CHP calls for investigation into donations made to AKP-linked Türken Foundation

Duvar English

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has submitted a parliamentary motion calling for an investigation into the sources of donations made to the U.S.-based Türken Foundation, which is known to have close ties to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Upon a demand of the CHP, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 2019 revealed that the foundation had received donations amounting to $56.5 million since its foundation.

U.S. law does not permit foundations to receive money from abroad, so
it is not entirely clear how the foundation is funded.

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu touched upon this issue during an interview with Murat Sabuncu from T24, calling on the foundation “to send back the $22 million it received from Turkish public institutions.”

Kılıçdaroğlu was referring to the donations that were transferred from the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) as well as the Turkish Red Crescent (Kızılay) to the foundation. The transfers from the İBB were exposed when Ekrem İmamoğlu, from the CHP, became Istanbul mayor last year. He announced that the municipality annulled its protocol agreements with associations known to have close ties to the government.

Later, in January of this year, Turkish media outlets exposed a donation made by the Ankara-based Başkent Gaz — a private natural gas distribution company which is owned by a pro-government business group, Torunlar — to the Ensar Foundation, another pro-government foundation. Ensar later announced that $7.9 million was sent to Türken Foundation for the purpose of building a dormitory in the United States.

“A total of $56.5 million were transferred to Türken Foundation between 2014, i.e. when it was established, and 2018. This is a big money. It is necessary to investigate how these transfers were made and who made them. Only in 2018, some $22.5 million were transferred from Turkey to this foundation,” CHP deputy Tekin Bingöl said during a speech at the parliament on April 14.

“Of this $22.5 million, only $70,000 are donations; then what is the rest of the big money? These are public fundings transferred from Turkey. It is not possible to demonstrate or defend otherwise. If the opposite of this is to be defended, then a parliamentary inquiry committe should be formed, deputies should come together and demand an accountability,” Bingöl said, calling on all deputies in the parliament to support the CHP’s parliamentary motion regarding this issue.

Türken Foundation also had hit the headlines in February of this year after the CHP revealed that the organization was constructing a student dormitory in one of New York’s most expensive districts.  

from Duvar English

About CHP EU Representation

The CHP was founded on 9 September 1923, about one and half month before the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. The first President of modern Turkey’s oldest party was M. Kemal Atatürk. Today CHP is a social-democratic party, member of the Socialist International and associate member of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament. The scope of the CHP bureau in Brussels is not limited to the bilateral framework of Turkey's EU accession process. Issues such as the information society, energy policies, social development, climate change, international trade and security are among the different focus areas. The EU-Turkey relations are about integration and need multiple, plural and horizontal channels of communication. The CHP supports and promotes Turkey's EU membership process also by being more present and active in Brussels The CHP's Representative to the EU is Ms Kader Sevinç who previously worked as an MEP advisor at the European Parliament and in the private sector.
This entry was posted in Duvar English and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s