Imamoglu may be removed from his post in early January: Report
Officials and employees in Istanbul's municipal administration believe that Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu may be removed from his post in early January, Euronews Turkish said, without stating specific sources.
Imamoglu was sentenced to a prison term of 2 years 7 months on 14 December over allegedly insulting public officials. The conviction involves a political ban that will be enforced in case the court ruling is upheld by the appeals court.
Eight days later, Turkish interior ministry handed a report to the prosecution, claiming that hundreds of "terrorists" have been recruited by Istanbul's municipal administration in the last couple of years.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told a press conference on Wednesday that the ministry's earlier removal of several mayors over "links to a terrorist organization" was constitutional and lawful, and noted that the replacement of those mayors with appointed trustees had been subjected to criticism by the main opposition leader and Imamoglu.
Euronews Turkish said on Thursday that many believe now that Imamoglu will be removed from his post in January, that there are "preparations" in consideration of a possible removal within Istanbul's municipal administration, and that many employees have already started looking for jobs elsewhere.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has a majority in the Municipal Council of Istanbul, which means that in the case of Imamoglu's removal a councilor for AKP will be elected as acting mayor.
Imamoglu argues that the ministry's report accuses him for not running a security check which was deemed unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court.
Imamoglu also told a press conference on Wednesday that some of the municipal employees implicated by the ministry's report had been recruited during the terms of former mayors, and it is discriminatory that he is subjected to accusations while they are not.