The luxurious “gold-leaf bathroom” in the Sur municipality’s mayoral office was reportedly renovated by Ozkan, an unelected administrator who took office after the forceful removal of an HDP mayor elected in the 2014 local government elections. Ozkan later resigned in an effort to be an AKP MP candidate in parliamentary elections in 2018.
Kurdish mayors have yet again revealed the lavish excesses, government-appointed administrators, with the latest case being that of an administrator who is alleged to have spent a fortune on a “gold-leaf bathroom.
Two newly elected opposition Kurdish mayors made the claims on Friday.
Cemal Ozdemir, co-mayor of Sur district of Diyarbakır from the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) has shared photos of a luxurious bathroom, which was renovated during the tenure of Bilal Ozkan, a government administrator appointed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to replace a previously elected HDP mayor.
Speaking to journalists, Ozdemir said it was his duty to reveal such kinds of excesses made by government authorities in a bid to show the public what for their money had been spent during the administrator’s rule.
“The AKP administrator spent hundreds of thousands of Turkish lira from the municipal budget for renovating this bathroom,” said HDP’s Ozdemir.
Last week, another example of an administrator’s lavish expenditure was revealed by new co-mayor of Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality, Adnan Selcuk Mizrakli.
Video footage of office room and bathroom, which were renovated by Cumali Atilla, a bureaucrat from Ankara who was appointed by the AKP government, attracted great attention on social media.
On Friday, Mizrakli announced two more examples of Atilla’s excesses.
Speaking at a rally in Diyarbakir together with HDP co-chairs Pervin Buldan and Sezai Temelli, Mizrakli said Atilla had spent 92,000 lira ($15,500) for hundreds of coffee cup sets, which were bought to be presented as gifts.
“You can cover the monthly expenses of 460 families with 92,000 lira,” said Mizrakli.
The Diyarbakir mayor denounced Atilla for his expenditures from the municipal budget to buy desserts. The mayor claimed that 1,600 kilograms desserts, called in Turkish “kadayif”, were bought during the time of the Atilla administration in Diyarbakir.
“We have seen the wastage scene together [last week’s revelation of luxurious office room renovation]. There is no room for even a small piece of wastage in our action. Everything [under our administration] will be pure clear like your hearts” vowed Mizrakli.
Similarly, Tunceli’s new mayor Mehmet Fatih Macoglu from the Turkish Communist Party (TKP) had promised to make all municipal documents public, when he got his official mandate to govern the city early in April.
Run by an AKP-appointed administrator since November 2017, the municipality is now around 65 million lira ($11 million) in debt, with just 266,000 lira (45,000 $) in the safe, while the municipality accounts showed a 17 million lira ($2.9 million) profit, at the time the pro-government trustee, Olgun Oner, took office. The figures indicate financial mismanagement by the Pro-Erdogan trustee, according to Macoglu.
After a coup attempt in July 2016, a law enacted in September granted a right to the Interior Ministry to sack mayors and municipal council members from their posts.
So far, the Erdogan regime has replaced 95 democratically elected HDP mayors with appointed administrators in the predominantly Kurdish southeast region of the country, with 71 of them being arrested on terrorism-related charges.