Turkey suspends main opposition CHP mayor in northwestern province of Balıkesir

The Turkish Interior Ministry has dismissed a main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) mayor in the northwestern province of Balıkesir after a court upheld a jail sentence on charges of tender corruption.

The dismissal of Erdek mayor Hüseyin Sarı follows the approval of a one-month, 15-day jail sentence over two separate cases of corruption in municipal tenders, Birgün newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The court in the northwestern town of Bandırma ruled that Sarı had  “intentionally prevented free competition in both tenders and ensured the tenders took place with only one participant,” Birgün said.

This is not Sarı’s first removal from the mayoral seat.

In March of 2019, the CHP mayor was sentenced to 11 months and 20 days in prison for insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, prompting the Interior Ministry to suspend him from his post. 

Sarı was re-elected as mayor of Erdek in the local elections of March 2019, receiving 52 percent support.