Workers’ Party tells top cleric to donate his cars after his call for financial support for quake victims

Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP) has called on top cleric Ali Erbaş to give up his cars for the earthquake victims after the latter’s public declaration that he was to donate a month’s salary.

Duvar English

The Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP) has called on Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) president Ali Erbaş to donate his cars after the latter’s urge to Diyanet employees to provide financial support for the earthquake victims.

On Feb. 11, Erbaş released a statement, saying: “With the call of ‘Share your salary, become closer with your brother/sister,’ I invite the whole Diyanet organization to provide support.”

Erbaş also said that he was to give his one-month salary for the quake victims.

In the face of these remarks, TİP released a statement and shared it with a photo of Erbaş on Twitter. “Your salary would not be enough. Give your cars!” TİP said, in reference to the institution’s purchase of luxury cars via the state funds while itself giving sermons of modesty.

Under the leadership of Erbaş, Diyanet has become one of the best-funded institutions in Turkey. The directorate was allocated 12.3 billion liras for 2021, 13.1 billion liras for 2022, and 35.9 billion liras for 2023, exceeding the budget of some ministries.

Turkey's southeastern region was struck by two major earthquakes on Feb. 6, one at the magnitude of 7.7 and the other 7.6. As of Feb. 13 morning, the death toll from the devastating quakes rose to 31,643, with the number of injured standing as 80,278.