Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul provincial chairman Cemal Canpolat said on Monday that the government plans to conduct corruption investigations into CHP mayors in İstanbul, Aydın, Adana, Ankara and İzmir provinces, CNN Turk reported.
Canpolat issued a statement after CHP Atasehir Mayor Battal İlgezdi was removed from office on Dec. 8 based on an investigation into him by inspectors, stating that “this is a political process, and we will not surrender.”
The Ministry of Interior Affairs announced on Dec. 8 that the CHP mayor of İstanbul’s Ataşehir district had been dismissed from his post over corruption allegations.
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has been removing local mayors, particularly in the Kurdish-populated southeastern region, especially since a coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Several elected Kurdish mayors were replaced by government appointees under an ongoing state of emergency.
Even though İlgezdi has been removed due to allegations of corruption, the AKP government and its leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, have been under fire for having swept corruption charges against their government under the rug. The government’s decision to target only opposition mayors is considered a double standard by many critics.
İlgezdi’s wife, Gamze İlgezdi, is a deputy from the CHP who is among the few politicians in Turkey raising concerns about infants being victimized in a purge that is being carried out by Erdoğan.