Following the dismissal of the mayor of Ataşehir last month, the Turkish government’s decision to suspend Beşiktaş Mayor Murat Hazinedar on Thursday was slammed by the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
Reacting to the new decision on another CHP mayor, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Friday visited the municipal building in Beşiktaş as a show of support for Hazinedar.
Speaking to people outside the municipal building, Kılıçdaroğlu slammed the government for trying to change the agenda and avoid discussing real problems by dismissing CHP mayors.
İstanbul’s Beşiktaş Mayor Hazinedar and two municipal council members, Avni Sipahi and Çetin Kırışgil, were relieved of their duties by the Turkish Interior Ministry for alleged membership in the faith-based Gülen movement, providing illegal licenses to merchants, allowing the use of public property by private individuals and for taking unfair advantage.
Denying any links with the Gülen movement in a statement in front of the municipal building, Hazinedar recalled that he was elected by 77 percent of the vote in the last local elections.
“In democracies, the power given by people is taken back by the people,” said Hazinedar.
Hazinedar also slammed a government decision to impose a travel ban on his wife and child. “The old system that [President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan used to criticize] allowed his [Erdogan’s] children to get an education abroad. But he [Erdogan] isn’t allowing my child to have the same thing.”
Deputy chairman of the main opposition CHP Bülent Tezcan on Thursday strongly criticized the dismissal of Hazinedar, saying: “The decision of the Ministry of Interior is unjust, not related to the law or justice. The government is part of this plot.”
Battal İlgezdi, the CHP’s mayor of Istanbul’s Ataşehir district, was dismissed by the Interior Ministry on corruption allegations on Dec. 8, 2017.