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Organizations Led by Erdoğan’s Son, AKP Members Receive EU Funding

January 25th, 2022 15:09

Turk­ish media is report­ing that sev­er­al orga­ni­za­tions con­nect­ed to AKP par­ty mem­bers and Pres­i­dent Erdoğan’s son Bilal have received EU fund­ing. Accord­ing to the Veryan­sın TV report:

Jan­u­ary 15th, 2022: The Turk­ish Nation­al Agency, which is affil­i­at­ed with the Min­istry of For­eign Affairs’ Pres­i­den­cy of the Euro­pean Union, announced the orga­ni­za­tions receiv­ing Euro­pean Union grants. While 109 projects were select­ed from 725 projects with­in the scope of the ‘Eras­mus Plus-Youth Pro­gram’, the grants dis­trib­uted include foun­da­tions where Pres­i­dent Tayyip Erdoğan’s son Bilal Erdoğan is a senior man­ag­er. The Turk­ish Youth and Edu­ca­tion Ser­vice Foun­da­tion (TÜRGEV) received 98,570 euros, the Turkey Youth Foun­da­tion (TÜGVA) received 155,310 and the World Eth­nospor Con­fed­er­a­tion received 146,612 euros. Thus, only 400,492 euros, more than TL 6 mil­lion at today’s exchange rate, in grants were giv­en to Bilal Erdoğan’s foun­da­tions. Among the orga­ni­za­tions receiv­ing grants is the New World Foun­da­tion, which is chaired by Mah­mut Gök­su, a for­mer Mem­ber of the High Con­sul­ta­tion Board of the Sci­en­tif­ic Dis­sem­i­na­tion Soci­ety, with 173,542 euros. Mazlumder mem­ber and Istan­bul Met­ro­pol­i­tan Munic­i­pal­i­ty Assem­bly 2nd Deputy Chair­man Ömer Faruk Kalay­cı is the vice pres­i­dent of the Divan Research and Edu­ca­tion Asso­ci­a­tion, which is on the list with 171,723 euros. [Trans­lat­ed by Bing with edits]

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The Turk­ish Youth and Edu­ca­tion Ser­vice Foun­da­tion (TÜRGEV), where Bilal Erdoğan is a senior man­ag­er, was found­ed in 1996 under Pres­i­dent Erdoğan, then May­or of Istan­bul, and pro­vides dor­mi­to­ries schol­ar­ships and oth­er pro­grams to female stu­dents in Turkey. Its board also includes Erdoğan’s daugh­ter, Esra Albayrak.

The Turkey Youth Foun­da­tion (TÜGVA), where Bilal Erdoğan is also a senior man­ag­er,  describes itself as “a new-gen­er­a­tion youth foun­da­tion found­ed to raise a gen­er­a­tion that will always be on the side of jus­tice, defend­ing every­thing that is good and beau­ti­ful in the world.” The foun­da­tion man­ages dor­mi­to­ries, pro­vides schol­ar­ships, and runs var­i­ous edu­ca­tion pro­grams in Turkey and abroad. The foun­da­tion also orga­nizes social activ­i­ties around “val­ues edu­ca­tion” in reli­gious and sec­ondary schools.

Oth­er Islamist ties of groups receiv­ing EU fund­ing include New World Foun­da­tion Chair Mah­mut Gök­su, a founder of Erdoğan’s AKP par­ty. Divan Research and Edu­ca­tion Asso­ci­a­tion VP Ömer Faruk Kalay­cı has had sev­er­al posi­tions in the AKP, and Mazlumder, where he is a mem­ber, is a human rights NGO that is also part of the Turk­ish Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood network.