İstanbul municipal employee fired for donating to İmamoğlu’s campaign

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İstanbul's ousted mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu

Nuri Başkapan, who worked for the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality, has been fired from his job of five years for donating money to an opposition mayoral candidate’s election campaign, the T24 news website reported on Friday.

In a video message posted by T24, Başkapan said his contract with a municipal subcontractor was terminated on May 23 when he had to travel to his hometown of Rize to attend a funeral and was informed of the decision on May 25.

“After returning from Rize I called my superiors, and they told me my posts on my social media account over the past weeks had caused unease. My reference was Hasan Doğan, the executive assistant of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, when I applied for this job,” said Başkapan.

In the video he talks about the social media messages that might have unsettled his bosses at the municipality and prompted them to fire him.

One of his messages is about a TL 50 donation he made to the election campaign of Ekrem İmamoğlu, the mayoral candidate of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), who will run against ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) mayoral candidate Binali Yıldırım in a repeat election in İstanbul on June 23.

Although İmamoğlu won the election on March 31, the country’s Supreme Election Board (YSK) in a controversial move on May 6 cancelled the results of the mayoral election in İstanbul due to complaints from the AKP, which claimed election fraud and irregularities.

In other messages, Başkapan also criticized the YSK’s decision to cancel the results of the İstanbul vote and talked about corruption in the department he works for at the municipality.

He said firing someone due to their social media posts and at a time when they are absent due to a funeral is simply unacceptable.

Although AKP officials portray themselves as pious Muslims, they have nothing to do with the values of humanity, let alone Islam, he said.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I’m no fan of the AKP, but I can see why he could have justifiably been fired, and that’s for talking about corruption in his own department in the social media. I understand his frustration, but he would have been fired in Canada or other Western democracies for doing that, too. Of course, in western democracies, he would have been expected to take his complaints to the appropriate government authority, and he would hopefully have been protected under whistle-blower legislation. Obviously, those democratic safeguards are not in place in Turkey, so he had no legal remedy for his complaints. Nevertheless, there is no country in the world where he could accuse his own department of corruption in social media posts, without incurring serious consequences.

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