Demirtas: Funds placed in Erdogan's hands without a control mechanism
Imprisoned Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas said the televised fundraising for earthquake relief on Wednesday was a "scam" as it "placed funds in Turkish president's hands without a control mechanism."
He said Thursday on Twitter:
"Last night a fundraising campaign has been carried out in a joint broadcast by several TV channels. The contributions by media professionals in the broadcast and the contributions of those who provided funds out of their own pockets are very precious. That aside, the 'aid' show last night was a total scam. It was a grand perception management."
He continued to explain why:
"The public budget that the people had contributed to through their hard labor was already in Erdogan's hands thanks to the one man regime. Last night, a remarkable amount of public funds have also been entrusted, as aid funds, to Erdogan. This is exactly what happened."
"Erdogan himself decided how much of people's money held by [public] institutions like the Central Bank, Ziraat Bank, Vakifbank and Halkbank would be entrusted to him without any control mechanism. What was left to do for the chief executives and bureaucrats of public institutions was only to connect to the broadcast by phone to announce the amount."
"One should ask why the officials waited for the deaths of tens of thousands of people and the devastation of ten cities while the public institutions already had the funds under Erdogan's control; funds that could have been used for earthquake precautions. Why didn't you use it to enforce the buildings in the earthquake zone?"
Noting that the donor institutions also enjoyed tax reductions while the people's money was "transferred from one pocket to another," Demirtas said:
"Last night the loser in the alleged aid show has once again been the people (...) Five billion dollars that had at least been under some control before has now been transferred into an aid account and turned into some sort of discretionary fund. Who is to know, let alone inspect, if he [Erdogan] was even to use that money for his party in the election campaign?"