AKP deputy returns apartment built for low-income people in eastern Turkish province
TOKİ started the project in 2009 in Tunceli’s Çemişgezek district to enable families with a maximum monthly income of 2,600 Turkish Liras to own houses. DHA PhotoA ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy and a former local mayor for a district in the eastern province of Tunceli have returned the apartments constructed for low-income families that they had purchased.
Former Çemişgezek Mayor Metin Levent Yıldız said he and AKP Istanbul Deputy Mustafa Ataş had returned the flats built for low-income families by the state-run housing agency (TOKİ). The returns process has been finalized, as the bank returned the money they had paid for the flats, Anadolu Agency reported.
Ataş, Yıldız, who is also a member of the AKP, and Çemişgezek Business Association head Hıdır Özefe were among the high-income individuals who bought flats built to enable people living in poverty to own a house in the Çemişgezek district.
Ataş and Yıldız then applied to return the flats to TOKİ.
Yıldız said Ataş and he had applied to return the flats on Nov. 14, adding that as the then-mayor of Çemişgezek, he and his team had received the applications for the flats and there had been a low rate of interest on them.
“We told [Ataş] that there should be an ownership opportunity and asked Ataş if he thought likewise. He responded by saying, ‘If it will help Çemişgezek and if TOKİ [houses] will be built, then I will gladly buy [a flat].’ Our deputy was involved in the situation and look at the results,” said Yıldız during a press statement in Çemişgezek.
Ataş claimed to have bought the flat to encourage locals to buy, adding that there were no regulations against deputies buying flats from TOKİ.
“I did not encroach upon or breach anyone’s rights. I am using my legal right as a citizen. I am not stealing,” Ataş said after the incident was reported on Nov. 13.
TOKİ started the project in 2009 in Tunceli’s Çemişgezek district to enable families with a maximum monthly income of 2,600 Turkish Liras to own houses. Applications were made through Çemişgezek Municipality and applicants needed to supply evidence that their income did not exceed the upper limit of 2,600 liras.
It is not clear how Ataş, Yıldız, and Özefe evaded the restriction, but they paid a 6,000-lira advance payment and would have paid the rest of the total, 69,100 liras, over the coming 15 years.