AKP mayor arrested, removed from party on sexual harassment charges
BOLU – Doğan News Agency
Saim Çevik, the mayor of the Black Sea province of Bolu’s Taşkesti village from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), was arrested on Oct. 18 following allegations that he sexually harassed a 25-year-old woman.
Çevik was removed from the AKP and was arrested after he testified in court on Oct. 18, following his meeting with a woman, identified only as Tuğba D., who had initially asked for his help to get a job, according to a report.
Tuğba D. and Çevik met at a hotel in Bolu for dinner, but because the woman had consumed alcohol, she did not want to go back to her Taşkesti home where her stepfather lives.
Çevik then took the woman, a health worker, to his relative’s house. She had later jumped out of the window while he was in the restroom.
The woman was then taken to hospital for treatment and spoke to law enforcement officials about the incident.
Tuğba D. then filed a criminal complaint against Çevik, saying the mayor had harassed her. Çevik, after being taken to a police station to testify, was detained and sent to court right after on charges of “violating personal freedoms.”
The mayor was then arrested and taken to prison in privacy as his relatives waited outside.
In his testimony, Çevik rejected the accusations and claimed he had “enemies” and that it was a “conspiracy” plotted against him.
Çevik was removed from the party late on Oct. 18, AKP’s provincial head Nurettin Doğanay said in a written statement.