A Turkish woman who deposited money in a state-owned bank as a contribution to the presidential campaign of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Muharrem İnce has claimed that the money ended up in the account of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) presidential candidate.
According to tweets from CHP deputy Barış Yarkadaş, Leyla Yılmaz deposited TL 50 for İnce’s campaign in Ziraat Bank, but the receipt she was given shows that the money went to Erdoğan’s campaign account.
Yılmaz said she is certain that she deposited the funds to İnce’s account and that no mistake was made on her part.
Yarkadaş called on Ziraat Bank to offer an apology to Yılmaz and correct the mistake.
Meanwhile, CHP candidate İnce has made a TL 500 donation to the campaign accounts of each of his rivals in the June 24 presidential election.
İnce said he hopes the presidential candidates — President Erdoğan, Selahattin Demirtaş, Meral Akşener, Temel Karamollaoğlu and Doğu Perinçek — will make good use of the money he donated, adding that Erdoğan actually does not need any money for his campaign.
Erdoğan is accused by the opposition of using state funds for his presidential campaign.
Presidential candidates have to meet expenditures for their campaigns from donations made to their official accounts opened for this purpose and are prohibited from using any other financial source. Every registered voter can donate as much as TL 13,916 to the presidential candidates. İnce has collected TL 3 million in donations so far, according to Turkish media reports.
President Erdoğan announced in April that parliamentary and presidential elections, originally scheduled for November 2019 would be held on 24 June, meaning a new political system that will increase the powers of the president will take effect a year early.
Turkey is switching from a parliamentary to a presidential system of governance, abolishing the office of the prime minister and decreasing the powers of the parliament, following a narrowly approved referendum in April 2017. The changes take effect with the elections in June.
There are widespread suspicions that President Erdoğan will resort to election rigging to secure an election victory, and opposition parties are vowing to do their best to ensure election security. (SCF with turkishminute.com)