In a new revelation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s dubious practices towards his people, MPs from the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) called on the parliament to open an investigation into a popular donation campaign launched by Erdogan to combat the corona pandemic under the name National Solidarity Campaign.
CHP MP Murat Emir called for the formation of a parliamentary committee to find out the ways of spending the campaign funds, which exceed 2 billion Turkish lira (lira = 0.15 US dollars).
Emir submitted a request to the parliament speaker in which he said that the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services evaded disclosing information about the campaign’s cash payment mechanism or to whom funds were distributed and that the failure to disclose who benefited from citizens’ donations is a violation. He added that the value of these funds was supposed to be announced in the official gazette.
“Four years ago, funds were collected to support the victims of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, but the government did not start distributing the funds until three months ago, so you are accused of delay,” Emir said, adding, “The citizens do not trust you. We asked about the source of the funds, whether people or institutions donated, and they have not yet answered our questions.”
“A large portion of the donations came through institutions, and if they answer us this question, the anxiety and fear in citizens’ minds will dissipate, and the state of insecurity and distrust will disappear,” he continued.
Erdogan launched a popular donation campaign on March 30 to support those affected by the corona pandemic. According to figures from the presidency’s Directorate of Communications, total donations amounted to 1.1 billion lira.
Erdogan’s announcement coincided with a campaign launched by Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu to collect donations for the same goal as a step to confront the corona virus, but Erdogan rejected Imamoglu’s campaign, claiming that it does not follow the government’s decisions and saying that the regime will not allow the establishment of state within a state.
Soon, the Ministry of Interior intervened and signed the seizure of all the funds that the Istanbul Municipality collected from citizens within an account with the Waqf Bank.
Abdul Kheir Atallah, professor of political science at the University of Assiut in Egypt, told the Reference that the Turkish president always exploits the Turkish people and collects donations via fake campaigns so that he can collect a large amount of money for his private treasury, while he uses the rest to finance his terrorist militias in Syria, Libya and Iraq.
Atallah said that Erdogan’s wrong policies and his support for terrorism in the Middle East region during the spread of the corona virus weakened the Turkish economy, which has made him seek to find any way to save himself from this predicament.