Turkish police fined businesses and individuals a total of 20,830,376 Turkish Liras for breaches of COVID-19 precautions as well as fines on unpaid debts, the daily BirGün reported on June 22.
Small business owners suffered from a lack of state aid during the COVID-19 pandemic and were further burdened by fines that were written off for mass enterprises.
The managing company of the new Istanbul Airport, IGA company's fines for COVID-19 breaches were dropped as well as a 1.45 billion Euro debt in overdue rent, surpassing the amount collected from civilians in fines.
The state issued 1.2 billion liras in fines in March 2020, 663 million liras in April 2020, 752 million liras in May 2020, 1.2 billion liras in June 2020, 1.4 billion liras in July 2020, another 1.4 billion liras in August 2020, 1.3 billion liras in September 2020, 1.9 billion liras in October 2020, 1.3 billion liras in November 2020, and another 1.4 billion liras in December 2020.
The year 2021 saw a significant spike in fines with over a billion liras issued in fines each month: 1.2 billion liras were issued in fines in January, 1.8 billion liras in February, a whopping 2.5 billion liras in March, 1.1 billion liras in April, and 1.2 billion liras in May.
A report by Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy head Ali Öztunç revealed that a tax hike implemented by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), in addition to the fines, would constitute a 153.5 billion lira increase in the government's income in 2021.
"They're going to get back 15 times the aid they gave out with taxes and fines," Öztunç said of the government. "This is AKP-style aid."