CHP lashes out at gov’t ‘pressure’ on its mayors

CHP lashes out at gov’t ‘pressure’ on its mayors

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
CHP lashes out at gov’t ‘pressure’ on its mayors

The CHP says its municipalities are under growing inspection pressure. AA Photo

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has played the role of a bully, using “inspector oppression” against the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), 12 CHP Istanbul mayors and the party’s provincial head have said.

Inspectors who search for “inexistent fraud within the CHP municipalities,” kick off successive investigations for detracting the CHP, provincial head Oğuz Kaan Salıcı said yesterday in a press conference held with the attendance of 12 of Istanbul’s district mayors.

Inspectors who work for the Interior Ministry, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality or the Court of Auditors are being puppeteered by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), according to Salıcı.

Salıcı also said the 101 inspector had darkened the Büyükçekmece Municipality’s doorway yesterday before the press meeting. “We do not have any fraud and we are not afraid of being investigated, but you will face resistance from all of the CHP’s [members] when you attack our municipalities or mayors without any documents or evidence,” Salıcı said.

Kadıköy Mayor Selami Öztürk also said his municipality had been investigated 120 times since he came into office.

“But none of [the investigations] ended with a punishment. We are not against periodic procedures, but these have turned into political pressure,” he said.

The CHP leads 12 out of Istanbul’s 39 municipalities, where 3 million people live, a number qual to a quarter of Istanbul population.

Turkey’s third biggest municipality, İzmir is led by the CHP and has been raided many times for bearing alleged gangs inside the municipality management.

Some 130 suspects, including İzmir Mayor Aziz Kocaoğlu were acquitted for their alleged links to a crime syndicate. Kocaoğlu had faced a prison sentence of 397 years. Osman Özgüven, the CHP mayor of Dikili on the Aegean coast, was charged with eight years and four months in the “water case” under charges of distributing 10 tons of water for free to the citizens.