The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has opened internal investigations of 15 mayors and 10 provincial heads following corruption allegations and reports of other deviant behaviour.
Party inspectors have prepared reports on the government officials in question and they are set to be reviewed by the AKP’s Central Decision and Executive Board, who will then decide on disciplinary actions to be taken, including potential expulsion.
The reports prepared by Party inspectors centred upon corruption allegations as well as reports of slander committed during the recent November elections between rivalling political candidates. Other provincial heads are being investigated for their lack of effort during the campaign season.
The AKP has been stepping up its efforts to tackle internal corruption in recent months. According to reports from the latest AKP Mayors Meeting, Prime Minister Davutoğlu reminded the group to “be careful about money-related matters,” stating “we will be suspicious of those who are changing their spouse, their job, their house.”
These internal investigations and the Prime Minister’s warnings come after a series of investigations earlier this month on January 6 where three mayors and one founding party member were sent to the AKP Party Disciplinary Council with requests for expulsion.
The mayors from the provinces of Ankara, Kahramanmaraş, and Adana were accused of corruption and “behaviours deviating from party ideals” as well as founding AKP party member Yaşar Yakış being accused of “infiltrating the government,” “slander” and “insulting statements.”
Speaking with a group of mayors after the January 6 investigations, Prime Minister Davutoğlu reminded the officials of the Party ideals, stating “If you see something problematic about my material wealth, it is your duty to confront me face-to-face. In the same way, if I see an unusual increase in your wealth, I will hold you to account for it.”
Following the recent November 1 elections, one of the early initiatives of the AKP has been to create the Council of Political Virtues and Ethics. According the party spokesman Ömer Çelik, the 7 member Council is tasked with holding party members accountable to party standards and making sure they are adhering to party values.