Duvar English

A foundation close to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will reportedly be closing down 25 of its dormitories due to financial struggles.

The Service for Youth and Education Foundation of Turkey (TÜRGEV) has been struggling financially since the local elections of March 31, 2019 that saw main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) gaining a decisive victory in the country’s major cities, daily Birgün reported.

The municipalities run by the CHP then restructured budgets.

TÜRGEV, which has President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son Bilal Erdoğan among members of its general board, said in an official statement that dormitories funded by the state’s Higher Education Loans and Dormitories Institution (KYK) “did not require support.”

“We will use our resources to the 21 dormitories we will maintain and to our education services that will continue to diversify and expand,” TÜRGEV said.

A TÜRGEV dormitory for girls in Istanbul’s Başakşehir is pictured in this file photo.

Following the local elections of 2019, it was revealed that AKP municipalities used some 171 billion Turkish Liras to build five dormitories through TÜRGEV, in addition to countless tax exemptions that the foundation enjoyed.

TÜRGEV was founded by President Erdoğan when he was Istanbul mayor in 1996, and expanded operations after 2012, reaching some 60 dormitories in 32 provinces.