Main opposition will bring violation of privacy case for Istanbul Mayor to parliament

Main opposition CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said his party will bring the issue of violation of privacy to parliament, after security camera images showing Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu dining with the British ambassador during snow control efforts were leaked to the press. “We were thinking that it was only our phones that were being tapped, but it turns out that we were also being [phyiscally] monitored,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in an interview.

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is seen addressing reporters in this file photo.

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Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said that his party will take the issue of violation of privacy to parliament, following the release of a footage showing Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu at a fish restaurant during snow-control efforts last week.

In an interview with the newspaper Dünya on Feb. 1, Kılıçdaroğlu said this incident shows that not only do government officials tap CHP politicians' phones, but also they monitor them.

“What is the reason for placing MOBESE cameras? It is to ensure the security of society, not to monitor a person's private life. There are personal rights in the Constitution; you [government officilas] are violating these. We were thinking that it was only our phones that were being tapped, but it turns out that we were also being [physically] monitored. We will bring the issue to parliament,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Last week, İmamoğlu said that he will pursue legal action as the footage showing him having a meal at a fish restaurant with the ambassador of the United Kingdom was taken by the city's surveillance camera (MOBESE).

The footage was later shared with the pro-government media and made public.

İmamoğlu said that the “use of the state's opportunities” to defame him was illegal and he would seek his rights on a legal basis.

MHP leader Bahçeli targets İmamoğlu once again, demands his resignation 

Meanwhile, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has targeted İmamoğlu once again, saying that his party wants him to resign from the post.

“Our wish is that the Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor immediately asks to be relieved from his post and paves the way for Istanbul,” Bahçeli said, while addressing his party's lawmakers on Feb. 1.

Bahçeli also refuted reports that have been saying former Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül was dismissed from his duty for objecting to the leaking of İmamoğlu's footage.

On Jan. 28, Gül criticized the release of surveillance camera images, saying that the law can never allow for the disclosure of private data and images. Various reports suggested that Gül's remarks received the criticism of Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and the MHP.

Just a day later, on Jan. 30, Gül announced his resignation, without giving any reason. Minister Soylu and Bahçeli had previously expressed their disapproval of Gül.

Bahçeli, however, dismissed these reports, referring to them as the “perception games of the CHP mentality.” “The perception games of the CHP mentality which link the resignation of Mr. Abdulahmit Gül from the post of Justice Minister, which he performed successfully, to the coming out of the MOBESE images will never succeed,” Bahçeli said during his speech.