Turkish Court of Accounts bars İzmir Municipality from purchasing goods from cooperatives

The Turkish Court of Accounts has issued a decision to prevent İzmir Municipality from purchasing goods from local producers' cooperatives. Main opposition CHP’s mayor Tunç Soyer stated that this decision will detrimentally affect their projects of agricultural development.

İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer

Duvar English

The Court of Accounts has barred İzmir Metropolitan Municipality led by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) from directly purchasing products from local producer co-operatives.

Mayor Tunç Soyer announced that the Court of Accounts' report on the municipality's expenditures for 2022 declared the direct purchases made from cooperatives as unlawful and requested that the purchases be made through a tender procedure.

Soyer on Nov. 30 made a statement at a meeting with cooperatives and said, "They are forcing our farmers to enter tenders with big companies. Just as they banned local seeds before, just as they removed (the status of) 16,000 villages to weaken them against big cooperations.”

Soyer added that the government wanted the production to be dominated by the big capital and villagers to be the cheap labor force in the urban areas. 

Soyer said that if the municipality acted as requested by the Court of Accounts, the purchase of goods would be carried out through open tenders. Nonetheless, he underscored that the municipality had already purchased 438 million Turkish liras from 15 cooperatives between 2015-2018 and that there were no problems.

The municipality distributes milk to children with purchases from local cooperatives and purchases agricultural products from local producers as part of its projects regarding local development.

Interior Ministry on Nov. 16 opened an investigation on Soyer for “insulting the Ottoman Empire and the last sultan Vahideddin, Mehmet VI,” during his speech on Sept. 9 for the 100th anniversary celebrations of İzmir’s liberation from occupation forces.

The ministry later launched another investigation against İzmir Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer for allegedly giving the bell of a Greek church in front of the old municipality building to the Greek Consulate 14 years ago when he was the mayor of Seferihisar, a district in Aegean İzmir province.

Soyer was elected as the mayor of the country’s third-biggest city and CHP’s stronghold in 2019. He has previously mentioned his desire to run again but, there has not been an official announcement from the CHP leadership about a candidate for İzmir yet.

Turkey will hold local elections on March 31, 2024.