The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has announced that, while under the leadership of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality purchased a number of fire trucks which had been converted from missile launcher vehicles.
CHP's deputy chair of the city council, Doğan Subaşı, said on Dec. 2 that the municipality had to allocate a substantial amount of money to buy new fire trucks as the old ones were so “large and nonfunctional” that they could not even easily travel through the city.
Subaşı said that the currently used fire trucks had been purchased from a foreign company which had initially designed them as missile launcher vehicles.
“We found out that a foreign company had initially planned to sell these vehicles as missile launchers to an Arab country, but when this country did not like them, these vehicles had been converted to fire trucks and sold to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality,” said Subaşı.
Subaşı said that not only do these vehicles have high fuel consumption, but also their maintenance cost is quite high since they are produced by only one single company. “They are not used in any country [other than in Turkey]. This really boggles the mind,” he said.
Subaşı also said that the former Istanbul municipality had purchased each of these vehicles for 1.5 million euros.
The CHP ousted the ruling AKP from the Istanbul municipality following the 2019 local elections. For 25 years, the AKP-led municipality maintained a patronage system in Turkey's largest city, outsourcing public works projects to private companies and exempting them from certain regulations in return for support.