IPANEWS

AKP-appointed governor in lavish excess spending scandal

A newly appointed senior Turkish government administrator is at the center of a scandal involving the use of hundreds of thousands of municipal funds to pay for jewelry, Deutsche Welle (DW) Turkish branch reported on Sunday.

Mustafa Yaman, Mardin’s government administrator who was appointed for a second time as mayor and is also current governor, was exposed in photos on  Fırat Silver’s Instagram account showing Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum picking out gifts, totalling 600,000 lira (around $103,500), financed by the municipality budget. The photos are dated November 2018.

Photos of the bills, as well as lists of gifts and other spendings, have also been revealed by the second-time ousted mayor, Ahmet Turk, from the opposition pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP).

The revealing documents also show the municipal spending for hosting seniors from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. The seniors hosted include Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, former Environment and Urban Planning Minister Mehmet Ozhaseki, Youth and Sports Minister Abdurrahim Boynukalin and former Industry and Technology Minister Fikret Isik, among others.

There has been no immediate comment so far from the AKP regarding the lavish excess allegations, DW report said.

In May, pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya (MA) news agency reported that the governor Yaman had allegedly spent other millions from the municipal budget for feasts, car rentals, accommodation, and gifts while hosting the AKP seniors during his tenure between 2016 and2019.

At the time, some AKP officials had reportedly asked for the HDP mayorship to provide them with the bills documenting the lavish excess, adding they would proceed with due process by submitting official complaints against the Mardin governor in case the allegations come out to be true.

Further, the AKP seniors had also requested from HDP’s newly-elected Turk all documents concerning other suspicious activities during Yaman’s rule, vowing to draft a report in that regard.

Since then, however, there have been no further proceedings regarding the matter.

On Monday, Turkey’s interior ministry removed three pro-Kurdish opposition mayors of southeastern Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van provinces – Adnan Selcuk Mizrakli, Ahmet Turk and Bedia Ozgokce Ertan respectively – from their posts as part of a major terrorism-related investigation in which 418 members of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) have also been detained.

The HDP’s 90 mayors had also been removed from their posts in the aftermath of a failed coup bid that targeted the AKP on July 15, 2016, due to similar terror-related charges.

Most of the deposed HDP mayors, including Mardin’s Ahmet Turk, won their posts back in the March 31 local election.

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