AKP Ankara mayoral candidate refuses to disclose personal wealth, says ‘property belongs to Allah’

Turkish ruling AKP’s Ankara mayoral candidate Turgut Altınok has refused to disclose his personal wealth despite his opponent Mansur Yavaş doing so, and said “Property belongs to Allah, we are the custodians,” referring to one of the verses of the Qur’an.

Duvar English

Turgut Altınok, Ankara mayoral candidate of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), on March 13 refused to disclose his personal wealth by referring to one of the verses of the Qur’an.

Speaking during a live broadcast on Habertürk TV, Altınok was asked whether he would reveal his personal wealth like his opponent Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş did.

Altınok said he would disclose his wealth “when I want to,” and added that “Property belongs to Allah, we are the custodians,” referring to one of the verses of the Qur’an.

The 42th verse of the Surah An-Nur reads “To Allah alone belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. And to Allah is the final return.”

“When I became a mayoral candidate in 1994 (for Ankara’s Keçirören district), a newspaper headline read 'The richest mayor of Ankara',” Altınok said, and added that he lost wealth after becoming mayor.

“I have been in office for 20 years, there is not a penny of travel money or allowance from the municipality's budget. My wife and children did not ride in my office car for 20 years. For 20 years, 1 square meter of green space has not been converted to trade or housing. Keçiören Municipality has the most parks in Turkey, Keçiören Municipality has the most sports halls,” he continued.

After his comments stirred a reaction, Altınok said on March 14 that “property belongs to Allah” is not his explanation, but he reminded a verse.

“Please do objective journalism. When I became a candidate, you reported that I was the richest candidate, but my wealth has decreased since I became mayor. Altınok has nothing to hide or conceal. We will make a detailed wealth declaration again at the appropriate time,” he explained.

After the criticisms, Altınok on March 15 disclosed his wealth in a social media post, including 22 plots, 25 fields, 11 dwellings, one gas station, and two buildings, mostly inherited from his father.

Altınok was the Ankara's Keçiören district mayor between 1994 and 2009. He has been once again elected as Keçiören mayor in 2019.

As the candidate of the AKP, he is endeavoring to reclaim the Ankara Municipality from the main opposition CHP's candidate and the current mayor, Mansur Yavaş.

Yavaş on Feb. 21 disclosed his and his wife’s personal wealth.

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