Flyers claiming exorbitant municipal spending considered ‘insult to president’

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PHOTO: AFP

Turkish police intervened in a political gathering in İstanbul on Sunday and confiscated flyers about allegedly extravagant spending in the İstanbul Municipality, saying they constitute the crime of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the BirGün newspaper reported on Monday.

The “Democracy Shall Prevail” campaign had gathered on Sunday evening in front of the ferry quay in Kadıköy, İstanbul. The police who arrived at the scene seized their flyers upon orders from a prosecutor.

The flyers reportedly featured the İstanbul Municipality’s wasteful spending in the past as well as exorbitant amounts of municipal funds funneled to conservative foundations run by Erdoğan’s family members and inner circle.

The police said they amount to libel as they disclose the names of the foundations.

Several participants were brought to a police department for questioning.

In İstanbul, Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) suffered a narrow defeat by Ekrem İmamoğlu in the local elections of March 31.

The result was canceled by Turkey’s election authority upon objections filed by the AKP. The re-run of the mayoral election is slated for June 23.

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