Turkey's main opposition slams AKP govt-led suspension of CHP mayors

Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) responded President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's government's recent attempts to suspend CHP mayors over corruption allegations. The conflict came at a critical time during Zarrab case in the U.S. and Erdoğan family's offshore bank accounts
Cemal Canpolat.
Monday, 11 December 2017 21:17

Turkey’s parliamentary main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) responded President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) regarding the Interior Ministry’s suspension of a CHP İstanbul district mayor.

The mayor of İstanbul’s Ataşehir district, Battal İlgezdi from the CHP party, was suspended by the Interior Ministry over corruption allegations on December 8.

Meanwhile, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said, “They are apparently trying to intimidate us. However, there is no way you can scare us,” adding that Ataşehir mayor İlgezdi mayor was acquitted of corruption charges before.


“We know that there are preparations for operations in Aydın, Adana, Ankara, İzmir and several districts of İstanbul. These operations are political operations,” said Cemal Canpolat, CHP’s provincial chair from İstanbul, implying that some other administrative threats would come from the ruling party.

Canpolat talked at his party meeting on Dec. 11, saying that his party is facing a political attack from the government. He showed the ruling AKP party’s failure to gain the majority of votes in İstanbul during the April 16 constitutional referendum as a motive of the AKP government to attack the CHP mayors. During the fraudulent and controversial referendum, İstanbul, the largest city of Turkey, witnessed the majority of ‘no’ votes albeit the narrow margin between the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ campaigns.

“We are not against the administrative investigations towards the CHP-led municipalities,” Canpolat continued, adding that, however, the government has not acted within the boundaries of the principles of the state of law.


“If there were any corruption in our municipalities, we would do whatever required,” Canpolat said, accusing the ruling AKP party for involving in corruption. Canpolat talked of the suspension of İstanbul’s metropolitan mayor Kadir Topbaş by his own party, who was forced to resign from his post following Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s intra-party readjustments in the aftermath of the coup attempt in 2016 amid the state of emergency and the controversial referendum in April 2017.

The suspension of a CHP mayor came at a critical time when the main opposition CHP party slammed President Erdoğan over his family’s offshore accounts in the tax haven Isle of Man and the ongoing Zarrab case in the U.S. regarding the Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab who testified to have bribed some governmental figures from the AKP party.


Implying President Erdoğan, Canpolat from the CHP said that such a president who is also leading a political party cannot act in an unbiased way. “Our party members will protect their elected mayors in 14 our 14 municipalities as of tomorrow,” Canpolat concluded, saying that they will resist the ruling AKP party’s possible investigations.   

The Justice and Development Party is known to have appointed trustees in many districts across the country, which were governed by the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) on the grounds that they allegedly provided support to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and the FETÖ, the Gülenist terror organization, one of the masterminding groups behind the July 15 coup attempt in last year.