Müzeyyen Yüce / DUVAR

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has been seeking answers from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on where the donations collected as part of a coronavirus (COVID-19) campaign were spent.

CHP Group Deputy Chair Özgür Özel submitted two written parliamentary questions to Vice President Fuat Oktay on the issue, asking the total amount and where they were spent.

After Turkey reported its first coronavirus case on March 11, President Erdoğan launched a nationwide donation campaign to help those in need during the pandemic.

According to the presidential website, over 2.1 billion Turkish Liras were collected as part of the campaign, with some 66.1 million of it made through SMS.

Since the start of the campaign, a debate on transparency has been ongoing in the country.

Özel pointed to the fact that survivors of the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt haven’t received money collected for them.

Surprisingly, Oktay referred the question to the Family and Social Policies Ministry, even though the whole campaign was carried out by Erdoğan himself.

“Either no responses or superficial ones are given to written parliamentary questions, which are among the most effective supervision mechanisms. Fuat Oktay is the leader of this practice,” Özel said, adding that the right to submit the said questions was de-facto removed when the country switched to a presidential system in 2018.

“Oktay doesn’t hesitate to refer the questions that he needs to answer to other ministries,” Özel added.

Saying that Family and Social Policies Minister Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk keeps referring to Erdoğan when talking about the donation campaign, Özel noted that the CHP will continue to ask the same question since the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is “known with its poor skills” when holding donation campaigns.