Probe opened into Mufti official’s Mercedes claims
MANİSA – Doğan News AgencyThe Manisa Mufti office has begun an investigation into the allegations the office’s Soma branch head collected historical works from local mosques and sold them to buy a luxurious Mercedes car for himself.
Manisa Müfti Sinan Cihan told Doğan News Agency on the phone that an inspector has started an investigation upon the allegations.
“An inspector has been sent to investigate the allegations and prepare a report. We have not been informed about it. Everyone is innocent until their guilt is proven,” he said.
Two years ago, H.Ö., the branch head of the Soma Mufti office, allegedly instructed the officers in the branch to collect all the historical and valuable assets, such as historical carpets and hand-written books, from the mosques in the town. He then allegedly sold these assets and bought a luxurious Mercedes for himself.
After the rumors about his new car were revealed, H.Ö. allegedly sold his car and replaced it with a luxury Ford brand car. The Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) started an investigation into the allegations two years after the incident took place.
Manisa Governor Erdoğan Bektaş said they discovered some evidence after the complaints. “Diyanet inspectors investigated the issue. [The] Mercedes claims turned out to be wrong, but it is also said there are reflections that there is some evidence. What’s necessary will be done as a result of the report,” said Bektaş.
The incident came soon the official car of Diyanet head Mehmet Görmez, which has been estimated to have a value of 1 million Turkish Liras ($435,000), elicited strong opposition.
Görmez had said he would return the official car that was recently purchased, following criticism from opposition parties and the public. Yet, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he would have rejected the return of the car if he had been informed beforehand.