The İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality transferred TL 1.2 million ($210,000) over the first half of 2019 to the Okçular Foundation, an initiative to encourage archery in Turkey where President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son Bilal Erdoğan sits on the board of trustees, the Sözcü newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The report included a document approving the grant, signed by Mevlüt Uysal, the former mayor from Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) who was replaced in the June mayoral election by opposition candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu, who defeated his AKP rival.
The alleged transfer of municipal funds to foundations run by Erdoğan’s family members was the subject of many of the debates prior to and after the local elections. İmamoğlu’s campaign promise to curb the financial assistance extended to foundations particularly reinforced his popularity among opposition circles, drawing widespread acclaim on social media.
A previous report published by Sözcü in January said that exorbitant amounts of money were transferred to a number of foundations close to Erdoğan throughout 2018, including a grant of TL 16.6 million ($2.93 million) to Bilal Erdoğan’s Okçular Foundation.
The foundation had denied the allegations, claiming that it had received no funds from the İstanbul Municipality.