Turkey's top religious body used the Friday sermon of Oct. 16 to encourage donations despite having one of the largest budgets in Ankara. The Diyanet's annual budget for 2021 is at 12.9 billion liras, daily BirGün reported on Oct. 19.
A district governor's office in Ankara ordered the municipality to transfer any donations they collected for COVID-19 relief to the central government for public use. The donation campaign by the main opposition municipality had been suspended on March 31 on the grounds that any aid would be carried out by the central government.
Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş from the main opposition CHP is more successful in managing the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis than President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, according to a poll carried out by Metropoll which aimed to reveal people's perceptions on governance during the pandemic. Yavaş ranked third in the list, surpassing Erdoğan, who came in fourth.
A recent poll revealed that Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are no longer able to rally up enough votes to form a government. While the AKP received 35.8 percent of votes, the MHP was revealed to have 12.2 percent backing. Individually, the AKP has lost 7 percent of its votes since June 2019.
The AKP has become increasingly anxious about losing the symbiotic relationship with its voters it has built and nurtured over the years. Losing this would directly undermine the very foundation of the AKP’s political discourse which claims that the AKP is the sole political party to successfully govern and serve in Turkey.
Taner Akçam writes: President Erdoğan defined those who were against the donation campaign launched for coronavirus crisis as “those who do not know of their own history.” He likened his campaign to to the National Tax of 1921. In fact, it is the President himself who fell into the category of “the person who does not know of his own history.” I also have to add the main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to this category.
The nationwide coronavirus donation campaign launched by President Tayyip Erdoğan and the block placed by the Ministry of Interior over municipalities of Istanbul and Ankara in order to prevent them from holding separate donation campaigns are among salient items of this week's episode. Duvar English's editor-in-chief Cansu Çamlıbel and pollster Can Selçuki look for answers to why the Turkish government still persists in not calling a total lockdown in major cities, especially in Istanbul.
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has called on the state-owned Vakıfbank to send the money raised as part of a coronavirus aid campaign back to the municipality. Following the government's move banning municipalities from raising funds for low-income families, Vakıfbank had blocked the Istanbul municipality's donation account in which 900,000 Turkish Liras [approximately $136,000] were deposited.
Turkish teachers blacklisted for not contributing to Erdoğan’s donation campaign, independent union claims
Teachers across Turkey are pressured to participate in the donation campaign launched by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to offer financial help to those hit by the coronavirus outbreak, country's independent education union Eğitim-Sen claimed. According to a report in daily Sözcü, the director of education in the province of Adıyaman, sent a message that reached all the schools requesting teachers to donate to the campaign and then send a receipt proving they had done so.
Government’s donation request letter sent to minority foundations ‘means of oppression,’ HDP MP says
HDP MP Garo Paylan asked in parliamentary question why the government sent a letter to the country's minority foundations seeking donations from them within the context of a recently launched campaign amid coronavirus outbreak. "The relevant donation campaign, which has been launched under the name of 'solidarity,' has turned into a tool of oppression,” Paylan said.
Turkish President Erdoğan has launched a national donation campaign to offer financial help to those hit by the coronavirus outbreak. “Within the context of 'We are enough for each other, Turkey' campaign, a bank account has been opened by the Family, Labor and Social Services ministry. I initiate the campaign by donating my seven months of salary," Erdoğan said on March 30.