Municipal worker targeted by pro-Turkish gov’t media resigns

Sevtap Ayman, who worked for the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB), resigned from her job saying she feared for her safety, news website T24 reported on Sunday.

“I am resigning for my safety, and the safety of my daughter and family,” Ayman said in a letter.

Ayman had been targeted by pro-government newspapers for allegedly being a terrorist. Newspapers such as Takvim and Yeni Şafak wrote that Ayman’s sister-in-law was a member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has been involved in conflict with Turkey for four decades.

She was detained in November, but was released shortly after.

In her resignation letter Ayman said evidence against her was fabricated, and that the Twitter account used by the newspapers to promote her guilt was fake.

“As a citizen, as a Kurd, a woman, and a mother, my right to live and work in peace and safety in this country was taken away from me,” Ayman wrote.  “I am resigning from my duties in the İBB to avoid further targeting of my family.”

In December, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu claimed upwards of 500 employees of the İBB had links to the PKK.

Istanbul’s Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, whose election ended a period of more than two decades of mayors from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its predecessors, said Soylu had been lying and slandering the good name of 86,000 workers.

The ministry launched a terror investigation two weeks later, on Dec. 26, accusing workers who were allegedly employed via references from DİYADER, an association founded by Kurdish preachers and Islamic scholars.

“This is a setup. They cannot stomach that we won Istanbul,” main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said in a televised interview on Saturday. He also called the investigations and accusations “an eclipse of the mind”.

“There has been an accusation, but the reasoning for it remains up in the air,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

This block is broken or missing. You may be missing content or you might need to enable the original module.