İzmir Metropolitan Mayor Aziz Kocaoğlu has reacted furiously to recent anti-corruption raids against İzmir Metropolitan Municipality.
Participating in a groundbreaking ceremony for the municipality, Kocaoğlu criticized the police personnel that led the operations.
“I have doubts that the people who came like tax inspectors were even interns,” Kocaoğlu said. “The operation is like a wolf attack on the sheep.”
Some 44 people were detained and 11 were arrested in the Nov. 22 raid. Among the detainees was the municipality’s executive assistant.
Kocaoğlu also slammed the chief prosecutor’s comments on the raids.
“The only meaning of the detentions is saying, ‘I am at your door, I want you,’” Kocaoğlu said while also criticizing the prosecutor for giving an interview to a daily newspaper regarding the operations.
“He says ‘I am coming, I will detain 300 more people; the evidence is strong.’ This is a very dangerous procedure. You can put up with being hungry, but you cannot put up with having no justice,” he added.
Complaining that the municipality’s documents were treated carelessly by tax inspectors, Kocaoğlu said there were no gang organizations in the municipality and added that if people had committed mistakes, they would be properly dealt with.
“No institution has been ransacked like this. What did you find there?” he said.
Kocaoğlu said the operations were bad not only for him but for all of İzmir.
“I have no doubts about our honesty and integrity. There are no explanations I can make. You can’t behave as if I am a gang,” he said.