CHP MPs start driving trucks from Istanbul to Ankara to raise awareness for drivers
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy leader Aykut Erdoğdu has started a journey from Istanbul to Ankara on a truck to raise awareness for the problems truck drivers have been facing.
Erdoğdu and CHP lawmaker Özkan Yalım got behind the wheel of a truck on Jan. 8.
The journey was initiated after CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu during budget talks in December had raised the problems truck drivers were experiencing, which prompted a debate between ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials and opposition groups.
Kılıçdaroğlu had said truck drivers were facing high costs, as diesel fuel prices and toll fees were very high, which have been straining their budgets.
In December, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said the figures Kılıçdaroğlu shared did not reflect the truth. But the CHP reiterated the problems on Jan. 6 at a CHP congress in Ankara.
“[Drivers] buy the most expensive oil in the world and face the harshest penalties. They look after families, but nobody cares about their problems,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“The penalty of not paying the toll road fee is 50,000 Turkish Liras. This is the harshest penalty in the world,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
In 2016, truck drivers staged a protest at the toll booths on the Istanbul-Ankara highway, demanding lower fares, with one saying that he had to pay 138 liras to use the road.
The CHP lawmakers aim to raise awareness of the issue, demonstrating the cost of driving a truck from Istanbul to Ankara.