'Main opposition forced mayors to finance pro-CHP channel'
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULJan 14, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jan 14, 2015 12:00 am
Following allegations that the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) forced its mayors to finance the pro-CHP television channel, +1, but that the money gathered from the mayors was never invested in the channel, former CHP Maltepe Mayor Mustafa Zengin said to A Haber that he confirmed the allegations.
Zengin said: "As a mayor, I also attended that meeting. As I remember, vice chairmen Erdoğan Toprak and Gürsel Tekin were also at the meeting."
Saying that the television channel to be established was presented to the CHP mayors, Zengin claimed that CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu asked Toprak about how much money the mayors should give.
Toprak reportedly replied: "It would be enough support if ten municipalities gave TL 300,000 [$131,000]."
Commenting on the allegations that the money gathered was never invested in the development of the channel, Zengin said that if the money was not invested in the channel, what the CHP committed was robbery.
"If the money gathered from our [mayors] was not invested in the channel, then it constitutes fraud," Zengin said, adding that he did not give the money, so he is not at the center of the debate.
Last week, Takvim daily asserted that Toprak was the mastermind behind the idea of boosting the channel. Convening under Kılıçdaroğlu's chairmanship, the CHP mayors met in a hotel convention center in Istanbul. Apart from the Istanbul municipalities of Adalar and Çatalca, all municipalities gave funds in accordance with their incomes. In Istanbul's renowned CHP districts of Sarıyer and Ataşehir, the mayors gave TL 2 million, and the Beşiktaş, Kadıköy and Bakırköy mayors gave TL 500,000, but the money was never invested in the channel, and the members have no idea where the money went. Allegedly, the money was given to Toprak in his office in Istanbul's Maslak neighborhood to increase the effectiveness of the +1 TV channel, and to use the channel in the CHP's bid to reclaim power. Reportedly, CHP Istanbul deputies including Umut Oran and Bihlun Tamaylıgil, the former CHP Istanbul provincial head Oğuz Kaan Salıcı, who resigned from his post in December, attended the "secret" meeting. Tekin, who made an appearance later during the meeting, opposed the gathering of that number of CHP members at such a secret meeting, but Kılıçdaroğlu ignored his warnings.