Turkish Interior Ministry has removed mayor of Besiktas, a secular stronghold of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in Istanbul, on charges of corruption and links to Gulen Movement, a move that would stir up social resentment among disgruntled secular segments of the society.
CHP Mayor Murat Hazinedar and Besiktas City Council members Avni Sipahi, Cetin Kirisgil were all removed from their posts by the Ministry.
“This is a government plot. Our Chairman will fight this through legal channels,” CHP spokesman Bulent Tezcan said on behalf of the party in the initial reaction.
In early December, the Turkish media reported that investigations have been launched into six CHP mayors over corruption charges, which the main opposition party deemed as politically motivated.
CHP Mayor Murat Hazinedar said a travel ban on imposed for his family members.