aposto-logoÇarşamba, 31 Mayıs 2023
Çarşamba, Mayıs 31, 2023
Aposto Üyelik

Imprisonment and Political Ban Decision Against İmamoğlu

The case against Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu for allegedly insulting Turkish High Election Board (YSK) members has been decided.

The case against Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu for allegedly insulting Turkish High Election Board (YSK) members has been decided. In the decision of the Istanbul 7th Criminal Court of First Instance dated 14 December 2022, İBB Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu was sentenced to 2 years, 7 months, and 15 days in prison for insulting the members of the YSK, and a political ban from public activities was imposed on him. Later, in the reasoned decision announced on December 28, the court stated that İmamoğlu’s remark "fool” against the members of the YSK is an act considered a crime under Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code and that İmamoğlu also committed the crime of insult in front of the press in an aggressive manner and offended the members of the high judiciary. It should be noted that if this decision is approved by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, it will become final.

This decision met with a great reaction from different segments of society, especially the opposition parties. On the day the decision was made, İmamoğlu, İYİ Party Chairman Meral Akşener, and the vice presidents of other opposition parties held a rally in front of Saraçhane to protest the decision. The next day, the leader of the 6 opposition parties organized a rally under the banner of "The nation stands by their will". They emphasized that the decision is highly political and that they stand with İmamoğlu.

First of all, it should be noted that this decision was made through political motives. Since the March 2019 local elections, the government has been trying to narrow down İmamoğlu's field of activity, both as a mayor and as a political figure, through the courts and administrative methods. Behind the pressure exerted by the AKP government lies the rising political visibility of İmamoğlu after he won the İBB Presidency and the opposition's possible presidential candidate in the elections scheduled for June 2023. As it has tried many times before, the AKP government seems to have based its main winning strategy before the 2023 elections on suppressing the opposition on many axes and encouraging them to align in its own direction through various methods.

It is not acceptable in liberal democracies that the government changes the rules in order not to lose the elections or put pressure on the courts to exclude their opponents from the game. Instead of confronting its opponents in public debates and elections, the government’s illegal and anti-democratic ways of suppressing the opposition not only seize the rights of the politician in question but also restrict our freedom of choice as citizens. One of the necessary conditions for holding the elections on the fairground and not questioning the legitimacy of the election results is possible if the parties and politicians are exempt from such pressures. However, the AKP government casts a shadow over the legitimacy of an election and harms Turkish democracy in the long run.

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İlgili Başlıklar

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

Ekrem İmamoğlu

High Election Board

Istanbul 7th Criminal Court of First Instance

Meral Akşener

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We monitor the ongoings of Turkiye in the fields of the rule of law, economics, civil society, and politics.