Istanbul, July 14 () - The Interior Ministry has launched an investigation into Istanbul’s Ataşehir District Municipality over corruption claims that have recently hit headlines.
The ministry has given permission for an investigation into graft claims against Ataşehir Mayor Battal İlgezdi as well as his municipality’s Development Directorate, Building Inspection Directorate, and deputy mayors.
The inspection has been ordered after news reports that the Ataşehir Municipality on Istanbul’s Asian side claimed that İlgezdi owned a number of residences acquired through corruption at the municipality. The probe will look into former deputy mayors as well as current officials.
The Ataşehir Municipality is reported to have last undergone inspections in 2013, during which no irregularity was identified. Today’s probe will also reportedly look into the inspectors in 2013 to find whether or not they gained any benefits from the investigations.
Meanwhile, İlgezdi submitted himself and his wife, Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul deputy Gamze Akkuş İlgezdi, to the local court over allegations of “unjustly profiting by irregularly obtaining properties.”
Filing a nine-page petition on July 13 alongside with his wife and with the CHP Istanbul provincial head Murat Karayalçın, İlgezdi said the claims were baseless and demanded an investigation to clear his name.
The petition asks the Public Prosecutor’s Office to open a case if a criminal element is determined during the investigation, but if no irregularity is found a defamation case should be opened into media that published the allegations.