AKP municipality covers pro-Erdoğan foundation's rent costs

The AKP-run Denizli Municipality has been paying thousands of liras in rent a month for a building used by TÜGVA, an Islamist foundation with close ties to President Erdoğan. A report by the Court of Accounts registered the transaction as a protocol signed with the “T foundation.” Documents leaked to the press later revealed this “T foundation” to be TÜGVA.

This file photo shows the TÜGVA Denizli office and Bilal Erdoğan.

Duvar English

It is widely known that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been providing generous financial support to Turkey Youth Foundation (TÜGVA), an Islamist foundation which has President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's son Bilal Erdoğan on its advisory board.

The money has been pouring into the foundation from state institutions, including AKP-run municipalities. A recent audit by the Court of Accounts (TCA) has shown that the AKP-run municipality of the western province of Denizli has allocated the use of a building to the Islamist foundation.

In 2016, the Denizli Municipality handed over the use of the relevant building to the foundation for free, despite itself renting it for 21,250 Turkish Liras a month, online news portal T24 reported on Oct. 15. The agreement with the TÜGVA appeared on the TCA records as “protocol with T foundation.” Documents leaked to the press later revealed this “T foundation” to be TÜGVA.

The agreement was extended in 2018. After renting the building in 2018 for 32,550 liras a month, the Denizli Municipality allowed TÜGVA to use it, as part of a protocol signed under the name of “Procurement of Services with regards to Student Housing and Accommodation and Student Dormitories.”

The protocol mandated the municipality to determine which buildings would be suitable to serve as a dormitory for students and then “pay the buildings' rents and relevant taxes.” The protocol further said that the municipality was later required to “hand over” the relevant building for TÜGVA's use.