Head of Turkey's housing agency replaced amid reshuffle in bureaucracy
Ahmet Haluk Karabel (L) has been dismissed after three years at the helm of the Housing Development Administration (TOKİ) DHA PhotoThe head of Turkey’s state-run housing agency, Ahmet Haluk Karabel, has become the latest high-profile government official to be removed from his post.
Karabel has been dismissed after three years at the helm of the Housing Development Administration (TOKİ), which has overseen the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government’s breakneck efforts to build housing units anywhere and everywhere.
AKP Istanbul Municipality Assembly member Mehmet Ergün Turan has replaced Karabel, according to an announcement in the Official Gazette.
Karabel’s name recently came to agenda when an audio recording alleged to be between himself and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was leaked on social media.
In the alleged conversation, a man claimed to be Erdoğan lashes out at another man thought to be Karabel for selling “valuable land” on the Asian side of Istanbul to another company outside of his knowledge. The prime minister orders Karabel to inform him about all acquisition opportunities, according to the tape.
Karabel came to office on May 15, 2011, replacing former Environment Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar, who was accused of being involved in corruption and bribery as part of the Dec. 17, 2013, graft investigation that shook Turkish politics. Bayraktar’s son was briefly detained as part of the probe.
TOKİ is accused by the opposition of targeting Turkey’s green areas in pursuit of profits.