Opposition-led Ataşehir Municipality fires employees over ministry's terror accusations

After the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality's dismissal of 43 employees, the Ataşehir Municipality has also terminated the contracts of four employees as a result of investigations launched by the Interior Ministry.

Ferhat Yaşar / DUVAR

After the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB)'s dismissal of several employees, the district Ataşehir Municipality has also dismissed employees as a result of investigations launched by the Interior Ministry. 

The Interior Ministry on Dec. 26 announced that an investigation was launched by the Turkish government into İBB and opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu for alleged links to terrorism. 

Over the investigation, Istanbul Mayor İmamoğlu slammed Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu's claims and said that the minister wasn't mentally well and called him to resign.

However, the İBB has fired 43 employees who were previously expelled from their government posts via statutory decrees (KHK) since then. Among these personnel were also members of the Academics for Peace -- a group dismissed from their university jobs after signing the petition called “We will not be a party to this crime” in 2016.

Lastly, Istanbul’s Ataşehir district municipality, run by the main opposition CHP, on Aug. 16 dismissed four employees by the order of the Istanbul Governorship, on the grounds of the lawsuits they were prosecuted.

Employees' lawyer Mürsel Ünder said that the reason for the İBB and Ataşehir municipalities to dismiss workers was that employees attended the anniversaries of the anti-government protests such as Gezi Park or Roboski commemoration.

Deeming the dismissals as a "political operation," Ünder said that this move aims to remove people whom the government does not like from the public sphere.

The dismissed workers said that “the municipalities run by the CHP, which have violated the presumption of innocence and participated in this unlawfulness are at least as guilty and responsible as the Istanbul Governorship and the Interior Ministry.”