Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has called on the government to give a detailed account of the $30 billion officially spent on Syrians sheltering in Turkey so far, suggesting that this amount may be incorrect as it contradicts figures previously voiced by senior officials.
“An official from the government stated on Feb. 11, 2017 that they have spent $10 billion on Syrians so far. In another statement on June 23, 2017 in Şanlıurfa, the same official said they had spent $30 billion. We have no information about how this $30 billion was spent,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in his weekly address to the CHP parliamentary group on Nov. 14.
Turkey hosts more than three million Syrians who fled violence since the civil war broke out in 2011. Around 300,000 of them are currently in camps.
“No one knows how this money has been spent. Neither [President] Recep Tayyip Erdoğan nor [Prime Minister] Binali Yıldırım knows … $30 billion amounts to 90 billion Turkish liras. Where did all this money go?” said the CHP leader.
He called on the government to give a detailed account of how this money has been spent, saying this is a duty it “owes to the people.”
Kılıçdaroğlu also argued that there are currently two “parallel governments” in Turkey, one of which is being “illegitimately run by President Erdoğan” and the other which is the “constitutional government” under Prime Minister Yıldırım.
“The two are working together but sometimes they are in conflict, even though they don’t make it public. For example, there are discretionary funds that are allotted to and used by both the [presidential] palace and the Yıldırım government. How can these two governments use different discretionary funds in the interests of Turkey without knowing each other’s objectives?” he said.
“We know how much they spend but we don’t how anything about how they use this money,” he added.
The reality of having two “parallel governments” creates a chronic “governance problem” in Turkey, the CHP leader said, adding that decisions on many key issues on education and foreign policy are made by the presidential government while the Yıldırım government is forced to announce tax hikes and other unpopular economic decisions.