The trial of the opposition mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu, begins on corruption charges


Today, Thursday, the trial of Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu began, on new corruption charges that may undermine his political ambition.

Imamoglu – a member of the opposition Republican People’s Party – is being tried for forging a financial contract at the end of 2015 when he was mayor of Beylikduzu. A suburb of Istanbul, which he denies.

In this case, he is accused, along with 6 other people, of “falsifying” a contract that is believed to have caused public finances losses of 250,000 pounds (about 90,000 dollars at the time).

Imamoglu faces a possible prison sentence of between 3 and 7 years, and a political ban if he is found guilty in the most recent case, after he was already sentenced to more than two years in prison in 2022 after being accused of insulting public officials.

Imamoglu indicated that a previous investigation into the contract concluded that there was no breach.

The first session in this trial was held on Thursday in the absence of the accused, and it lasted about an hour, and it was decided to hold the next session on November 30.

The trial is set to cast a shadow over the opposition, which is trying to regroup and mobilize voters ahead of local elections next March.

At the same time, the demand for the resignation of the defeated opposition presidential candidate, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, from the presidency of the Republican People’s Party, to which Imamoglu belongs, has escalated.

Kilicdaroglu declined to say whether he plans to run at the party congress in the fall, but he appears to be hinting that he may step down after 13 years at the helm of Turkey’s oldest party.

“I will open the whole way for change, don’t worry,” he told his party’s parliamentary bloc last Tuesday. “It is the duty of the captain to return the ship safely to the port,” Kilicdaroglu added, suggesting that he might keep the reins in his hands for a longer period.

Many expect that Imamoglu, who called for “comprehensive change”, is the strongest competitor to replace Kilicdaroglu.

“We will not make the mistake of doing the same things and continuing on our way,” Imamoglu told reporters last week – referring to the CHP’s defeat in the previous three presidential elections.


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The trial of the opposition mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu, begins on corruption charges

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