Erdoğan gets highest amount of donations among candidates

Erdoğan gets highest amount of donations among candidates

Erdoğan gets highest amount of donations among candidates

Workers at the Nakka Architecture Firm show the receipts of the donations made in their name. DHA Photo

With just hours remaining until the first round of the presidential election on Aug. 10, all three candidates have announced the amount of donations they have so far received.

Not surprisingly, the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) candidate, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has received the highest amount of donations with 55,260,778 Turkish Liras.

The major opposition parties’ joint presidential candidate, Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, received 8.5 million liras, while Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş received only 1,213,000 liras.

Speaking late Aug. 9 in Konya, Erdoğan announced that he had received 57 million liras.
Meanwhile, the expenditures made for Demirtaş’s campaign is slightly lower than the donations he received. Demirtaş spent 1,095,000 liras on advertising, transportation and rally logistics during his campaign.

The highest amount of donations that an individual can make for each round of the two-round presidential election is set at 9,082 liras and 51 kuruş.

Citizens will be able to make donations for the first round until Aug. 15. If a second round is required according to results of the first round, then people will be able to make donations until Aug. 28.

A rare pleasant moment

The presidential campaign dominated by Erdoğan’s aggressive style of campaigning witnessed a gesture rarely seen in Turkish politics, when İhsanoğlu donated a symbolic amount of money to the campaign bank accounts of his two rivals in mid-July.

Erdoğan and Demirtaş responded to the gesture differently, with the former returning the donation and the latter demanding the full amount.

By putting 1,000 liras in the bank accounts of both Erdoğan and Demirtaş, İhsanoğlu apparently wanted to display his will for a “gentlemanly campaign” in the run up to the elections, sources said at the time.

Demirtaş, was quick to give a witty response to the donation gesture, through a message sent via his Twitter account on July 14.

“Hocam [My teacher], you troubled yourself. Thank you. However, the other one [Erdoğan] has a lot of that [money]. You could have donated it all to me, relax,” Demirtaş wrote.

Later on July 14, Erdoğan’s lawyer Ali Özkaya told Anadolu Agency that his client had returned the donation.

“Upon an order by our prime minister, this donation – which wasn’t included in the campaign bank account – has been returned to Mr. İhsanoğlu with thanks,” Özkaya said.

A not-so-pleasant moment

Only days before the first round, some 20 workers at the Nakka Architecture Firm said their boss donated small amounts of money to Erdoğan’s presidential election campaign in their name, but without their knowledge.

The workers work for the new customs office on the Aegean island of Bozcaada. Their boss donated 10 liras for each worker after collecting their identity cards, telling them it was required for the insurance paperwork.

A representative from the firm, Bülent Sancak, said the donation was made with the firm’s own budget and the workers were distorting what happened. He also said he usually made donations for TEMA and animals and did not understand why the workers were upset.