Turkey’s Minister of the Interior said on Wednesday in the Turkish parliament that over 550 individuals, recruited recently by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, had links to illegal groups designated as ‘terrorist organisations’ in Turkey.
As Süleyman Soylu accused the municipal administration of recruiting such individuals and the individuals for involvement in ‘terrorist activities,’ he referred only to ‘files’ in the interior ministry and did not provide any reference to any indictment, legal evidence or court ruling.
He indicated that the municipal administration, after the main opposition won in the local election in 2019, has recruited 33,000 new workers.
“Around 33,000 people have been recruited in Istanbul,” Soylu said.
“12,000 of those have been security-checked. 455 of them have files for links to the PKK [the Kurdistan Workers’ Party] and the KCK [Kurdistan Communities Union]. 80 of them have files for links to the DHKP-C [Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front], 20 have files for links to the MLKP [Marxist-Leninist Communist Party] and two have files for links to the MKP [Maoist Communist Party].”
While Soylu didn’t feel any need to explain what ‘files’ meant and assumed that all members of parliament (MP’s) were confortable with the term and would understand what he meant, the main opposition’s parliamentary group spokesperson asked what the results of legal processes were for the individuals Soylu had accused.
“Suppose what he said is true,” said Özgür Özel, spokesperson for the Republican People’s Party (CHP). “We can’t find our way to the truth without first dealing with the lies; but let’s assume that it’s true. Why, then, haven’t you started any legal process on those 500 individuals? If you have, why don’t you inform us about it?”