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İstanbul mayor cuts over $60 million in support to pro-gov’t foundations

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İstanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu on Tuesday announced that the municipality had cut more than TL 357 million ($61.40 million) in financial support for pro-government foundations, Turkish media reported.

Some TL 56 million of the funds went to the food expenditures of one charity organization, İmamoğlu told reporters, saying inspections were ongoing and that there would be more cuts.

According to a municipality statement, the Ensar Foundation, the Service for Youth and Education Foundation of Turkey (TÜRGEV), the Aziz Mahmud Hüdayi Foundation, the Turkey Youth Foundation (TÜGVA), the Daru’l Fünun Divinity Foundation and the Hoca Ahmet Yesevi Foundation will no longer receive financial support from the city.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s family members are among the executives of some of these foundations.

The Turkish opposition had been criticizing the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality for channeling public funds to these foundations since they were clearly working for Erdoğan’s government.

The foundations have been giving scholarships and accommodation to thousands of university students as well as running a number of educational institutions.

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