Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu should be dismissed if “terror ties” of municipal personnel are proven, according to Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chair Devlet Bahceli, an ally of the government.
Last week, the Ministry of Interior opened an investigation into the opposition-led municipality after “findings and reports” that as many as 557 municipal personnel might have ties to outlawed groups, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
If the İstanbul Municipality recruited people who have connections with “terror” groups, the mayor is responsible “in any case,” Bahçeli told his party’s parliamentary group today (January 4).
“If the allegations are proven … the mayor of the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality cannot and should occupy his office even for a second,” he remarked.
In response to accusations, İmamoğlu had said that the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Justice should be investigated if people with “terror” ties were able to get jobs at the municipality as “we don’t hire people without a letter of clearance.”
On December 30, a court accepted an indictment against the Religious Scholars Solidarity Association (DİAYDER), which is also probed by the Ministry of Interior as part of its investigation into the İstanbul Municipality.
Prosecutors accuse the association of “operating in line with the goals of the PKK.”
Twenty-three people, including IMM personnel, are facing terrorism-related charges in the case. Ten of the defendants are under arrest.