Turkish Interior Ministry suspends three mayors from duty
ANKARAThe Interior Ministry suspended the mayors of the southern province of Adana’s Ceyhan district, the Central Anatolian province of Kasyeri’s Sarıoğlan district and Ankara’s Ayaş district on June 16 as part of ongoing judicial and administrative investigations, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
The three mayors, indicated to have been suspended out of “observed necessity,” were previously dismissed from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The mayor of the Ceyhan district, Alemdar Öztürk, had previously assigned his wife, Hatice Kübra Öztürk, to the post of cultural and social works coordinator at the municipality. Additionally, some corruption allegations were levied against him. The mayor was then dismissed from the AKP on the grounds of “exerting special influence to make his wife deputy mayor, taking actions regarding construction works to his benefit and displaying attitudes and behaviors not complying with the AKP principles.”
Following Öztürk’s dismissal, an investigation report prepared by the Interior Ministry inspectors was sent to the Ankara prosecutor’s office, with a demand for an official investigation to be launched into the mayor.
The mayor of Kayseri’s Sarıoğlan district, Ali Osman Yıldız, resigned from the AKP on Dec. 19, 2016, after being referred to the party discipline committee.
Previously, the Kayseri 1st Heavy Penal Court launched an investigation against Yıldız on charges of corruption, such as “accepting bribery and being involved in smuggling transactions.” He has already appeared in the court on May 3. His second trial is expected to take place on Oct. 4.
Yıldız however, has denied the allegations, saying his dismissal was due to intra-party conflicts as well as a dispute he has had with a municipal employee of the Republican People’s Party (CHP). He also indicated his dismissal from his post was not related to the ongoing case at the Kayseri court.
The mayor of Ankara’s Ayaş district, Bülent Taşan, is the subject of two separate investigations launched against him last year in January. It was alleged that Taşan was involved in corruption, causing the Turkish Treasury 7 million Turkish Liras worth in damages.