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Mayor from Erdoğan’s ruling AKP arrested for facilitating prostitution

A mayor who is a member of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been arrested on charges of facilitating prostitution, Turkish media reported on Tuesday.

Mehmet Enis Doğan, the mayor of the Mollakendi district of eastern Elazığ province, also the owner of a hotel involved in the case, is accused of facilitating prostitution.

This arrest was made as part of two raids in which five people, including Mayor Doğan, were detained and subsequently arrested. Authorities announced that the establishments owned by Doğan would be sealed.

The operation, dubbed “Cemre,” targeted several beauty centers as well as hotels and guesthouses, uncovering a network of establishments allegedly involved in prostitution.

According to reports by journalist Özgür Cebe from the Sözcü daily, the five suspects were taken into custody and appeared before a court on March 1 after being detained for three days.

Following their statements, the prosecutor requested their arrest from the court, with the result that all five were arrested pending trial. Specifically, Mayor Doğan is accused of using his hotel to facilitate prostitution.

In addition to the judicial measures against the persons directly involved, 128 people who had used prostitution services in the hotel and beauty centers were fined.

Many Turks accused the ruling AKP members of hypocrisy, as they say the case is an example of a party involved in corrupt practices while marketing itself as a conservative party that upholds Islamic values. Some pointed to the messages on the social media pages of Mayor Doğan, who regularly posted religious references.

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