Ankara mayor’s speech revealing past mayoral corruption sabotaged by AKP, MHP councilors

Members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its right-wing ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in the Ankara Municipal Council on Dec. 7 left the chamber as Mayor Mansur Yavaş was preparing to expose details of several corruption cases filed against former AKP mayor Melih Gökçek. Yavaş later revealed in a press meeting that public loss had amounted to 3 quadrillion liras for 40 of these corruption cases.

Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş on Dec. 7 held a press meeting during which he criticized the eccentric projects undertaken by former mayor Melih Gökçek, including the installation of a giant inflatable gorilla.

Duvar English

Members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its coalition ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have sabotaged Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş's speech during a municipal council meeting before the mayor was expected to reveal details of several corruption investigations against former AKP mayor Melih Gökçek.

During the Ankara Municipal Council's meeting on Dec. 7, AKP and MHP members slammed their fists on their tables and then left the council chamber. As members of the AKP and MHP form a majority in the municipal council, the meeting was adjourned.

AKP and MHP councilors' protest of Yavaş came after the mayor did not accept a motion that AKP group deputy chair Murat Köse wanted to submit. Yavaş's refusal came on the grounds that Köse did not file the motion before the meeting, as was required within the framework of municipal regulations.

Yavaş later held a press meeting regarding the issue which was broadcast on the municipality's social media accounts. “They do not want Ankara residents to hear what I will say. Of course they are doing this to sabotage the meeting. Motions are submitted before the meeting,” Yavaş said.

The mayor said that they have submitted 40 files to the prosecutor's office concerning major corruption and mismanagement undertaken during the years of Gökçek.

“Public loss is equal to 2.8 quadrillion liras for just six of the corruption files. And for approximately 40 criminal complaints, the public loss has been determined to be 3 quadrillion liras,” Yavaş said.

Yavaş also announced the costs of eccentric projects undertaken during Gökçek's years, such as statues of robots and dinosaurs. One of such projects was the installation of an inflatable gorilla called "Şişme Dinocan." Yavaş shared the picture of this project during the press meeting, saying: "The name of this work is called 'Şişme Dinocan.' What has this go to do with Ankara people's history and culture?"

Gökçek, who served as Ankara mayor for nearly a quarter of a century, left the city in a tremendous wreck, wiping out its architectural memory.

For years, municipal tenders were conducted behind closed doors and funds were often channeled to entities and people supporting the AKP.

After Yavaş assumed the power in the 2019 March local elections, he revealed that the previous bidding processes within the municipality had been highly corrupt and irrelevant people had been receiving unbelievable amount of commissions.

He reassured Ankara residents that he would take down this system and direct the budget to solve the city's real problems.