GeriGündem Gökçek accused of real estate corruption
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Gökçek accused of real estate corruption

ANKARA - Ankara’s Mayor Melih Gökçek is facing another corruption claim leading up to next month’s local elections, this time over the misappropriation of municipal land.

The Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, Parliamentary Group Deputy Leader Oktay Vural said Monday that 30,000 square meters of land belonging to the municipality had been sold for $1.2 million to a construction cooperative set up by municipality officials.

"Municipality council members joined a council meeting where their own businesses were discussed, contrary to relevant laws. They were sellers and buyers at the same time," Vural said. "Municipalities’ shares in land can only be transferred after a plan for parcel division has been drafted. But the plan is still at the office of the Çankaya District Municipality awaiting approval. The municipality council misappropriated public land without a tender," he said. A prosecutor in the Ergenekon case, Fikret Seçen, is among the members of the cooperation. Gülbağı Construction Cooperative stated the price paid to the municipality was above the standard price and thus did not breach the public interest. Gökçek denied knowledge of the cooperative’s purchase and said he had ordered an inquiry into the matter.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP Ankara Mayor Candidate Murat Karayalçın accused Gökçek of failing to protect the municipality's property, in a written statement yesterday. "Pillaging of municipality property is only natural if Gökçek learns about council decisions from the press," Karayalçın said.

’Can’t raise the funds’

Meanwhile, Gökçek said there was no way Karayalçın could fulfill his projects as there was no way to raise the money necessary to complete them. "He has government power but he has no chance of raising enough money to finish the subway," Gökçek stated during an election meeting for Bülent Akarcalı, as the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, mayor candidate for Ankara’s Çankaya district.
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