Pro-government figures have started to target singer Haluk Levent's social assistance organization AHBAP working in the quake-stricken provinces following the huge amount of donations made to the charity instead of the state-run Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).
They have also targeted famous YouTuber Oğuzhan Uğur who has been similarly helping with collecting donations through his YouTube channel Babala TV.
Since the beginning of this week, both Haluk Levent and Oğuzhan Uğur have given huge efforts in facilitating coordination between rescue teams, citizens stuck under the rubble and their beloved ones in the quake-stricken provinces.
Birol Gür, who resigned from the far-right National Movement Party (MHP) Istanbul Provincial Chair last year, mentioned both Ahbap and Oğuzhan Uğur's name in a tweet, urging citizens to instead make their donations to the state-run Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).
Lütfen yardımlarınızı AFAD üzerinden yapınız.AHBAP çavuş ilişkileriyle UĞUR’suz ellere yapılan yardımların ne kadarı depremzedelere ulaşıyor endişelerimiz var. @AFADBaskanlik— Birol Gür (@birolgurmhp) February 8, 2023
Similarly, pro-government columnist Turgay Güler said on Ülke TV that "You cannot deliver 1 billion liras to Haluk Levent, he cannot manage it."
Member of the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) board of directors Berk Can Doğan said "The labor and sweat of tens of thousands of volunteers should not be credited to these two (Levent and Uğur)."
On binlerce gönüllünün emeğini, alın terini bu ikisine yedirmemek lazım. pic.twitter.com/QQ6kRKJN7E— Berk Can Doğan (@berkcandogan) February 9, 2023
"If the detailed information of the amount of money collected and the bill of the expenses are published tomorrow morning, it will be seen what has been done so far. If the donation (made for AHBAP) is just waiting, all of it can be transferred to AFAD," another pro-government columnist Hacı Yakışıklı tweeted.
Yarın sabah toplanan para miktarının detaylı bilgisi ve harcamaların faturası yayınlanırsa şu ana dek neler yapıldığı görülmüş olur.— hacı yakışıklı (@haciykk) February 9, 2023
Ben de bizzat yayınlarım.
Eğer bu güne dek yardımlar öylece bekliyorsa tamamı AFAD'a devredilebilir.
After targets, Haluk Levent said: "Despite those who want to interrupt our work! Both AFAD and AHBAP is ours!"
Koordinasyonunun başındayım ve sosyal medyaya bakamıyorum bile.— Haluk Levent (@haluklevent) February 10, 2023
Aranızda beni seven varsa gerçekten varsa bir twit istiyorum.
Çalışmalarımıza sekte vurmak isteyenlere inat!
Afad da bizim Ahbap da!
Tek cümle istiyorum!
Afad da bizim Ahbap da!
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also reacted against the attacks towards the AHBAP on Twitter.
He said that those attempting to slander AHBAP should instead ensure that aid distribution coordination runs smoothly. “Don't even think about hijacking the institutions that the people built themselves,” Kılıçdaroğlu tweeted.
AHBAP'a iftira atacağınıza yardım dağıtım koordinasyonunu sağlayın. Başlattığınız karalama kampanyası en çok depremzedelere zarar veriyor. Bu hayasızlığa son verin. Halkın kendi inşa ettiği kurumlara çökmeyi aklınıza bile getirmeyin. Millete koşana çelme takmayın!— Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) February 10, 2023
From the first day onwards, various civil organizations have been trying to help earthquake victims by collecting donations using social media.
Millions of liras have been donated to AHBAP instead of the state-run AFAD amid corruption concerns, with people saying that they do not know how their money will be spent in the latter.
On the other hand, the ruling AKP-MHP coalition has been trying to monopolize aid distribution in the hands of AFAD.
The AHBAP Association is known for its regular aid activities and made the headlines with its help to the earthquake victims. Nonetheless, hackers attacked the association’s website for hours on Feb. 9, ANKA news agency reported.
Some 18,342 people have yet lost their lives, and 74,242 others have been injured in two major earthquakes that struck southeastern Turkey early on Feb. 6. The number of demolished buildings has been yet recorded as 6,444.
Some 13.5 million people have been affected in 10 provinces, in an area spanning 1,000 square kilometers in the two major earthquakes.