The latest claim of lavish excess by government administrators who were previously appointed by the ruling party to replace elected opposition mayors has come from newly elected pro-Kurdish mayors of the south-eastern province of Mardin.
Pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya (MA) news agency reported on Sunday that during his tenure, Mustafa Yaman, former government-appointed administrator as mayor and current governor, allegedly spent 1,436,345 lira (240,000 $) from the municipal budget for feasts while hosting seniors from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Photos of the bills regarding the alleged spendings have also been revealed by the new mayors from the opposition pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP).
Some bills belonging to a mealing company Fidan Yemek have been documented as meals catered for thousands of guests, though the company has in fact only a 400-seat capacity.
According to the MA report the AKP seniors, including lawmakers and ministers who were among the guests in those alleged feasts, claimed there was no such a meal with thousands of participants.
The said AKP officials have asked for the HDP mayorship to provide them with those bills, adding they would proceed with due process by submitting official complaints against the Mardin governor in case the allegations come out to be true.
The MA news reported that the AKP seniors have also requested from HDP mayors all documents concerning other suspicious activities during the trustee rule, vowing to draft a report in that regard.
Pertaining alleged improper acts during Yaman’s tenure as appointed mayor, another report is yet to be reportedly released by former AKP Mardin province head Nihat Eri, who resigned just before the 31 March local election.
After the victory in local elections, HDP has taken back mayorships of some cities which had been previously replaced by government administrators.
“They built themselves palaces with the people’s money,” Adnan Selcuk Mizrakli, HDP’s new Diyarbakir mayor, told a group of journalists in April.
The journalists were filming the luxurious office room and bathroom which were renovated by Cumali Atilla, an AKP-appointed bureaucrat.
Later, similar trustee-excess reports appeared in dissident Turkish media outlets.
AKP’s crackdown on opposition HDP
After a coup attempt in July 2016, a law enacted in September granted a right to the Interior Ministry to sack mayors and municipal council members from their posts.
So far, the Erdogan regime has replaced 95 democratically elected HDP mayors with appointed administrators in the predominantly Kurdish southeast region of the country, with 71 of them being arrested on terrorism-related charges.