The opposition mayor of Istanbul Ekrem İmamoğlu on Tuesday slammed the ousting of three Kurdish mayors in Turkey’s east while dismissing reports of the further ousting of main opposition party mayors.
“The will of the nation is very important. Ignoring the will of the nation is a grave mistake… It’s very saddening. I strongly condemn [the move] and stand against it. Everyone should know their place,” independent news site T24 quoted İmamoğlu as saying.
The Turkish government on Monday removed three Kurdish mayors from office in the eastern provinces of Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van over alleged links to a terrorist organisation as authorities arrested more than 400 people amid a deepening crackdown on the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Reports have emerged that the crackdown will extend to include opposition CHP mayors, with CHP deputy Gürsel Tekin claiming on Monday that preparation is underway to dismiss the party’s İstanbul and Ankara mayors.
Pro-government Sabah newspaper columnist Ersin Ramoğlu in a column on Monday said that 34 CHP mayors throughout the country with alleged links to terror could be removed from office at any time.
When asked if the government now has its eyes on CHP mayors, İmamoğlu said that no one had such authority.
“Nobody has unlimited authority. There may be people who act as though they do, but they will cause this country to suffer losses. They will have lost themselves. In fact, they are losing,’’ İmamoğlu said, referring to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).