Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Turkish courts to correct any errors after Imamoglu is jailed: Erdogan

Opposition figure Ekrem Imamoglu was sentenced to two years and seven months in prison for insulting public officials.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said courts will correct any mistakes in the appeals process after an Istanbul mayor was sentenced to more than two and a half years in prison for insulting members of the Supreme Electoral Council.

Erdogan made his first direct comments after a court on Wednesday sentenced Ekrem Imamoglu, a prominent opposition politician and potential challenger to Erdogan, to two years and seven months in prison and imposed a political ban.

Imamoglu was prosecuted for insulting public officials in 2019 when he criticized the decision to cancel the first round of municipal elections which he won and became the mayor of Istanbul. His victory was seen as a blow to Erdogan and his AK Party.

“There is still no final court ruling. The case will go to the Court of Appeal and the court of Kassan,” Erdogan said. “If the courts made a mistake, it will be corrected. They are trying to drag us into this game. Huh.

Erdogan also said that he does not care who the opposition’s candidate is in next year’s election.

On Friday, thousands gathered in Istanbul to protest the sentence and political ban, criticizing the Turkish government ahead of elections next year that are set to pose a major test for Erdogan’s 20-year rule.

Addressing a rally in Mardin in Turkey’s southeast, Erdogan said, “There have been many court decisions that we have strongly criticized, but it does not make sense for anyone to disrespect judges or ignore court decisions.” does not confer the right.”

Imamoglu himself called the sentence “political and illegal”.

Imamoglu was prosecuted for defamation after the Istanbul mayoral election in June 2019 over a speech in which he said that those who canceled the initial vote three months earlier were “fools”. The AK Party refused to accept Imamoglu’s initial victory.

Critics say Turkey’s judiciary has succumbed to Erdogan’s desire to punish his critics. The government says they are free.

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