Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu spoke harshly about the terror inspection initiated by the Interior Ministry against the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, defining the inspection as “conspiracy.”
Speaking at his party’s parliamentary group on Jan. 3, Kılıçdaroğlu said that if the government appoints a trustee, the main opposition will consider the situation as a “terror act of a dictator,” adding that “they would open the gates of hell.”
“If they continue this conspiracy against our Mayor Ekrem (İmamoğlu), God forbid, they engage in the stupidity of appointing trustees, we will accept this as terrorism perpetrated by a dictator on his people and we will see it that way. And we will fight this terrorism in every possible way,” he said.
Inspection after conviction
On November 26, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced that there had been complaints that 1,668 personnel recruited to organisations and companies affiliated with the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality between 2019 and 2022 were linked to terrorist organizations, and that the ministry had launched a special investigation into the matter.
Soylu stated that the municipality did not conduct security investigations and archive research, did not establish an “evaluation commission” on this issue, and therefore “people who are connected to and affiliated with terrorist organisations are recruited without evaluating their situation.”
The inspection came just weeks after Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu was sentenced to more than two years in prison on insult charges and barred from participating in political activities if the charges were upheld by appeals courts.
The rising popularity of the mayor, who has taken the İstanbul Mayor seat from the ruling AKP in the 2019 elections after 25 years of rule by Erdoğan’s parties, placed him as one of the most powerful contestants against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the upcoming presidential race.
The charges against prominent opposition figures prompted a long debate on the biassed judicial decisions in Türkiye.
“A conspiracy against İBB”
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, in his statement, described the inspection process against İBB as a “conspiracy.”
“They want to seize the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, which the opposition won, with their plots. We are faced with a new palace conspiracy. By using the judiciary as a tool, they want to seize the Istanbul Municipality, harming the votes of the national will,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“Their aim is to enter the election by using the resources of Istanbul, by using the rent accumulated by it” he said.
He said that in the event of an appointment of a trustee, the main opposition will consider the situation “terrorism,” and “act accordingly.”
“No one should expect more patience from Mr. Kemal if they try to do this. Do not make this mistake. They would open the gates of hell. It wouldn’t be good for anyone,” he said.
Erdoğan’s ally MHP to support early election
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s People Alliance partner Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli spoke about the early election discussions, stating that the nationalist party would support ruling AKP in both early election and timely election.
The country’s political circles stirring with rumors and discussions that Erdoğan may bring the upcoming 2023 elections forward by using his presidential authorities in order to gain electoral advantage.
In order to do that he may either ask the parliament to vote for early elections, which would necessitate the votes 360 of 660 seats in the parliament, or dissolve the parliament.
Speaking on the issue on his parliamentary group meeting on Jan. 3, Bahçeli said that his party would support both options.
“Whether the General Elections for the President and the parliament are held on time or early, we support both options and we are ready,” Bahçeli said adding that in order to bring the election forward the both options are “lawful and constitutional.”
HDP: “No political calculation is possible without Kurds”
HDP Co-chair Pervin Buldan, in her statement at his party’s group meeting, stated that the Labor and Freedom Platform, of which HDP is a member, aims to bring the candidate debates on a democratic basis and expand the alliance.
Buldan said, “Despite all the compression policy of the government, the opposition enlarged and socialized it. He managed to build a way to produce a clear word about peace and freedom. It has made a way of taking candidate debates on democratic rather than personal grounds and expanding the alliance,” he said.
Referring to the Kurdish votes that will be decisive in the election, Buldan said, “You will never be able to implement an equation that does not include the Kurds in this country.”
İmamoğlu: “Government systematically attacks İstanbul Municipality”