Mayor demands freedom for staff
İZMİR - Anatolia News Agency
The mayor of İzmir, Aziz Kocaoğlu (C) leaves the court among supporters. DHA photo
An İzmir court continued to try 130 suspects today for their alleged links to a crime syndicate which is alleged to have been active within the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality.
The mayor of İzmir, Aziz Kocaoğlu, who is charged with “being the leader of a crime organization syndicate for the purpose of generating monetary profit,” and faces a possible sentence of 397 years in prison, said he was expecting the charges to be dropped. He also demanded that his associates be released after 425 days in jail. Kocaoğlu also said he was thankful to President Abdullah Gül, who had expressed his support for the removal of the specially authorized courts, citing this case. “Judicial practices have become so problematic in Turkey. Look at İzmir Municipality… They [prosecutors] claim forgery, bribery, and embezzlement but they are trying them in the specially authorized courts for terrorist acts, without performing a broad investigation,” Gül had said on July 4.