Public prosecutor bans opposition fliers for mentioning ‘one man rule’

A public prosecutor in the Turkish province of Zonguldak has banned the distribution of fliers prepared by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) that showcased the increase in utility bills from 2014 to 2021 because they included the phrase “One Man Inc. Electricity Bill,” the ANKA news agency reported.

Police officers prevented members of the CHP from handing the fliers out on Gazipaşa Street of the Black Sea city of Zonguldak and questioned local party officials. The police asked them who published the fliers and why.

Speaking about the incident CHP Deputy Chairman Ahmet Akın said the public prosecutor’s office banned the distribution of the fliers for using the phrase “one man.” “They are trying to prevent our campaign from telling people about the price increase in electricity and natural gas bills,” he added.

Akın also mentioned police raids this week on local branches of the CHP to take down banners questioning $128 billion in forex reserves that was sold from the Turkish Central Bank’s (TCMB) reserves in 2019-2020.

“When we asked ‘Where’s $128 billion?’ they got disturbed,” Akın said. “Instead of accounting for the money, the government tries to stop our campaigns. … We will continue to fight against all forms of obstruction.”

The CHP launched a campaign to raise public awareness about the sale of the forex reserves, asking “Where’s the $128 billion?” Municipalities run by the CHP have erected billboards, while party branches, in line with the campaign, hung banners repeating the same question.

Although President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his monetary policymakers are trying to downplay the issue, the public, experts and the opposition have been demanding to know where the $128 billion has gone.

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