"Mayors not allowed to meet with diplomats without FM permission:" Istanbul Governor

"Mayors not allowed to meet with diplomats without FM permission:" Istanbul Governor
Update: 05 July 2022 21:22
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In a letter to the Metropolitan Municipality, Istanbul Governorship asked the Mayor not to respond to diplomats' meeting requests, but to submit them to the Foreign Ministry for approval.

The Governor's Office in Istanbul, Turkey, sent a letter to Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, stating in an instructive tone that mayors should not directly respond to meeting requests by diplomats of foreign countries, but forward such requests to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, OdaTV reported on Monday.

The letter read:

"The Directorate of the Office of EU and Foreign Relations underlined in its letter dated 21 June 2022 that the Presidency's letter dated 3 June requires that requests by diplomats, including ambassadors, acting ambassadors, consul generals and representatives of international institutions, to meet, including phone conversations, with our senior state officials and officials of public institutions, including ministers and city governors, should not be accepted ex officio, but should be processed through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs General Management of Protocol, with an assessment provided from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs."

It was requested in the letter that the officials at the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality 'acted in accordance with the Presidency's referred letter'.

Istanbul Mayor Imamoglu: A potential presidency candidate

The Governorship's letter was reported by OdaTV with the title, 'Yet another obstruction to Imamoglu'.

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu won an election victory in 2019, putting an end to the rule of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its political predecessors in Istanbul that lasted for 25 years.

Imamoglu is potentially among most popular presidency candidates before the 2023 elections, though he has not yet been endorsed by any political figure or group in the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Several polls have shown him winning against Erdogan by a significant margin.