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Investigation launched into Ankara mayor over bribery accusations

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An investigation has been launched into Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on accusations of bribery, according to Turkish media reports.

The investigation into Yavaş, city council members from the CHP and CHP lawyers was initiated following a criminal complaint filed by Sinan Aygün, a former CHP deputy and former head of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce.

Aygün claimed last week that Yavaş sought a bribe of TL 25 million from him to allow continuation of the construction of what is called “Togo Towers” on the outskirts of Ankara, which Aygün owns.

Aygün also claimed that businessman Ayhan Atalay, whom he alleged is a Gülen movement follower, made Yavaş’s candidacy possible in the local elections of 2014, which Yavaş lost.

Nowadays, it is common in Turkey for individuals to accuse each other of being a Gülen follower as the Turkish government has been conducting a massive crackdown on the movement’s members.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

In the meantime, Yavaş, who was elected Ankara mayor on the March 31 local elections, denied Aygün’s claims and filed a criminal complaint against him for having provided financial support to the activities of the Gülen movement in Ankara.  

“Before the election, the public taught them a lesson, but they didn’t learn. They’re still after a conspiracy,” said Yavaş about Aygün’s allegations.

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