CHP mayoral candidate Yavaş indicted on misconduct charges on eve of local polls

CHP mayoral candidate Yavaş indicted on misconduct charges on eve of local polls

CHP mayoral candidate Yavaş indicted on misconduct charges on eve of local polls

Turkish prosecutors have prepared an indictment against the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) mayoral candidate for the capital Ankara, Mansur Yavaş, on charges of misconduct, which he denies and says are attempts to steamroll him out of the local elections slated for March 31.

“There is a denial of execution ruling concerning a fake bill that [Necmettin Kesgin] gave me, but no ruling of Court of Appeals against me. I am the real victim here,” Yavaş said at a press conference on March 12 in the capital Ankara, while adding that Kesgin was charged previously over involvement in inconsistencies and discrepancies in checks and similar documents.

“No conspiracies can withhold us, as the people of Ankara are backing us. We will file a complaint against [AKP spokesperson] Ömer Çelik, [AKP’s Ankara mayoral candidate] Mehmet Özhaseki and the media outlet that covered the story of the alleged accusations,” he added.

The indictment follows a complaint by businessman Kesgin, who has an ongoing dispute with Yavaş over the collection of a $600,000 check.

Yavaş believes the AKP is trying to tarnish his reputation because of his popularity in opinion polls that he says show he is significantly ahead of his AKP rival and will likely win the capital city.

“Those who understood that they cannot win in a democratic election are trying to tarnish my reputation. This is the most disgraceful election campaign our political history has ever witnessed,” said Yavaş.

“[Kesgin] took the payment of the company I was a lawyer for and fled. As I took him to the court concerning a check he gave me, it was understood that the signature on the check was forged. It is not acceptable to show the victim here as the offender,” he added.

Yavaş said Özhaseki was behind the flimsy accusations, stressing that he is actually innocent.

“It is shameful that this impostor gets a chance just because of an election. There are ongoing lawsuits and it is a crime to talk about these,” he added.

“Are you thinking about acquitting this impostor who is facing trial on charges of child abuse? Things that are being done in panic because they know they will lose the elections,” he said.

Yavaş said surveys show that he is eight to 11 points ahead of Özhaseki.

“Are you insisting on endorsing a candidate accused of such allegations? There are ongoing legal processes. We are facing a situation that will make its mark on political history,” said AKP spokesperson Ömer Çelik at a press conference he held on March 11.

An Ankara court accepted the indictment prepared by Kesgin’s lawyers seeking almost four months of imprisonment for the candidate on charges of “wrongful conduct” and “disturbing individuals’ peace and harmony.”

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