A new court case opened against Istanbul Mayor
Prosecutors in Istanbul opened a new case against the Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu on the charges of bid rigging during his tenure as a mayor in Beylikduzu district of Istanbul, after he was sentenced to over two years of jail for "openly insulting public officials working as a committee" and a possible ban from politics if finalized by the supreme court.
The first hearing of the case will be held on June 15, Turkey’s Haberturk TV reported, saying that the investigation started with a review by the Ministry of Interior regarding Imamoğlu's term as the Mayor of Beylikduzu.
The review said that in 2015, an objection by an unsuccessful tenderer to a tender was refused by the authorities in the municipality of Beylikduzu who said the winner proved sufficient to perform the job, but an investigation by a legal expert found otherwise.
Lawyers of Imamoglu rejected the accusation saying that the mayor did not play any part during any stages of the tender in question, but the prosecutors proceeded with the investigation and ultimately prepared an indictment charging Imamoglu and seven others with collusive tendering and demanding prison terms from three to seven years and a political ban.
Court cases against Imamoglu puts the mayor's immediate political future in question but also raises his profile among the potential candidates of the opposition bloc to run against President Tayyip Erdogan in the upcoming elections.
Two other potential candidates compete Imamoglu in the six-party alliance: Mansur Yavas, the mayor of Ankara and Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the head of the CHP (Republican People’s Party), who has repeatedly signaled he wants to run but is seen by critics as a feeble campaigner compared to Imamoglu who is believed to appeal to more conservative voters beyond the party's secularist grassroots.