Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu on Tuesday threatened to "destroy" Istanbul's mayor over his support for three mayors of the Democratic Peoples' Party, whom Turkey replaced with government officials for alleged links to terrorism, less than five months after their election, according Al-Arabiya reported.
Last month, Turkey replaced mayors of the Democratic Peoples' Party in Diyarbakir, Wan and Mardin with government officials, and arrested more than 400 people.
Istanbul Mayor Akram Emam Oglu has criticized the move as illegal and contrary to democracy and demanded a reversal.
Imam Oglu inflicted the greatest defeat in his political history on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan when he defeated the AKP in local elections in June.
Imam Oglu, a member of the Democratic Peoples' Party, visited the Kurdish city of Amed to meet two isolated mayors.
"Ignorant, you must know your place and limits if you interfere in matters outside your work, we will destroy you," Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said in the northeastern province of Bursa.
The comments came a week after Imam Oglu announced that the Istanbul municipality had canceled the transfer of more than 350 million Turkish liras ($ 61 million) to some institutions of the Justice and Development Party in its first step against Erdogan since his election.