Ankara mayor files lawsuit against former mayor for mismanaging municipality’s resources

Duvar English

Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş has filed a lawsuit against Melih Gökçek, the former mayor of the city, on the grounds that he used the money allocated for the renewal of a waste water treatment facility for other purposes.

Yavaş demanded in his criminal complaint that the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office bring charges of “abusing authority” and “causing damage on the environment by negligence” against Gökçek.

The criminal complaint came after Yavaş asked the Ankara Municipal Council to discuss a loan proposal to renew Tatlar Waste Water Treatment Facility’s water-pipes. Yavaş’s demand was turned down by the municipal council, in which the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its nationalist ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) councillors hold a majority.

This prompted Yavaş, from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), to file a lawsuit against Gökçek, the AKP’s former mayor who ran the municipality from 1994 to 2017.

Yavaş’s petition said that the renewal of Tatlar Facility is an “emergency” as its deferral puts the public health in danger. Yavaş said that as per a decision of the municipal council in 2007, the municipality took a loan of 536 million Turkish Liras for the facility’s renewal but this money was not used for this purpose.

“Former Ankara Mayor and other suspects to be investigated have put the public health in a serious danger by not renewing Tatlar Waste Water Treatment Facility, which is described as an urgent issue and which should have been undertaken 20 years ago,” Yavaş’s criminal complaint read.

Gökçek claimed in a Tweet on May 10 that the renewal of water pipes for the relevant facility would cost 8 million Turkish Liras, implying that it should not be difficult for the Ankara Water and Sewage Administration (ASKİ) to find this money.

Yavaş in his criminal complaint touched upon Gökçek’s Tweet, saying that the figure of 8 million Liras does not reflect the truth. “This figure corresponds to the money the suspect used to buy just one of the dinosaurs,” Yavaş said, referring to several dinosaur statues placed at an amusement park by the order of Gökçek. One of the dinosaur statues, having a 10-meter height, was even erected on a busy road in Ankara in 2015. The statue had become a symbol of unnecessary expenditure for the city.

from Duvar English

About CHP EU Representation

The CHP was founded on 9 September 1923, about one and half month before the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. The first President of modern Turkey’s oldest party was M. Kemal Atatürk. Today CHP is a social-democratic party, member of the Socialist International and associate member of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament. The scope of the CHP bureau in Brussels is not limited to the bilateral framework of Turkey's EU accession process. Issues such as the information society, energy policies, social development, climate change, international trade and security are among the different focus areas. The EU-Turkey relations are about integration and need multiple, plural and horizontal channels of communication. The CHP supports and promotes Turkey's EU membership process also by being more present and active in Brussels The CHP's Representative to the EU is Ms Kader Sevinç who previously worked as an MEP advisor at the European Parliament and in the private sector.
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