Ankara ex-mayor accused of aggravated fraud

The ruling party's former mayor of the Turkish capital from 1994 to 2017, İbrahim Melih Gökçek, is accused of aggravated fraud, nationalist opposition daily Yeniçağ said on Sunday.

Gökçek, known for embarking on dozens of eccentric and costly public projects in the Turkish capital, resigned following pressure from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Inspectors filed a criminal complaint against Gökçek for aggravated fraud and spurious bill after they revealed that the shares of municipality subsidiaries were undersold and the municipality bought new companies for well over their worth, according to Yeniçağ.

The municipality bought 120,000 lira ($21,850) worth company, AFM Technology, for 999,000 lira ($181,890) and the municipality paid 6,7 million lira ($1,2 million) in seven months for goods purchases, call centre service and shipping, according to Yeniçağ, adding that there are four other companies linked to the fraud.

After the secularist opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) won the mayoral seat in Ankara and Istanbul in the March 31 local elections, new mayors made a point of focussing on waste by previous local governments in the two municipalities. Both Ankara and Istanbul have been run by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) politicians for 25 years.