Municipality accused of favoritism in Ensar rental

Municipality accused of favoritism in Ensar rental

BURSA – Doğan News Agency
Municipality accused of favoritism in Ensar rental

DHA photo

The Osmangazi district municipality in Turkey’s northwestern province of Bursa has allegedly rented a 1500-square-meter, newly-renovated historical building to the Ensar Foundation, which recently hit headlines after reports surfaced that a teacher had sexually assaulted eight male students in one of its rented apartments, for an amount much lower than the building’s market value.

The district municipality launched efforts to renovate a historic silo in central Bursa and re-open the building as “Abdal Culture Center” – envisioned as a venue for art galleries, workshops, exhibitions and conferences, according to its official website.

The 1500 square-meter building, however, was later rented to the controversial Ensar Foundation in February for only 625 Turkish Liras (equivalent to some $221) following a tender that was only joined by the Bursa branches of the Society for the Propagation of Science (İlim Yayma Cemiyeti) and Ensar.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) Osmangazi district head İsmet Karaca held a press conference on April 20 and announced their decision to start legal proceedings for the issuance of a stay order and the cancellation of the council decision. 

Karaca slammed the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Osmangazi mayor Mustafa Dündar for renting the building for a price that is considerably below its market value to Ensar, just days after the foundation was involved in a child sexual abuse case in the central Anatolian Karaman province. 

“Signing this [rental] document on March 8, just days after the arrest of the child abuser who caused public indignation across the country, is official proof of their recklessness,” Karaca told reporters amid a crowd of some 50 CHP supporters. 

Meanwhile, the head of Ensar’s Bursa branch, Ahmet Oruçoğlu, declined to comment on the CHP’s accusations, arguing that a political party is not the counterpart of a foundation.