CHP members file complaint against former, current Istanbul mayors over metro project
Members of the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) Istanbul Municipality Council have filed a criminal complaint against former Istanbul mayor Kadir Topbaş and current mayor Mevlüt Uysal, claiming that the recent cancelation of subway tenders led to public losses of at least 1 billion Turkish Liras.
In the complaint, CHP members Taner Kazanoğlu and Tarık Balyalı said there was “malpractice” and “collusive tendering,” Doğan News Agency reported on Jan. 9.
“The Istanbul Municipality’s leadership had cancelled six metro lines’ tenders. We are facing a public loss because of this,” Kazanoğlu said outside a courthouse after the complaint was filed.
“Our new mayor says he can accomplish this project for a better price. That shows us that Topbaş has caused a public loss with the prices of the tenders he held,” Kazancıoğlu said.
The tenders for six metro lines were cancelled by Topbaş’s successor, Uysal, although the construction of the project had already begun.
The public loss would be at least 1 billion liras, the criminal complaint read, as the companies that took part in the tender have the right to claim one-tenth of the entire bid, which came up to almost 13 billion liras.
“There are companies that are victimized by this situation,” Kazanoğlu said.
“They bought machines, they employed people, and they will want their losses to be reimbursed,” he added.
The public shouldn’t suffer because Topbaş held the tenders at high prices and Uysal cancelled an ongoing construction, Kazanoğlu said.
Balyalı echoed Kazanoğlu’s comments on the tender prices, saying the new mayor’s offer to hold the tenders at “better prices” stands as a confession of corruption.
“This is what the municipality is saying: The tender we previously held came at a high price. We wasted Istanbul’s locals’ money. Now, we have been caught,” he said.
The municipality had previously announced it had cancelled the tenders for the construction of six metro lines to “complete them in a more efficient way and faster.”
Still, the statement said, there is no ongoing construction for the project.