Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has filed a lawsuit against Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu for authorizing an inspector to investigate him.
Lawyer Kemal Polat submitted the criminal complaint petition to the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office over 27 investigations launched against İmamoğlu based on a number of allegations belonging to his term as the mayor of the city’s Beylikdüzü district.
Two of the investigations against İmamoğlu were launched over zoning issues, whereas the rest concern processes related to tenders.
İmamoğlu in his petition accused Interior Ministry inspector Arif Yıldırım of being “unbiased, not undertaking sufficient analysis, preparing reports with unreal content and forging documents.”
Yıldırım’s actions of “forgery of official documents, abusing the power of authority and slander” constituted a crime, the petition said.
İmamoğlu also brought charges against Soylu for assigning an inspector to investigate him on the basis of “forged documents.”
“Another suspect is Interior Minister and as will be explained below in a detailed way, he is responsible for authorizing investigations based such [forged] reports. In any state of law, it is out of the question for people who have taken up a position via democratic elections to be put under political oppression,” the petition said.
Before being elected Istanbul mayor, İmamoğlu was the mayor of Beylikdüzü between 2014 and 2019. He gained the majority of votes against the candidate of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on March 31, 2019 local elections, but the elections were ruled to be repeated by the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK).
On May 6, 2019 his authority of mayorship was stripped, but he received it back after gaining a decisive victory in the rerun elections on June 23, 2019.
This is not the first time that the Interior Ministry has targeted İmamoğlu. The opposition mayor is also facing an investigation launched by the ministry in April for initiating a donation campaign against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.