Municipalities run by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) will continue to distribute aid to citizens despite facing bans from the government amid the coronavirus pandemic, party spokesperson Faik Öztrak has said.
Speaking after the CHP’s Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting on April 20, Öztrak criticized the government for “putting obstacles” before the main opposition party’s municipalities’ help to citizens.
“It seems that the government’s intention is not to fight against the pandemic, but to fight against the services provided by the CHP’s municipalities,” Öztrak said.
The issue of municipalities launching donation campaigns and delivering aid to residents has been on the country’s agenda since the outbreak emerged in Turkey, with the government accusing opposition-run municipalities of conducting work separately from the government and halting all their aid operations.
The Interior Ministry has launched investigations against Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş and Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, both from the CHP, for launching donation campaigns for citizens grappling with financial difficulties.
Similarly, the CHP-run metropolitan municipality of the southern province of Mersin recently announced that its distribution of free bread has been banned.
But the Mersin Governor’s Office said the free loaves of bread can be distributed only via the “Vefa” social support groups and not by the municipality.
A makeshift hospital built by the CHP-run Adana Metropolitan Municipality, a province neighboring Mersin, has also been sealed by the provincial health directorate.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been lambasting the opposition-run municipalities, accusing the them of not working in coordination with the state.
“During the fight against the pandemic, we’ve seen that some CHP municipalities prefer to work separately rather than be a part of this coordination,” AKP deputy chair Mahir Ünal said.
Hurriyet Daily News