The Interior Ministry suspended Istanbul's Beşiktaş district Mayor Murat Hazinedar of main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Thursday over allegations of links to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and corruption.
In addition to Hazinedar, two municipal council members, independent Hüseyin Avni Sipahi and CHP's Çetin Kırışgil, were also suspended on corruption charges.
A couple of hours before the ministry's statement, Hazinedar held a press conference and dismissed the claims directed against him, saying the municipality have gone through more than 180 preliminary examinations and investigations which found no irregularities.
In initial remarks, CHP Spokesperson Bülent Tezcan said that Hazinedar's suspension was a "government plot," and that Hazinedar will use his legal rights against the decision.
Hazinedar and his family were banned from traveling abroad upon Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's request on Aug. 6, 2017 as part of post-July 15 coup attempt investigations.
Media reports previously suggested that several lawmakers from the party - including party caucus members Aykut Erdoğdu, İlhan Cihaner and Mehmet Ali Çelebi - have accused Hazinedar of having ties with FETÖ. Hazinedar rejects the accusations.
Hazinedar was elected to the mayoral post in the March 2014 local elections, in which the CHP won over 76 percent of the votes in the district that serves as one of Istanbul's main commerce, culture and transport hubs.
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