CHP Istanbul candidate Sarıgül replies to TMSF: ‘You cannot scare me’
ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
CİHAN PhotoMustafa Sarıgül, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul mayoral candidate, has said Turkey’s state fund “cannot scare him,” following a decision to seize his assets.
The Savings Deposit Insurance Fund of Turkey (TMSF) seized Sarıgül's assets on Jan. 17, less than three months ahead of the local elections. Sarıgül was speaking at an event titled the “Istanbul Meeting on the Road to Government,” held at the Ataköy Sinan Erdem Sports Hall.
“This TMSF is very close to our municipal building. People from TMSF always visit us. We have constant contact. I have been the Şişli mayor for 15 years. This incident [the seizure] happened 16 years ago … A state agency has started acting like a political party’s district head. They are sending a notice 73 days prior to elections and on a Friday, at 4:10 p.m., telling me they have frozen my assets. We are located right across from the TMSF, but Ankara has become involved,” he said.
In the same speech, Sarıgül promised "freedom and peace" for Istanbul. “On the evening of March 30, we will all together start serving this paradise, Istanbul. It will be democracy, peace and freedom that will win,” he said.
“It is now time to change. It is time for the current government to leave Istanbul. But, be careful; they will not go. They may send the police to your homes or offices after 2 a.m. at night, or prosecutors may visit you. Be calm. They are the setting sun. You are the rising sun,” the CHP candidate said.
“They think they will scare Sarıgül. They assume they will stop Sarıgül, turn back Sarıgül. You cannot stop me; you cannot scare me,” he added.
Sarıgül claimed he had been working "day and night for 15 years" and had "nothing to hide."
“What does everybody strive for? For the happiness of their children, the sake of their street, neighborhood, city and country. You know everything about me, dear friends, everything,” he said.
Sarıgül then called his son, Ömer Sarıgül, out from among the audience and hugged him, almost in tears, saying there was "not one penny" that he could not account for and that he would always face his son with pride.