Former mayor wins large tenders in Iraq
Eren Güler ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
Vehbi Orakçı, once a mayor from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has returned to construction business after being jailed for 5 months. Company photoVehbi Orakçı, a former mayor of Istanbul’s Beylikdüzü district, who was jailed for five months on charges of running a crime syndicate, has signed a $600 million agreement for a construction project in Iraq’s capital city Baghdad.
“The project includes nearly 6,500 buildings, 325 offices, 325 residential apartments and a 60,000 square-meter shopping center. The total cost is $600 million, but the sales volume is expected to be $1 billion,” Orakçı said.
Orakçı returned to his own construction business after his release. He is innocent of the crime he was accused of, and is a victim of a conspiracy designed by rival businessmen and the police force, he said.
Orakçı’s company is currently carrying out a $150-million construction project consisting of 1260 villas and including infrastructure, roads and cultural centers on a 660,000 square-meter plot in Karbala, Iraq.
“Think of a country, where 40 million people have not had the opportunity to buy a house for years. Even if just 1 percent of this population is wealthy, that is 400,000 people. That is who we are targeting. Iraq currently needs 3 million residences,” Orakçı said.