AKP investigates 15 mayors over corruption allegations

AKP investigates 15 mayors over corruption allegations

Nuray Babacan – ANKARA
AKP investigates 15 mayors over corruption allegations

Ahmet Davutoğlu delivers a speech during an AKP meeting at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) in Ankara on December 22, 2015. AFP Photo

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) has launched internal investigations against 15 mayors and around 10 provincial heads over corruption allegations, after a mayor was sent to the party’s disciplinary council with an expulsion request for taking material advantage of his position. 

The AKP headquarters appointed party inspectors to investigate corruption allegations into 15 mayors and “around 10” provincial heads by interviewing claimants, notable persons from the respective cities and the suspects themselves.  

The inspectors will also take into account the possibility that the claimants resorted to slander due to local rivalries. Hence, deputies from relevant provinces will also be asked to comment on the truthfulness of the accusations.

Reports indicated Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who is also the AKP’s leader, briefed mayors to pay the utmost attention to their private lives and pecuniary affairs at a recent closed-door meeting. 

“We would grow suspicious of anyone who has a new wife, job or house,” Davutoğlu was quoted as saying during the meeting with AKP mayors. 

Reports indicated the party organization was also under inspection, with a special focus on the AKP’s provincial and district heads. 

Around 10 provincial heads are currently being investigated over a number of accusations, ranging from corruption to inactivity during the election period. 

Both the mayors and party members could face disciplinary punishments, including expulsion, if the AKP’s Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK) refer the suspects to the disciplinary council. 

The AKP has tightened controls on mayors lately, as Alemdar Öztürk, the mayor of Ceyhan in southern Adana, was recently sent to the party’s disciplinary council with a request for expulsion. 

The report indicated that Öztürk “wielded influence by appointing his wife as deputy mayor” and gave housing decisions based on his personal material benefits, AKP spokesperson Ömer Çelik announced at a press conference on Jan. 6. 

More than two years ago the AKP was hit by a graft probe which became public after a wave of detentions on Dec. 17, 2013, and then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan claimed that it was part of an international conspiracy targeting his authority. The sons of two former ministers were among those detained as part of the probe.