Tesco has become embroiled in a Turkish political scandal after the development of its largest store in the country was caught up in bribery allegations.

An entrepreneur, whom the UK retailer paid $13m (£7m) for a site near Istanbul, is accused of bribing a politician of the governing AKP party with $1m to push through a planning application.

Tesco is not accused of any wrongdoing in the case. Mehmet Karasu, the entrepreneur, and Saban Disli, deputy leader of the AKP, have denied any wrongdoing.

Karasu was able to navigate Turkey’s planning bureaucracy, gaining permission to move a park and a road and changing municipal planning regulations within a year.

Opposition politicians have led the accusations against Disli after a complaint from someone involved in the deal. A Turkish prosecutor is examining the complaint.

'Tesco Kipa purchased this land with commercial planning consents in place and was not involved in any application for re-zoning,' the supermarket group said.

Financial Times