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AKP, MHP reject motion to investigate bureaucrats collecting multiple salaries

Turkish Parliament

A view from the Turkish Parliament AFP

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), on Tuesday rejected a parliamentary motion filed by the opposition Felicity Party (SP) to investigate bureaucrats who are paid two or three salaries under different state job titles, the Anka news agency reported.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, are widely criticized by the opposition for getting its cronies paid several salaries, a practice that has sparked public outrage amid the country’s struggling economy.

SP deputy group chairman Bülent Kaya said even if something is legal, it does not mean that it is morally acceptable, so the issue of bureaucrats collecting multiple salaries needs to be investigated. AKP and MHP lawmakers, however, prevented an investigation by voting against their motion.

Meanwhile, Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a lawmaker from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (HEDEP), announced during a parliamentary session on Tuesday the names of some AKP officials or bureaucrats who are collecting several salaries.

He said some AKP officials are getting as many as three salaries under different job titles.

Fahrettin Altun, Erdoğan’s communications director, was one of the figures whose name was mentioned by Gergerlioğlu as collecting more than one salary.

He said Altun is earning two salaries as the communications director and as an executive board member of the Borsa İstanbul stock exchange.

One of Erdoğan’s advisors, economist Cemil Erdem, is collecting three salaries, according to Gergerlioğlu, as Erdoğan’s advisor, a member of the presidential economy policy board and deputy chairman of state-run Vakıfbank’s board of directors.

Gergerlioğlu said although the AKP came to power promising honesty, transparency and equality for all using Islamic references, they are acting in a way unacceptable to Islam by collecting several salaries while the people of the country are overwhelmed by severe economic problems.

A survey conducted by the MetroPOLL company in 2021 showed that even AKP supporters disapprove of the party’s alleged cronyism, showing that 61 percent of AKP supporters do not approve of bureaucrats and AKP advisors being paid more than one salary by different companies or state agencies.

This disapproval figure came in at 89 percent among main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) voters and 72.6 percent among MHP supporters.

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