Harsh reaction from the West to Istanbul Mayor’s conviction
The verdict on Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu which gave him over two years of jail sentence and a political ban sparked strong reaction in the Western, with political leaders who said they stood by the mayor and rule of law.
The German Foreign Ministry said the decision was a "heavy blow for democracy".
Today's verdict against #EkremImamoglu is a heavy blow to democracy, which requires controversial political debate. Particularly in times of an election, freedom of speech is the most important hallmark of a fair contest. #Turkey— GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) December 14, 2022
"It seemed impossible, but it happened,” said Nacho Sanchez Amor, Turkey Rapporteur of the European Parliament, European Union's (EU) legislative body, and posted on Twitter a photo of himself with Imamoglu.
It seemed unconceivable but now it's done: @ekrem_imamoglu, mayor of #Istanbul sentenced to 2 years+7 month prison and a political ban for allegedly "insulting a public official"! #Justice in #Turkey is in a calamitous state, grossly used for political purposes. Very sad day. pic.twitter.com/hgzFx7O6G3— Nacho Sánchez Amor (@NachoSAmor) December 14, 2022
The European Socialists Party described the sentence given to Imamoglu as "a major erosion of the rule of law and independent judiciary in Turkey".
Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis also posted his photo with Imamoglu and said: “A truly dark day for Democracy in Turkey”
A truly dark day for Democracy in Turkey. The decision to deprive the freedom and civil rights of a politician-ally of Peace, Justice and Universalism- only evokes sadness and anger. pic.twitter.com/EoDtg6dgWS— Kostas Bakoyannis (@KBakoyannis) December 14, 2022
Eurocities, an organization which aims to strengthen cooperation between European cities, made a statement and said: "We stand in solidarity with Imamoğlu, who has been unjustly sentenced”
We stand in solidarity with Ekrem İmamoğlu, Mayor of #Istanbul, who has been unjustly sentenced to more than 2 years in prison today.— Eurocities (@EUROCITIES) December 14, 2022
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