CHP mayors will continue aid campaigns despite donation ban: Main opposition leader
Municipalities being run by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) will continue to deliver aid to families in need due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak despite the blocks imposed by the government, the head of the party said, calling on the government to coordinate efforts for the sake of society during these difficult days.
“This time is not good for heroism. Let’s compete in lending aid to the people, as our religion tells us,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told the private broadcaster Fox TV in an interview on April 3. “Cooperation must be ensured between central and local governments in aiding the people.”
Kılıçdaroğlu’s comments follow the Interior Ministry’s move to ban aid campaigns launched by Istanbul and Ankara municipalities on the grounds that no permission was sought from the governors of these two cities. The bank accounts announced for the aid campaigns of these two municipalities were frozen after the ministry’s intervention.
The government slammed the main opposition mayors, Ekrem İmamoğlu of Istanbul and Mansur Yavaş of Ankara, for “acting like a state within a state” and urged them to support the National Solidarity Campaign launched by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on March 30.
The CHP leader criticized the government for preventing the municipalities’ efforts to help the people in need, stressing that the aid campaigns by Istanbul and Ankara municipalities were launched much before the government’s move.
“Despite restrictions, our municipalities will continue to provide assistance to those who are in need. It is our responsibility to ensure that no child in this country will go to bed starving,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
The government had to launch this campaign due to the lack of resources in the fight against the coronavirus, he maintained, “They have completely emptied the coffers. No resources left for a struggle against the pandemic. In normal countries, it’s the state that helps the citizens.”
Gov’t should listen to Science Board
The CHP leader has also urged the government to follow the recommendations of the Science Board in a bid to efficiently stem the spread of the virus.
“The government had to obey whatever the Science Board recommended. But it did not. The government has preferred to follow Erdoğan’s instructions,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, repeating the need for a complete lockdown for preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
“The government imposed a curfew for those over 65. That was wrong. The elderly people cannot go out but their children or relatives who continue their normal lives would infect them when they return home. It’s impossible to understand these illogical decisions,” he said.
“Instead, he should impose everybody to stay home and pledge them all the necessary assistance during the stay-home period.”