Internet users who searched “Ekrem İmamoğlu” on Google on Monday night was surprised to see that the browser labelled him as “former İstanbul mayor”.
The mayor of İstanbul, who has been sentenced to over two-and-a-half years in prison and faces a political ban, shared a screen shot from Google Turkish on Twitter. The browser had already removed him from his seat, despite the fact that the legal process in Turkey is on-going.
— Ekrem İmamoğlu (@ekrem_imamoglu) December 19, 2022
“I speech Kürsü,” İmamoğlu said in his tweet, jokingly reminding people of the sentence Erdoğan used in English to tell the moderator of a session in the UN 2019 Climate Action Summit that he wanted to speak from the platform instead of sitting.
The video showing Erdoğan using that sentence, which at the time went viral on social media.
Erdoğan on Saturday commented on the prison sentence handed to İmamoğlu over insulting members of Turkey’s Supreme Electoral Council.
“This discussion is not about us, this person has insulted judges. They are trying to use us for their game of thrones. Nobody has the right to disobey the decisions of the courts,” he said as a response to the opposition that see the verdict as an attempt of Erdoğan to block İmamoğlu, one of the strongest names that have a chance to be nominated as presidential candidate for 2023 elections and rival the president.
The reactions on Twitter to İmamoğlu’s tweet that received over 155,000 likes also demonstrated the strong support he has among opposition voters.
Many said that they would prefer Google to label İmamoğlu as the “13th President of Turkey”.
İmamoğlu responded to Erdoğan’s comments on Wednesday and asked the president to speak clearly his own mind. The mayor said he preferred an honest struggle, and called on Erdoğan to be straightforward if he wants the same.
“What does the president think about that decision, he should say it clearly. Does he find it right or wrong? Does he agree with the decision or is he against it! We need to know,” the mayor said.
“He cannot say that he does not talk about the decisions of the judiciary since he expressed his opinions without hesitation even for the decisions of the higher courts,” İmamoğlu continued.