İzmir mayor testifies in alleged fraud case

İzmir mayor testifies in alleged fraud case

İZMİR -Doğan News Agency
İzmir mayor testifies in alleged fraud case

Aziz Kocaoğlu

The metropolitan mayor of the Aegean province of İzmir, Aziz Kocaoğlu, testified in a specially authorized court yesterday as a suspect in an ongoing fraud investigation that led to the apprehension of 16 civil servants so far.

“I do not think what’s been going on in İzmir for a long while has anything to do with [Mayor Kocaoğlu] or his civil servants. Enrichment is not on the books for any of them. They are people trying to make do with limited means. I do not believe they are being held in prison for just reasons,” opposition deputy Alaattin Yüksel from the People’s Republican Party (CHP) said.

 İzmir Metropolitan Mayor Kocaoğlu began testifying to Specially Authorized Chief Prosecutor Birol Cengil at around 9:30 a.m. yesterday upon receiving written notice.

İzmir Deputy Mayor Sırrı Aydoğan, the mayor of İzmir’s Karşıyaka district Cevat Durak, CHP’s İzmir deputies Alaattin Yüksel and Mustafa Moroğlu also arrived in the İzmir courthouse to obtain further information about the unfolding developments.

The charges leveled against the suspects in the case include “establishing a crime syndicate,” “rigging bids on tender,” “forgery of documents,” “incurring losses for the institution,” “bribery,” “intimidation” and “malpractice.”

İzmir’s Metropolitan and Karabağlar and Aydın’s Kuşadası municipalities were raided by police May 2 on the grounds of corruption, including allegations of interfering with public tenders. Police initially detained 44 people, 10 of whom were released after being interrogated. The remaining 34 were then questioned by the prosecutor until Aug. 2.

Many documents were confiscated and all information on the municipalities’ computer hard drives was copied during the operations.