In recent weeks, it has been revealed that when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was running the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB), the AKP-linked foundations received private property, funding, and, later, prime government appointments.
Now, reporting by Halk TV journalist İsmail Saymaz has revealed that the executives of one of these foundations - the Turkey Youth Foundation (TÜGVA) - received tens of thousands of liras in monthly salary from the İBB.
TÜGVA is a conservative youth organization managed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son, Bilal Erdoğan, linked closely with both the AKP and the Erdoğan family. When the Istanbul Municipality was under the control of the AKP, the foundation received numerous handouts from the city, including property to be used as dorms and offices, as well as sky-high salaries in various different branches of government.
President of the organization, Enes Eminoğlu, for example, received a 12,060 liras monthly salary plus a 6,000 liras executive bonus. He also received over 18,000 liras in executive compensation quarterly. He was hired in November 2015, officially, as part of the general projects staff of the Zoning Directorate.
It is worth noting that as of June 2015, the minimum wage in Turkey was 1,273 liras. The lira was also in 2015, on average, 2.73 to the dollar.
Faruk Duruş, the education coordinator and member of the board of trustees of TÜGVA was hired by the municipality in September 2011 as an expert at the city’s natural gas authority (İGDAŞ). He received a monthly salary of 10,680 liras and a quarterly bonus totaling the same amount.
TÜGVA’s Secondary, High School, and University coordinators were all also employed by the Istanbul Municipality. Each received salaries near 10,000 liras per month.
Nearly all of the TÜGVA staff employed by the municipality left in 2019, when the municipality was won by the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).
Former directors of TÜGVA and of TÜGVA headquarters received especially generous salaries within the former municipality. The former president of the organization and current member of the board of trustees, İsmail Emanet, was hired as a management consultant at İGDAŞ in 2014. He received a monthly salary of 10,000 liras and a manager’s compensation of 1,500 liras. He received an additional 1,500 liras in manager’s compensation each quarter, plus an additional 10,000 liras bonus.
Like Emanet, former TÜGVA Dormitories Manager Muhammed Ubeydullah Hocagil received a sky-high salary from the municipality when he was hired in 2015. His average monthly income was 20,367 liras, comprised of a 10,500 liras base salary plus several monthly and quarterly allowances and bonuses.
Former TÜGVA Headquarters director Salih Çil received the highest salary uncovered by journalist Saymaz's reporting. He was hired on July 11, 2011, with a base salary of 14,450 liras. He also received monthly bonuses and allowances totaling over 18,000 liras, as well as a quarterly 14,450 liras executive bonus. His average monthly salary was 34,080 liras, and his private insurance and phone were covered by the municipality.