Turkish court blocks new mayor’s instruction to copy, inspect municipal databases

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Ekrem İmamoğlu

An İstanbul administrative court has blocked a decision by Ekrem İmamoğlu to allow for duplication of the municipal databases for purposes of examination, Euronews Turkish service reported on Friday.

İmamoğlu’s decision assigned two municipal inspectors as well as three experts to be designated from within or without the İstanbul Municipality, authorizing them to “copy all electronic databases and infrastructure and to conduct all types of research and examination.”

The court asked for a justification as to why a duplication would be necessary in addition to inspecting the databases and bringing back any records that might have been deleted.

The objection was filed with the court by two city council members from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Commenting on the court’s decision, İmamoğlu said he would introduce several other retrospective measures along the same lines.

“These [measures] may concern local operations, human resource issues and municipal partnerships. They are too numerous to be counted at the moment. Our expert teams are working on it,” he said.

Nominated from the ranks of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), İmamoğlu won the İstanbul mayoral election on March 31, ending a 25-year era of consecutive mayors from the political Islamist tradition in the country’s largest city.

He defeated Binali Yıldırım, his rival from the ruling AKP by a razor-thin margin.

He was officially declared the new mayor of Turkey’s largest city on Wednesday, after 17 days of vote recounts and objections raised by the AKP.

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