Turkey’s main opposition files complaint over AKP mayor’s bribery accusations

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has filed a criminal complaint over a bribery accusation brought forth by a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) district mayor in southern Antalya province, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported on Monday.  

In May, the AKP mayor of the town of Serik, Enver Aputkan, accused the province’s previous mayor from AKP's ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) of taking a 500,000 lira ($73,000) bribe from the owners of tourism establishments.

Aputkan had tweeted out a statement saying he had learnt of the bribes in a meeting that Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, and Antalya Governor Münir Karaloğlu also attended.

According to the statement, Çavuşoğlu had acknowledged the bribery as having happened under the previous mayor and Aputkan rebuked the foreign minister for turning a blind eye to the illegal payments.

On Monday, CHP lawmakers and provincial officials held a press briefing in front of the Antalya courthouse after filing the complaint.

“It has been 48 days since the incident, but no investigation has started yet,” the CHP officials said. “If the prosecutor’s office has not taken the initiative to open an investigation yet, then we take (Aputkan’s statement) and press charges for all those responsible.”

“We demand that this bribery incident is not covered up,” CHP Antalya deputy Rafet Zeybek said at the court house. “Those who did this must be held to account.”