Skip to main content

Turkish court sentences opposition leader to jail, political ban

As Turkey heads for a tight election, an Istanbul court has sentenced Ekrem Imamoglu, seen by some as the man who could unseat Erdogan, to two years and seven months in prison for insulting a public officer.
Mayor of Istanbul metropolitan municipality Ekrem Imamoglu speaks during an interview to AFP on April 2, 2020 in Istanbul, amid the spread of the epidemic COVID-19 coronavirus. - Istanbul's opposition mayor Ekrem Imamoglu on Thursday called for more robust action and a lockdown after Turkey's largest city reported the highest number of cases in the country. Without a strict lockdown, Imamoglu warned, even if 15 percent of the residents in Istanbul would move around rather than stay home, that would represen

A Turkish court sentenced Istanbul's charismatic mayor to prison Wednesday over a remark he made after defeating an ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the 2019 local elections. 

Though Ekrem Imamoglu will not serve time in prison as the sentence is shorter than five years, it effectively bars him from political office for the duration of his sentence of two years, seven months and 15 days and forces him to leave his post as mayor of Istanbul. But the ruling will have to be upheld on appeal before it is enforced.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.