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Investigation launched into opposition mayoral candidate after Erdogan warns he will “pay the price”

Turkish pro-government A Haber news channel announced on Tuesday that a criminal investigation has been launched into opposition mayoral candidate Mansur Yavas, just 12 days before the local election.

The investigation came a day after President Erdogan said Yavas, the mayoral candidate for the main opposition party CHP, in the capital of Ankara, will “pay the price”, referring to the allegations and charges leveled against him.

According to pro-government A Haber, investigations were launched against Yavas on charges of “storing obscene material” and “failing to inform the competent authorities of a crime that is being committed.”

Erdogan warned the opposition candidate, who is likely to beat his party’s nominee in local elections, that running for office won’t shield him from potential legal action.

“Even if he [Yavas] runs for mayor’s office in this election, he will face these [allegations and charges leveled against him]. And when he does, he will pay a serious price,” Erdogan told a joint broadcast by Kanal 7 and Ulke TV on Monday.

Yavas has been accused of misconduct by issuing a fake promissory note to recover a $600,000 fee, and harassing the complainant, Necmettin Kesgin.

The first accusation against Yavas was by Omer Celik, an AKP spokesperson, and pro-government daily Sabah, when he was indicted on charges of fraud, faking a signature in an official document while working as a lawyer a decade ago.

Refuting all allegations, Yavas said he was “the real victim” in the case as there has been no ruling against him by the Court of Appeal.

Pro-government daily Sabah and A Haber have fiercely lambasted Yavas as a candidate mayor running for the third time. Voter polls have continuously shown how most metropolitan areas are slipping away from AKP.

If found guilty, Yavas won’t get the post even if he outruns the ruling party’s candidate in the elections.

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