Istanbul’s new mayor Ekrem Imamoglu from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has begun piling up hundreds of the municipality’s surplus cars that were rented during the rule of the AK Party (AKP) government, Sputnik Turkiye news portal reported on Thursday.
Executives from the secular CHP confirmed that the cars were rented by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality as photos of hundreds of vehicles lined up side by side in Istanbul’s Yenikapi square were shared on social media.
Although the municipality has not made an official statement about the issue, the transfer of the vehicles to the square will reportedly be completed by September 10, according to a statement by a government official.
Before the June 23 mayoral race in Istanbul, Imamoglu promised to display the redundant cars to reveal the extent of the municipality’s extravagance in the event that he was elected as the city’s new mayor.
Answering questions of Turkish author and TV presenter Yekta Kopan during an event organized by the Beylikduzu district municipality on Thursday, Imamoglu announced that they will return the cars piled up in Yenikapı that are unnecessary for the municipality.
“Transparency is the biggest remedy of this period,” the mayor told Kopan.
“The relationships based on favoritism will be over. I know the expectation of this society, it’s social justice. Therefore, we will restore social justice. I have zero worries about this. I have faith,” he added.
The first reaction from the ruling AKP came from Mehmet Tevfik Goksu, the party’s group deputy chairman in the council and Esenler district mayor, who labeled the display as “black propaganda” against the government.
“The mountain gave birth to a mouse,” Goksu claimed.
“He [Imamoglu] was talking about 1717 official cars during the period before the elections. I guess he decided to pile up the municipality’s service vehicles once he could not find the official cars [used by the municipality officials].”
Haluk Koc, the Ankara MP from the main opposition posted a photo of the redundant cars piled up in the square on his official Twitter account and said: “This is the photo of the waste.”
Birileri yine çıkıp haddini bil Ekrem diye bağıracak mı?
Saltanat üstten başlayıp en altlara kadar uzanan yağma düzeni kurmuş.
Bu da İstanbul’da belediyenin hesabından kullanılan kiralık araçlar ordusu.
Bunlar israfın Fotoğrafları@ekrem_imamoglu pic.twitter.com/CqQvf7bNAm
— HALUK KOÇ (@profdrhalukkoc) September 5, 2019
“This is only the beginning. Piling of the cars will continue while the betrayals to the people will come to an end,” CHP Istanbul Provincial President Canan Kaftancioglu also said in a tweet.
Bu sadece ufacık bir başlangıç..
Araçların devamı halka yapılan ihanetlerin ise sonu geliyor.
Rantı kollayanların karşısında halkı koruyan bir anlayış ve başkan İstanbul’a nefes aldırmaya devam ediyor. pic.twitter.com/AWsdGCuATE
— Canan Kaftancıoğlu (@ccanannnnnn) September 5, 2019