heavy snow this week because İmamoğlu threw his support behind the legendary singer Sezen Aksu, who is being targeted over one of her songs referencing Adam and Eve.

Duvar English

Pro-government media has been targeting Mayor Ekremoğlu over his having meal at a fish restaurant with the Ambassador of United Kingdom on Jan. 24, as the city has been covered in snow for a couple of days.

İmamoğlu later said on social media that he was at the fish restaurant during a one-hour break and that he had been coordinating the works with regards to the city for 19 hours straight.

On Jan. 26, İmamoğlu was at the Disaster Coordination Center (AKOM), giving an update on the snow affecting the city. He said that his picture at the fish restaurant had been taken with a state-owned surveillance camera (MOBESE) and that its release to the public is illegal.

“I will follow the issue of MOBESE camera being made part of a magazinish and chaotic process, by using the state's opportunities. This is a very important issue; it is also a personal issue. I have also shared my thought about this issue with Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya yesterday and today,” İmamoğlu said during the press conference.

“It is known for which MOBESE records can be used; they are for the determination of events and crimes...I would like to state that I will follow this issue legally, and my struggle will continue,” he said.

İmamoğlu also said that the issue was being “manipulated” and that he had organized his meeting with the ambassador a long time ago.

“When I am working with such a busy agenda, I would like to express that I am following the discussion of my going to such a meal and the manipulation with regards to this process with surprise,” he said.

Hagia Sophia's former chief imam says heavy snow linked to song referencing Adam and Eve

Meanwhile, according to Prof. Mehmet Boynukalın, the former chief imam of the Hagia Sophia mosque, Istanbul grappled with heavy snow this week because İmamoğlu threw his support behind legendary singer Sezen Aksu, who has been targeted over one of her songs.

Without explicitly mentioning their names, Boynukalın referred to İmamoğlu and Aksu and tweeted: “God strikes those who defend insults against our Prophet Adam and mother Eve with snow; in such a way that you are left with fish and rakı in your hands....Hopefully, everyone takes the necessary lesson.”

Hagia Sophia's former chief imam Prof. Mehmet Boynukalın.

Sezen Aksu is on the target of Islamist groups, close to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), over her song in which she says, "Say hello to those ignorant Eve and Adam." 

Last week, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan even targeted the iconic singer, saying it was “his duty to cut those tongues that defame Adam and Eve.”

In the face of the defamation campaign, İmamoğlu threw his support behind the legendary singer, saying in a tweet on Jan. 18: “The artist will speak. Artists are the internal voice of this country. No one can diminish these voices to change the agenda.”