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Ankara mayor files complaint against former mayor over claims of water pollution in capital

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Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş has filed a criminal complaint against Melih Gökçek, mayor of  Ankara from 1994 to 2017, on allegations of creating panic and fear among the public by bringing up baseless claims about pollution in Ankara’s water, Turkish media reports said.

Gökçek recently tweeted that recent diseases in the Turkish capital are caused by the city’s water, which he claimed was polluted.

Yavaş, who was elected from main opposition Republican People’s Party CHP) in the March 31 local elections, to the disappointment of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), filed the complaint against Gökçek at the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

A statement from the Ankara’s waterworks authority, ASKİ, recently denied claims of pollution in the city’s water, adding that it meets international standards. 

Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca also said in a statement that there has been no change in the quality of Turkey’s water compared to last year and that the frequency of disease is caused by seasonal changes and not water quality.

Gökçek, a member of the AKP, was forced to resign from his position as Ankara mayor by AKP leader and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in October 2017.

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