The world's largest fraud center
"Lambs' cases are judged by foxes. The verdict is written with blood dried on the soil."
I first came across the news on KRT, reported by Ahmet Sesli and İlknur Yağumli. The headline read, "The Ponzi Scandal Extending to the Istanbul Anatolian Courthouse." It detailed a Ponzi scheme akin to the Seçil Erzan case within the courthouse. Last Monday, upon seeing the Anatolian Chief Public Prosecutor's Office present a report on the matter—a topic shrouded in secrecy from the previous prosecutor's term—to the Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK), I delved into the file. The revelation left me astounded: We had opened what we thought was the world's largest courthouse, only to find it had become one of the largest centers of fraud and corruption!
The scandal surfaced thanks to the victims who lost their money, identifying at least 9 suspects. According to the file, the person collecting the money was named Kevser E., who initially worked at a private construction company before setting up her own real estate office. She claimed to make profits from selling land.
The scheme began with the promise of "If only I had the money." Kevser E. started raising funds from acquaintances by promising to buy land cheaply and sell it at a higher price, profiting from the difference. She even distributed some of the initial returns. However, when the scheme collapsed, those who felt cheated headed to the Anatolian Courthouse. The first complainant, Burak Y., shared in his statement, "She told me we were making a lot of money, and that my investment had reached 35 million lira. I then asked for the deeds to be transferred to me. She started to evade me more blatantly, never handed over the deeds, nor answered my calls."
This is how the details of a multimillion-lira fraud came to light, entangled with love stories and corruption in courthouse tenders.
FRAUD WITH A VEHICLE EQUIPPED WITH SIRENS
Let me explain...
According to victim statements, Yavuz K., the Administrative Affairs Director of the Anatolian Courthouse, was Kevser E.'s lover. Not only that, the duo was collecting money together. Meanwhile, vehicles with sirens from the world's largest courthouse were being used to transport the money!
Continuing with lawyer Burak Y.'s statement:
"In my research, I found that Yavuz K. used a black Passat with sirens for investor meetings, introduced himself as a courthouse bureaucrat, took Nilay D. as his secretary, collected money from these meetings, and converted these funds into real estate or gold investments through Kevser E., only to later withhold these funds from them. As far as I know, there are many victims related to this matter, currently present at the courthouse."
Victims were heard one by one. For instance, Berfin H., who worked alongside Kevser E., testified, "Yavuz K. would visit the office almost every day during the period I worked there," revealing the transport of money in the official car with sirens.
Complainant Demet Ş. stated, "She promised me a high profit share, claiming she had incurred losses, and that she would transfer the deeds registered in her name to me. However, we later learned that these deeds had been transferred to Yavuz K. and his nephew Bekir A., leading us to realize we had been defrauded and decide to file a complaint."
Sezgin V., who met Kevser E. through Demet Ş., described his lost money as follows: "I gave a total of 5 million lira to Kevser. Some of it was directly deposited into Kevser's bank account, and some was handed over to Demet Ş. to be given to Kevser."
The statements go on and on...
It turns out, that among the funds collected through this Ponzi scheme were those of some judicial members, leading efforts to sweep the case under the rug. As the case escalated, Kevser E., seeking protection, filed complaints accusing those she collected money from of usury. Yavuz K., the courthouse's administrative affairs director, claimed Kevser E. had also defrauded him, alleging he had given her approximately 5 million lira.
But that's not all...
COURTHOUSE TENDERS ALSO EXPLODED
As the investigation progressed, another aspect emerged: the tenders at the world's largest courthouse!
From fire extinguishing to insulation, from toner purchasing to setting up courts and offices, it was discovered that tenders under Yavuz K.'s control, either by invitation or negotiation, were tainted with scandal. Another investigation was opened.
Muharrem İ., a representative of the company that built the Anatolian Courthouse, also gave a statement:
"I learned about the execution department's tender. My company was asked for a quote to determine the approximate cost. While waiting for the tender to be conducted, Yavuz K. called me to the courthouse and said, 'I will give you this tender, but you need to bring 200,000 lira.' I refused, and he said, 'Then, I will not invite you to the tender.' I left, saying the decision was his, and reported this to the acting chief public prosecutor, Uğur S."
Muharrem İ. detailed the tenders he knew of. According to him, a job worth 11 million was awarded for 22.5 million, with substandard materials used to reduce costs to one-seventh, diverging from the specifications. Yavuz K., in his defense, admitted to irregularities but blamed other employees.
We're building "the world's largest palace of justice" as if a law were a structure. From its concrete to its robes, corruption and fraud are erupting. Then we wonder why there's no justice in the country. Looking at the picture, I'm not surprised that Can Atalay, seeking justice for the oppressed in Soma, Ermenek, Aladağ, Çorlu, and Hatay, is still held in prison despite court rulings.
The soil watered with the blood of the oppressed will bloom its flowers. We will say it was not in vain, not in vain...
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