NATO expands, but Erdogan threatens to veto again

Erdogan: I have nothing to do with the conviction of the mayor of Istanbul

“I wonder who is behind the storm caused by the judgment of the past days?” – asked the Turkish head of state when he first responded to the condemnation of Istanbul city manager Ekrem Imamoglu on Wednesday. “This dispute has nothing to do with us, neither with me nor with our nation,” Erdogan added.

At the same time, he lamented that “some people are trying to play power games through us,” suggesting that reactions to the ruling may stem from the Turkish opposition’s internal rivalry.

Ekrem Imamoglu, who was mentioned as a possible opponent of Erdogan in the Turkish presidential elections in June 2023, was sentenced to two years and seven months in prison and banned from exercising his political rights for “insulting” members of the election commission.

Tens of thousands of people gathered in Istanbul on Thursday to pledge their support for Imamoglu, who is seen as a serious and potential candidate for Turkey’s opposition after winning the leadership of Turkey’s largest city from Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party in May. 2019 municipal elections.

The mayor’s conviction caused a wave of international indignation: the US government expressed “deep concern and disappointment,” while the German leadership spoke of a “cruel coup against democracy.”

Erdogan announced in June that he would run in Turkey’s 2023 presidential election, but the six-party opposition alliance has yet to name a candidate.

“We don’t care who the opposition candidate will be,” the Turkish president said on Saturday, calling on his political opponents to have “courage” to nominate their presidential candidate.

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Cover photo: Shutterstock

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