AKP mayor spends 100M liras on election night after losing to main opposition CHP

In Yunusemre District Municipality of Manisa, Turkey, the former administration from the ruling AKP spent 100 million Turkish liras ($3.09M) in just five hours on election night after it became apparent that the main opposition CHP candidate had won.

Newly elected CHP mayor Balaban explains the expenditure made by former AKP mayor in the election night. Background shows the the mayor's office furnished with gold leaf furniture by the former AKP mayor.

Duvar English

Musa Semih Balaban, the newly elected main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Mayor of Yunusemre Municipality in Manisa, disclosed that the municipality made 100 million Turkish liras ($3.09M) worth of transactions during the night of 31 March local elections, after it became clear that the CHP had defeated the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The mayor explained that AKP’s Mehmet Çerçi, who has been running the municipality for the last 10 years, made these expenditures in the middle of the night and said, "We have decided not to pay any of these cheques without proper documentation. No one will be able to cut a cheque on their own and collect it from the municipality."

Newly elected mayor stated that the ministry cut cheques and received invoices from 02.00 a.m. until 06.00 a.m. (local time) in the morning in April 1, the first hours after the local elections.

Previously, reports revealed that the tender for the new building and mayor's office of Yunusemre District Municipality was made in 2021 for 34.98 million liras, that was, four million dollars with the exchange rate of the day. 

Former AKP Mayor Çerçi had his office room furnished with gold leaf furniture and decorations.

The municipality's total debt was 1.103 billion liras ($33.92M), one of the biggest debts of the district municipalities in the country.

In other expenditures made by Yunusemre Municipality, which is overburdened with debt, the municipality spent 1.37 million liras for the oil wrestling festival in 2023. Youth cultural center and square construction cost 57.76 million liras in 2022. 

Some 1.40 million lira was paid in 2023 for the hand-carved wooden door purchased for the Wooden Islamic Works Museum. Nearly 20.9 million lira was spent on a bazaar construction in 2018.

CHP won the district municipality after garnering 46.10 percent of the votes against its closest rival AKP that got 32.03 percent.