Billionaire philanthropist George Soros’s Open Society Foundation on Monday announced that it would end its operation in Turkey following accusations made by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan against Soros and his activities.
In a speech last week Erdoğan accused Soros of assigning people to divide nations.
The foundation said on Monday that it had been the target of “baseless claims” in the Turkish media, which made it impossible for it to continue its work.
The Open Society Foundation is being investigated by the Interior Ministry, which seeks to display a connection between the foundation and the anti-government protests at Gezi Park in 2013.
On Nov. 16, one of its founders in Turkey, Hakan Altınay, was among 13 people detained by police. They were accused of supporting jailed activist businessman Osman Kavala, who is also accused of financing the Gezi protests.
Erdoğan linked the arrests to Soros. “The person [Kavala] who financed the terrorists during the Gezi incidents is already in prison,” he told a meeting of local administrators.
“And who is behind him? The famous Hungarian Jew Soros. This is a man who assigns people to divide nations and shatter them. He has much money and he spends it this way.”