Convicted Istanbul mayor addresses huge crowd in Istanbul
A huge crowd gathered in Istanbul on Thursday in support of the mayor who was convicted by a Turkish court a day before and who may face a ban from politics in case the decision is upheld by the appeals court.
Saraçhane’deyiz https://t.co/iNy3yXT8Js— Ekrem İmamoğlu (@ekrem_imamoglu) December 14, 2022
Tens of thousands of people flooded to Istanbul's Sarachane square on the call of a bloc of six opposition parties, and Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, who was sentenced to a prison term of two years seven months and 15 days for allegedly insulting the members of Turkey's election board, made the first address.
He said that the officials of the political administration have no intention of governing the country, that they act only in favor of particular interest groups, and that they could not recover from the shock of losing the 2019 local election in Istanbul, which was previously opened to plunder under the municipal administrations led by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Imamoglu went on to say that the administration of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan respected the political will of the people only when it was in its favor, and dismissed it when it was not.
A state who treats every citizen equally may be established only under a new government of the opposition bloc, Imamoglu added, calling for people's support in the coming elections to change the current situation.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People's party (CHP) said in his speech that justice has become the fundamental issue in Turkey, and that they are determined to bring justice back to the country.
Ali Babacan, the leader of the opposition Democracy and Progress Party (Deva), said:
"I reject this lawlessness against Ekrem Imamoglu. I reject the lawlessness that Canan Kaftancioglu [chair of CHP's Istanbul branch] was subjected to a short time ago. I reject the lawlessness against Selahattin Demirtas [the imprisoned former co-chair of the Peoples' Democratic Party]. I reject the government's policy of appointing trustees to municipal administrations which are not under the control of the ruling party."