Akşener pledges to restructure debts of 4.5 million Turkish citizens

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Chairman of the Good (Iyi) Party and Presidential candidate, Meral Aksener, gives a press conference at her party's headquarters in Ankara on May 7, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

İYİ (Good) Party leader and presidential candidate Meral Akşener on Monday introduced her party’s economic program, including a project called the “Turkey Solidarity Fund,” which aims to restructure the debt of 4.5 million Turkish citizens, totaling TL 8 billion.

“We will purchase the debt from consumer loans, credit cards and overdraft accounts of 4.5 million citizens whose debts are under the legal supervision of banks or consumer finance companies and whose debts have been sold to collection agencies as of April 30, 2018,” Akşener announced at party headquarters.

Besides restructuring, the Turkey Solidarity Fund will cancel all the debts of unemployed, retired and minimum wage workers as well as the families of martyred soldiers. Low-income citizens and students will benefit from the fund by clearing 80 percent of their debt under certain criteria. The remaining debt will be divided into installments spread out for up to 10 years.

According to the plan, financial records will be corrected and citizens will again be able to apply for bank loans and mortgages. “With the Turkey Solidarity Fund, we will give our citizens a new beginning,” said Akşener. Further details were revealed by former Turkish Central Bank Governor and İYİ Party member Durmuş Yılmaz.

The economy appears to be the key to snap elections on June 24. Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Muharrem İnce also on Monday promised to disburse scholarship funds to students twice a year, once on May 19, Youth and Sports Day, and again on Oct. 29, the day marking the founding of the republic.

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