Ankara mayor Yavas to face trial over misconduct

An Ankara court has decided to launch an investigation against the city’s recently-elected mayor over charges that include “misconduct” and “disturbing individuals’ peace and harmony,” the state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) reported late on Monday.

AA said that the Fourth High Criminal Court in the capital Ankara ruled on Monday that prosecution be brought against Ankara Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Mansur Yavas due to allegations about the time when he worked as a lawyer.

Yavas will face trial court due to an indictment prepared by Ankara West Courthouse Chief Public Prosecutor, which follows a complaint by a businessman, Necmettin Keskin, who has an ongoing disagreement with the mayor over the collection of a $600,000 cheque dated March 29, 2011.

Cumhuriyet daily previously reported that the dispute between Yavas and Keskin started when SAMAS, an industrial minerals company, took sugar company Kayseri Seker to court over major debt.

SAMAS reportedly asked Keskin for financial assistance and Keskin asked the Ankara mayor for support with the case that was ongoing in the Supreme Court of Appeals.

Keskin was provided with a $600,000 cheque by SAMAS for his financial aid to the company during the trial.

According to Cumhuriyet’s report, the company fell into dispute with Keskin after the exchange and Yavas acted as an intermediary, keeping the cheque until the deal was finalized.

Yavas denies all allegations asserted by Keskin and said he had already been prosecuted on charges of forgery, fraud and child abuse.

More than a week before the March polls, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened Yavas for not “letting” him serve as a mayor if he was elected, signalling a possible conviction.

Erdogan vowed: “We will not hand Ankara over to a random person, to someone who forged signatures on cheques. We want Ankara to continue to be governed by good people.”

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP)’s Yavas won the March 31 local elections in Ankara with nearly two per cent ahead of his government-backed rival Mehmet Ozhaseki.

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