Turkish court halts Bolu Municipality's anti-refugee regulations

A Turkish court has blocked the Bolu Municipality's discriminatory regulations targeting the refugee population. In November, the Bolu Municipality Council had approved Mayor Tanju Özcan's proposals to charge foreigners 2.5 dollars per cubic meter of water and 100,000 liras to marry.

Bolu Mayor Tanju Özcan is seen in this file photo.

Duvar English

A court in the northwestern province of Bolu has granted a motion for a stay of execution of the discriminatory policies adopted by Mayor Tanju Özcan and the municipality council against foreigners, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Jan. 1.

Özcan, from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), has been stirring controversy with the measures he has been introducing to keep foreigners out of Bolu. Earlier this year, he proposed that foreigners have to pay 100,000 Turkish liras if they want to get married in the city and that they are charged 2.5 dollars per cubic meter of water (10 times higher than average water fees).

Both of his proposals were adopted by the Bolu Municipality Council in November.

The issue was later taken to the Bolu Administrative Court, with Özcan facing an investigation on charges of “inciting hatred and discrimination.”

The CHP previously said that Özcan's views concern himself and not the party.

After facing backlash over his racist measures, Özcan last week filed criminal complaints against 2,000 social media users, accusing them of “insulting his dignity.”