Turkish municipality cancels energy agreement with Israeli company amid backlash
The Ordu Metropolitan Municipality in Turkey has decided to cancel its energy agreement with an Israeli company, following mounting backlash and concerns over transparency and potential political implications. This decision comes in the wake of ongoing debates surrounding a separate project involving the same firm.
In response to the recent attacks by Israel on Palestine, the ruling AKP-led Ordu Municipality decided on November 3 to stop selling Israeli products in its social markets and cafes. However, this decision sparked controversy as the Ordu Environment, Energy, Industry, and Trade Corporation (OREN), a subsidiary of the municipality, had not canceled its $150 million project to generate electricity from ocean waves in collaboration with Israeli ECO Wave Power company, signed on June 3, 2022.
Following the controversy, CHP (Republican People's Party) Member of Parliament Mustafa Adıgüzel raised the issue in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) on Wednesday. Speaking during the General Assembly, Adıgüzel questioned why the agreement was not terminated. He also submitted a parliamentary question to Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya, requesting clarification.
After these developments, the Ordu Metropolitan Municipality announced the cancellation of the energy agreement with the Israeli company through its social media accounts last night. However, it raised eyebrows when it was revealed that the agreement had been canceled on October 17, 23 days ago. The failure to announce the cancellation for days despite the reactions and media reports sparked debates. The municipality has been avoiding answering questions from council members and journalists regarding the agreement.
Speaking to Artı Gerçek, CHP Member of Parliament Mustafa Adıgüzel stated that the agreement was canceled due to the backlash, but the date was backdated. Adıgüzel questioned why the municipality did not disclose such an important decision to the public if it was made on October 17, 2023. He said, "If you made this decision on October 17, why didn't you announce such an important and politically significant issue to the public? Why did you wait?"