Police search home of embattled former Adana mayor
Former Adana Mayor Aytaç Durak
Early Tuesday police launched a search of the home of former Adana Mayor Aytaç Durak, who was last year removed from office by the Interior Ministry after being charged with corruption.
Teams from the Adana Police Department's Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crimes Bureau arrived at Durak's home on Mithat Saraçoğlu Street early in the day. The teams simultaneously conducted a search of the home of senior Adana Municipality official Mustafa Tuncel.
No official statement was made as to the reason for the searches as the police teams were searching the homes. However, the investigations are allegedly linked to a recent operation in Adana in which 28 people were detained and in which the suspects were accused of tender rigging.
Suspicions about Durak were first voiced by some members of the city council when he was the mayor of Adana. According to the allegations, the mayor had TL 50,000 in earnings and 500,000 square meters of land listed on his financial statement in 2001. In 2010 the mayor owned 1.8 million square meters of land while the cash in bank accounts in his name totaled $1 million. In response to allegations, Durak had simply said, “My wife is rich.”
The first accusation was made by Tuncel, known to be Durak's right-hand man. Tuncel claimed that Durak had $2 billion in assets, while Durak denied this, saying his assets amounted to $40 million. Durak then challenged Tuncel to press charges against him, saying he had done nothing wrong.
The investigation into the former mayor is still under way. Durak was elected mayor five times during his political career for different parties -- with the Motherland Party (ANAP) in 1984, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in 2004 and finally the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in March 2009.