The court also banned him from political work.
Critics say the trial is an attempt to prevent Imamoglu, one of the country’s most popular opposition politicians, from challenging President Erdogan in the June presidential election.
Supporters of the mayor gathered outside his office after the verdict was issued to express their support and demand the government’s resignation.
– Imamoglu shouted in front of the crowd: – Few people can take away from us the power that the people gave us.
Ekrem Imamoglu has already stated that he is appealing the verdict.
– This is a pathetic attitude towards democracy and the rule of law, says Kemal Polat, the mayor’s lawyer.
Imamoglu, who represents the CHP, defeated the candidate of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party in local elections in March 2019. The CHP’s victory was a historic setback for the president’s party, which has ruled Istanbul for a quarter of a century.
The AKP then pressed for the result to be overturned using fraud allegations. This led to his re-election in June – and Imamoglu won as well.
Between the election rounds, Imamoglu is said to have called the authority that annulled the first election results “foolish” in a speech.
The mayor denies insulting members of the electoral council and insists his choice of words was a response to calling Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu Imamoglu an “idiot” and accusing him of criticizing his country during a visit to the European Parliament.
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