Ministry permits probe into mayor deals .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ANKARA - The Interior Ministry will grant the prosecutor’s office permission to launch a preliminary inquiry into corruption claims against Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek.

Hasan Canpolat, deputy undersecretary of the Interior Ministry, said Friday that they had permission to launch an investigation into Gökçek over 17 alleged cases of corruption in line with a decision by the Council of State.

Responding to a question from Ali İhsan Köktürk of the Republican People’s party, or CHP, on why the ministry hadn’t permitted the inquiry previously, Canpolat said they did not do so because they were abiding by the decision of the Ankara Governorship. It had said, as a result of its examination, that no legal action was needed.

Investigate Gökçek

As a result of an objection made to the Council of State over the governorship’s decision, Canpolat said, the council ruled that a preliminary inquiry should in fact be made regarding Gökçek.

The ministry will thus grant permission to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office to launch a preliminary investigation into 17 alleged corruption cases between 2004 and 2009 that have been connected to Gökçek. Meanwhile, Canpolat added, 64 corruption cases had been dismissed.

Gökçek is believed to have been dealt a blow in the March 29 local elections due to corruption claims despite winning the race.