Imamoglu won the Istanbul mayoral elections in 2019. According to Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, there was fraud and the electoral council decided to re-run the elections. Then Imamoglu, a member of the opposition CHP, won again.
At that time, Imamoglu strongly criticized the electoral council. He described the course of events as damaging the international standing of Turkey, and he would have called the members of the Electoral Council “fools.” Imamoglu denies that he insulted the electoral council. According to him, it was just a fierce political debate.
Prosecutors are now sentencing Imamoglu to 1 to 4 years in prison. As a result, it could temporarily disappear from the political scene. In this case, President Erdoan would have eliminated a major competitor in the 2023 elections.
In recent years, Erdogan has regularly used Turkish justice against political opponents, often on vague charges of “insult.” In April, the European Court of Human Rights indicted Turkish authorities for the treatment of writer Ahmet Altan, who was sentenced to life imprisonment (later reduced to 10.5 years) for his alleged participation in the 2016 military coup. The court had no evidence of this, nor did Altan. No evidence of this. Didn’t get a fair trial.
In 2019 alone, more than 2,600 people were sentenced to prison for “ insulting ” the president, according to a report by the US State Department. Turkish news site T24 reported that one of the suspects was sentenced to 12 years in prison for seven social media posts that were five years old at the time of the criminal case.