The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) announced that an IBB-affiliated company became a sponsor for a TV serial on Turkey’s national broadcaster by paying an exorbitant sum during the tenure of the previous mayor from the ruling party.
Speaking in a televised interview at Halk TV Channel, IBB spokesman Murat Ongun criticized the former administration of the IBB’s Medya AS for paying 12,750,000 lira (more than 2 million euros) to the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) to sponsor the series named Mehmetcik Kut’ul Amare.
“I want to ask our audience [for their comment on] that why Medya AS becomes a sponsor for a serial by paying 12,750,000 liras? This [serial] is Kut’ul Amare on TRT1 [Channel],” Ongun said.
Ongun added that the newly elected opposition mayorship of the IBB wrote official letters to its all units and affiliated companies, demanding their figures regarding sponsorship and advertisement.
The new IBB administration under Ekrem Imamoglu from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has recently canceled the IBB funds for pro-government foundations.
“This is only the beginning,” Imamoglu said in reference to his first step taken against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.
Imamoglu garnered more than 54 percent of the votes in the June 23 mayoral election re-run, which followed AKP’s appeals against the results of the March 31 local election in Istanbul, and won the mayoral seat with a landslide victory against the AKP.
After Imamoglu’s first win in the March 31 polls, the CHP had made public an audit report which revealed that a total of 847,592,858 liras (around 135 million euros) was transferred to the foundations affiliated with Erdogan and his family by the IBB within one and a half years before the election.
The serial is about the Kut al-Amara Siege that took place from December 3, 1915, and April 29, 1916, between the Ottoman Empire and Great Britain. The surrender of approximately 13,000 British-Indian soldiers was the worst in the British army history up to that time, and a great victory for the Ottomans.