Ekrem İmamoğlu, who was elected mayor of İstanbul according to unofficial results in the March 31 local elections, has told media that managements of two Turkish football clubs, Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş, were “threatened” by a minister and were ordered not to allow him to come to the teams’ matches over the weekend.
İmamoğlu was elected from the ranks of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). Yet, he has not yet been given the mandate due to Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) objections to the election results.
He attended a game between Beşiktaş and Başakşehir on Saturday and another one between Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray on Sunday. During the games, both Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe fans chanted slogans in favor of İmamoğlu, calling on the authorities to give him the mandate to govern.
Alçı wrote in her column in the Habertürk daily on Monday that she received a call from İmamoğlu following the Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray matches on Sunday night because Alçı had earlier called on him not to go to the matches, fearing that it could stoke tension.
According to Alçı İmamoğlu said her concerns were unwarranted and that there was no tension caused by his attendance at the matches, adding that there were some attempts, however, to prevent him from going at all.
He said both the Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe clubs received phone calls threatening them and ordering them to prevent his attendance at the matches.
When Alçı asked who made the threats, İmamoğlu said, “Let me just say for the time being that it was a minister.”