Duvar English

A cyber attack targeting Istanbul Municipality’s aid campaign website has disrupted its efforts, with the municipality spokesperson saying that they had to close the website to access from abroad.

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu on May 4 launched an aid campaign through a website that allows people to pay for the bills of those in need.

“We had to close access to our website because of an attack last night,” spokesperson Murat Ongun said in a tweet on May 7.

According to Ongun, a total of 41,883 bills were paid, amounting to 5,027,092 Turkish Liras.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused thousands of people to suffer from unemployment and a lack of income. The campaign was praised for helping the disadvantaged pay their bills.

This is not the first aid campaign of the Istanbul Municipality, which is run by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). However, previous aid attempts were blocked by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which banned opposition municipalities from launching donation campaigns.