Dec 14 2017

Turkish district council employee: mayor interrogated me at gunpoint

The head of rural services at a Turkish district council has written a letter to the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) accusing two AKP district mayors of kidnapping him and interrogating him at gunpoint, secularist newspaper Sözcü said.

“Mehmet Öcal, an individual in a grey suit and his bodyguard Volkan, whose gun I could see, were following me and they cut in front of my car and pulled me out of the vehicle,” Suat Diktaş, who works at Saruhanlı council in the western province of Manisa, wrote.

Around a dozen armed men took him to see Mustafa Çerçi, the mayor of nearby Yunusemre district, Diktaş said, and the mayor of Saruhanlı, Hüseyin Yaralı, was also called.

“The two mayors took a statement from me like prosecutors for two hours under duress,” Diktaş said.

“They asked questions like ‘you sent documents to Ankara and Istanbul and met with (opposition Republican People’s Party parliamentarian) Özgür Özel and his advisor. Are you with (Turkish intelligence agency) MİT, or whose man are you?”

The saga only ended, he said, when AKP parliamentarian Metin Külünk called the police and told them Diktaş had been kidnapped.

Diktaş filed a legal complaint at the police station alleging that Yaralı and Çerçi had kidnapped, threatened, blackmailed and beaten him, and stolen his telephone.

Local news site SpilHaber wrote in 2016 that Diktaş had gained great popularity among the people of the local area after only a year in the job before being removed from office by a state of emergency order in November 2016.

In January this year, however, he was returned to office by another state of emergency order.