Local mayor and former president’s son arrested, Dutch developer’s property part of web

Dutch retail developer and investor Redevco’s purchase of a development site in Turkey has been hit by controversy after a local mayor and the son of a former Turkish president were arrested on charges relating to corruption.

The mayor of Edirne, Hamdi Sedefci, and Ahmet Ozal, son of former president Turgut Ozal, were arrested at the weekend.

The arrests were made following alleged ‘irregularities with contracts, transactions and payments.’

Several deals are thought to be under investigation including the sale of the Edirne Municipality building and the local drinking- water operating network.

Redevco said: ‘Redevco Turkey is co-operating with the authorities of Edirne investigating a public tender issued by the municipality of Edirne.

‘The Turkish contracting company GPM won the tender and Redevco Turkey subsequently bought the land from GPM, taking over the risk as end developer and investor of the shopping centre, which is currently under development by Redevco Turkey.’

‘At this moment Redevco Turkey is confident that the inquiry is being properly conducted. Redevco Turkey is not under any suspicion and no other Redevco projects are being investigated.’

It added: ‘The management of Redevco Turkey is co-operating fully with the authorities on all aspects of the Edirne project. In keeping with its general business practice and principles Redevco Turkey has ensured that its actions throughout the process have been transparent.’

The Edirne Municipality building, by the E-5 motorway that connects the town to Istanbul, was bought by Redevco in September last year.

It began to redevelop the building to create a 290,628 sq ft shopping centre, which will open in the first quarter of 2010.

Redevco has around €500m (£382m) of projects planned for Turkey in regions such as Ankara, Manisa and Erzurum.

There will not be any immediate impact on the ongoing development at the site Edirne.