The opposition mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem İmamoğlu called on Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu to resign on Monday, after the ministry announced an investigation into hundreds of staff working for the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) over alleged terror links on Sunday.
“On Dec.12, the person occupying the Interior Ministry’s office said the municipality employed 557 terrorists”, İmamoğlu said, adding that they have heard nothing from the ministry for the last fifteen days, despite he authorised an investigation on the matter and asked for information by taking Soylu’s statements seriously, Diken news website reported.
“The ministry that had been sleeping for two weeks, woke up yesterday,” İmamoğlu said, following a meeting with ten other metropolitan mayors of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
Turkey’s Interior Ministry’s investigation involves 557 employees of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP)-run İBB who are accused of links to groups designated terrorist organisations by Ankara, including the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group at war in Turkey for Kurdish self-rule, and a number of far-left groups, the ministry said via a Twitter announcement on Sunday.
The investigation arrived two weeks after Interior Minister Soylu claimed that the mega-city’s municipality had included “terror-linked’’ staff into its cadres since İmamoğlu become mayor in 2019.
“The procedure for the employment in the municipality is clear. When someone applies for a job, a criminal record is requested from the ministry of justice. If the interior ministry is going to launch an investigation, it should be launched against the ministry of justice,” İmamoğlu said.
These statements were the efforts to change the country’s agenda, according to İmamoğlu.
“If the minister detects terrorists in the municipality and shares them with the public, but does not make an arrest, he should be dismissed,” İmamoğlu said.