Turkish court rules former AKP Ankara mayor's purchase of municipality residence unlawful

A Turkish court ruled that the purchase of a municipality-owned residence by former Ankara mayor Melih Gökçek from AKP was unlawful. He will evacuate the residence and hand it over to the municipality run by CHP.

Duvar English

The Ankara Regional Court of Appeals has ruled that the acquisition of a municipality-owned residence by former Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) during his term was illegal. 

As a result, the properties currently used by Gökçek as a residence and office will be re-registered to the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality currently controlled by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the daily BirGün reported on Nov. 28.

Gökçek in 2017 held a tender for the sale of the residences he used as a municipality lodge while serving as mayor. Despite the provision in the law stating that "the mayor and his relatives cannot bid in the tender within three years after leaving office,” the tender was won by the business partnership of Gökçek's wife Nevin Gökçek and his lawyers Fatih Atalay and Salih Çelen. 

Gökçek continued to live in the residence, which he was supposed to vacate within two months after leaving office. The sale was realized during Gökçek's residency.

Ankara Metropolitan Municipality Legal Department under the Mansur Yavaş administration filed a lawsuit claiming that the sale of publicly owned residency was unlawful. 

In addition to the irregularities in the tender of the houses, the lawsuit emphasized that the pool, which Gökçek had built in violation of the project and which would affect the tender price, was not evaluated in the valuation commission report.

Ankara Regional Court of Appeals accepted the objection of the mayor’s office to a previous decision of the local court and ruled that the purchase was unlawful. Thus, four duplex residences sold for 7.9 million Turkish lira in 2018 became the property of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality again.