Interior ministry launches probe into Istanbul Mayor over collection of donations against coronavirus

Duvar English

The Interior Ministry has launched a probe into Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu over the municipality’s donation campaign against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“The Interior Minister launched a probe into the process of collecting donations. An inspector is carrying out the investigation,” İmamoğlu told daily Sözcü on April 17, adding that the probe was launched on April 10.

The row between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the mayors from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) began when the ministry said that the donation campaigns of the municipalities are against the regulations on March 31.

The municipalities’ donation accounts were blocked at the same time, prompting criticism against the government for preventing people from getting the help they need.

İmamoğlu has been calling on the state-owned Vakıfbank to send the money collected as part of the aid campaign right back the municipality since then.

“The blockage is ongoing and we have filed a legal application. The court asked for a response from the governor’s office and they were given 15 days to respond. The time has not expired yet. This issue will be resolved eventually. What the banks are doing now is illegal and out of fear. It’s a disgrace in the history of banking,” İmamoğlu said.

“If you see a wrong procedure, you can launch an investigation into the Istanbul Mayor, but you can’t block the citizens’ donations,” he added.

According to İmamoğlu, a probe was also launched into Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş over the same reason.

“You can launch probes, but blocking money belonging to the citizens is a weak and miserable attitude. Whoever ordered this to take place is also a part of this weakness,” İmamoğlu said.

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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.
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