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AFP
May 5, 2021

Turkey probes Istanbul’s opposition mayor for ‘disrespect’

World

AFP
May 5, 2021

ISTANBUL: Turkish prosecutors have launched an investigation into Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu over his "disrespectful" behaviour during a visit to a shrine, officials said on Tuesday.

Imamoglu, who is a potential election challenger to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from the main opposition CHP party, was pictured with his hands folded behind his back during a visit to a tomb of an Ottoman sultan last year. He was attending a ceremony marking the anniversary of Istanbul’s conquest from the Byzantine Empire in 1453.

Interior ministry spokesman Ismail Catakli said the probe was opened by city prosecutors over allegations that the mayor was "disrespectful to the tomb of Fatih the Conqueror". He did not explain how Imamoglu may have disrespected the shrine.

Prosecutors were also investigating separate claims that Imamoglu had visited the co-chairs of the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Catakli said. Prosecutors are now trying to dissolve the party -- the third-largest in parliament -- over its alleged ties to the outlawed the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is listed as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies.