Image by Emreculha, via Wikimedia Commons. Accessed 06.03.2018
After considering the informal methods used by the Turkish government to influence the decision-making process in municipalities (see: “Fortifying Erdogan’s Power Base: Gaining Loyalty in Turkey’s Municipalities”, 08.03.2018), this piece unravels one of the main outcomes related to the political control of the country’s municipalities.
As part of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) political agenda, AKP-controlled municipalities provide land and buildings to charities that are directly related to the Turkish ruling elite. In exchange, these charities (some of them controlled by President Erdoğan’s family) are tasked with co-opting part of Turkish society through seminars, courses, housing and scholarships, that are provided under religious, nationalist and conservative parameters, ultimately seeking to indoctrinate students into the government’s political ideology.
- Turkish municipalities appear to play a key role in the expansion of charities that back the ideology embodied by the AKP and Turkey’s president. Support of these charities is being provided through municipal donations of land and buildings to those charities that are government-affiliated.
- These charities are being established and expanded to help develop greater social loyalty to the government, as they are being used to spread the religious and conservative values of the AKP.