CHP mayors’ aid prevented unlawfully, says party leader
Mayors from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) are making history with their extensive efforts to provide assistance to the people suffering from measures imposed in the fight against the novel coronavirus, the party chair has said, vowing that their campaign will continue despite the government’s recent obstruction.
“Our mayors were prevented [from aiding] in an unlawful way. But, still, each of them made history. They have provided assistance to everybody,” CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told daily Hürriyet in an interview. “I am really satisfied by their performance. They are demonstrating an extraordinary effort.”
The CHP runs 11 of the 30 largest metropoles in the country, including the three largest provinces of Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir. CHP mayors had launched an aid campaign in their constituencies to help those who have suffered from halted economy. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government have, however, later blocked the mayoral assistance and frozen the bank accounts of the municipalities by claiming that they have no authority to receive donations.
“[Our mayors] are overcoming hurdles. They reach out to the poor, to those who are in need. They are doing their best. They are working around the clock,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. “Not only our mayors of 11 largest cities, all of our mayors are making history in terms of local governments in the COVID-19 process.”
The CHP headquarters and all the mayors are working in coordination and producing new projects to deliver the best service to the people under the leadership of Seyit Torun, deputy leader of the CHP, Kılıçdaroğlu said. “He is the one who is making this cooperation possible. We are working as one for common projects.”
Gov’t should listen to Science Board
On a question about the government’s plans to lift measures in a gradual way, Kılıçdaroğlu said his only suggestion to the government is to heed the recommendations of the Health Ministry’s Science Board. “The Science Board’s recommendations should be followed. I am not a doctor. We are facing a contagious disease. I am aware of the deep trauma caused by the outbreak, in Turkey and in the world. Only the medical doctors should speak,” he said.
Nothing is more important than human life and all the difficulties should be addressed in unity, the CHP leader said, underlining that his party is not going applaud because the government is failing to respond to the ongoing crisis. “This is disrespect to the people. There is an outbreak and people are losing their lives. The government is polarizing and dividing the nation, but we are not doing this,” Kılıçdaroğlu stated.
Recalling that he has always underlined common sense and wisdom in addressing the problem since the very first days of the pandemic, Kılıçdaroğlu said, “I urged hate and grudge have no place in governing the state. I have mentioned cooperation between central and local governments. We made these calls for our country and in the name of responsible politics.”