Governor’s office of quake-hit Malatya demands removal of opposition soup kitchen

The governor’s office of the quake-hit Malatya province has ruled for the removal of a soup kitchen tent run by the opposition Felicity Party. The party leader Temel Karamollaoğlu, opposition bloc’s presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, and Future Party leader Ahmet Davutoğlu slammed the government over the move.

Duvar English

The eastern Malatya Govenor’s Office has demanded that a soup kitchen set up by the Islamist opposition Felicity Party be removed. The demand came after opposition Nation Alliance presidential candidate and main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş visited the soup kitchen tent.

This photo shows Kılıçdaroğlu and Ankara Mayor Yavaş visiting the soup kitchen tent.

The Felicity Party slammed the decision saying the kitchen soup in question provides food for 10,000 people a day. “We condemn the decision to close our soup kitchen which has been serving quake-hit victims with great sacrifice and effort since the first day of the quake,” the party said in a written statement.

Felicity Party leader Temel Karamollaoğlu also reacted against the decision on social media, warning the government to “immediately withdraw this wrong decision as well as this bigotry and carelessness that you have presented throughout the (quake-post) process.”

Kılıçdaroğlu similarly called on the government “not to do this malignancy to our nation,” saying the soup kitchen has nothing with politics.

Future Party leader Ahmet Davutoğlu tweeted: “What is your problem? All you know is banning and preventing. In these difficult days, when the local community is in need of every kind of support, there would be no explanation for closing a soup kitchen.”

The Malatya Governor’s Office argued that “temporary workplaces” would be built on the land on which the kitchen soup sits which is why it made such a demand.

“Allegations on some social media accounts saying that the soup kitchen will be closed are completely baseless. The soup kitchen tent will be moved to another location since temporary workplaces will be built on the land in question. It (kitchen soup) will continue its operations at its new place,” the governor’s office said.

Meanwhile, there are reports that container homes next to the soup kitchen tent will be also removed from the area. These reports have led to the reaction of quake-hit citizens and prompted CHP Malatya Provincial Head Barış Yıldız to come to the area and show his support for the victims. However, here, Yıldız was verbally and physically attacked by two people. Afterwards, he filed a criminal complaint, leading to the detention of Hüseyin Kalan and another person alleged to be his employee.