Turkish Transport Minister Adil Karaismailoğlu has filed a lawsuit against Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, demanding to be paid 250,000 liras in non-pecuniary damages.
The lawsuit argues that İmamoğlu's remarks of “The transport minister is a miserable person” constitute “an attack on his personal rights.”
On April 9, Minister Karaismailoğlu was asked by reporters what he thought about the opposition's vow that Istanbul's Atatürk Airport would be opened for commercial flights should they come to power in the upcoming elections.
In response, the minister said that the government would soon turn a part of the area into a nation's garden (“Millet Bahçesi”). “The issue of Atatürk Airport is closed; it is over. Its northern-southern runway is being turned into a Nation's Garden anyway. The Environment Ministry has held a tender; they are about to start it [construction]. It will consist of an area of 2 million square kilometers," Karaismailoğlu said.
The minister's remarks drew widespread condemnation from several figures, including Istanbul Mayor İmamoğlu of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).
İmamoğlu said that the ministry needs to take the opinion of people when giving such decisions.
“The transport minister is a miserable person...Look at his arrogance; it is as if that place [Atatürk Airport] has been left as an inheritance to him. He wouldn't be able to wrap his head around such issues. The issue of Atatürk Airport has not been closed in the conscience of people,” İmamoğlu said on a program hosted by journalist İpek Özbeyon Halk TV on April 9.