Turkish court censors corruption allegation

An Ankara court has forbidden reporting on a statement by an opposition Republican People’s Party parliamentarian on alleged corruption by the relative of a former high-ranking government official, left-wing news site Sendika.org said.

Atilla Sertel asked why the terms of a tender won by a government body and then subcontracted to a private company, Niti, had later been changed significantly in the latter’s favour.

He said that the son of ex-Religious Affairs Department (Diyanet) head Mehmet Görmez, Burak Görmez, had represented Niti in the matter.

Sertel said that the Turkish Post Office (PTT) had initially ordered 23,500 security cameras and had contracted out to pay 70,150,000 Turkish liras.

By the end of the deal, however, the PTT ended up paying over 100 million liras.

Sertel said that the value of the cameras was between 35 and 40 million liras and that it was unclear where the remaining money went.

On Tuesday, the Ankara 1st Criminal Court ordered a ban on all news items relating to the tender.