Istanbul mayor files criminal complaint against Turkish interior minister

The opposition mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem İmamoğlu, on Wednesday filed a criminal complaint against Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu for authorising a string of investigations against him.

İmamoğlu’s lawyer filed the criminal complaint with the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office against Soylu and another ministry official for 27 investigations launched against İmamoğlu into his activities during his term in office as the city's Beylikdüzü district mayor between 2014-2019, Sözcü newspaper reported.

Soylu and civil inspector Arif Yıldırım are responsible for abusing their power of authority by signing off on the investigations, which contain forged documents and slander, Sözcü quoted the complaint as saying. 

İmamoğlu has said the investigations - 25 related to tenders awarded by the Beylikdüzü Municipality and two related to urban planning - are politically motivated.

The Republican People’s Party (CHP) mayor won the Istanbul mayoral election in a highly contested race in 2019. 

The mayor has been frequently targeted by the government, including an investigation launched by the Interior Ministry last month over a municipal charity drive for families affected by the coronavirus pandemic.