Architects' chamber sues Gökçek for damage to Ankara

Architects' chamber sues Gökçek for damage to Ankara

Architects chamber sues Gökçek for damage to Ankara

The Ankara Chamber of Architects did not lose time in suing Melih Gökçek, the mayor who had ruled the city for 23 years before resigning on Oct. 28, for his damage to the Turkish capital.

“From now on, our job is to struggle until he pays the bill for the damage he has done to Ankara,” said Tezcan Karakuş Candan, the head of the Ankara branch of the chamber, on Oct. 30, the first business day after Gökçek’s resignation.

The chamber also submitted a “damage report” to the court.

“We have filed 35 legal complaints against Melih Gökçek in the past,” said Candan.

“None of them have worked. At the moment, 600 trials are in progress for damage caused by him,” she said.

The architects have claimed Gökçek was engaged in malpractice, abused Ankara as the constitutional capital city and violated a law on crimes against Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founding father of modern Turkey.

“He cannot escape without paying for it,” she said.

Ankara lawmaker Aylin Nazlıaka, who had been involved in public rifts with the former mayor, also backed the architects.

“Melih Gökçek has caused unrepairable and irreversible damage to Ankara residents. He seized their rights,” she said.

Former parliament speaker and Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said he had “won” against Gökçek thanks to his patience.

The two then-heavyweights of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) had been engaged in a clash in March 2015, when Gökçek accused Arınç of “sitting in the lap of the parallel state,” referring to the U.S.-based Fethullah Gülen-led movement that has been targeted by the government since the huge graft probe broke out late in 2013.

Bülent Arınç then fired back by accusing Gökçek of corruption and “selling Ankara to this organization plot-by-plot.”

“He tried to damage me politically but I got stronger. I was patient and I won,” Arınç told private broadcaster Kanal D on Oct. 30.

Gökçek left his post ahead of the local elections in 2019, saying his resignation was requested by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“I am not quitting because I am unsuccessful or tired. I am quitting because Erdoğan has asked me to do so. I am complying with Erdoğan’s orders, whom I believe will make my country a leader country,” Gökçek said on Oct. 28, adding he believes in “obeying orders no matter what” for the good of a cause.

Ahmet Edip Uğur, the mayor of the northwestern Turkish province of Balıkesir, also resigned on Oct. 30, becoming the fourth mayor who resigned upon a call made by President Erdoğan.