TUGVA (Turkish Youth Foundation), which is affiliated with TURGEV (Turkey Youth and Education Service Foundation) is the latest scandal linked to President Erdogan in Turkey.
Erdogan founded TURGEV in the 1990s, and his close family members and his inner circle sit on the board of the foundation. After the corruption scandal about Erdogan’s family in 2013, TUGVA was founded as a cloak for other corrupt activities. Currently Bilal Erdogan, the President’s son is on the advisory board of the latter foundation.
Last week Metin Cihan, a freelancer journalist, shared a leak of documents and files exposing the deployment of unqualified individuals -who are affiliated with TUGVA and Erdogan’s Islamist party AKP- into the public enterprises and their harmful, corrupt practices. The lists include appointments to almost every public institution in the country, from army to education.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, Chairperson of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) commented on the scandal via his social media account. “It’s just a matter of time before the power shifts in Turkey and then the investigations will begin.” said Kilicdaroglu and urged for a new chapter in public as of this Monday:
“There is a person (Erdogan) and his family who have transformed the Turkish state into a state of their family. Government officials are forced to serve his personal interests. (…) Everybody must keep in mind that there is a price to pay when you serve personal interests rather than public.
We are watching the TUGVA scandal together. The smell of dirt is again all over the place. The person and his family are trying to take control of the state with a parallel structure that they pretend to be a foundation. (…) The Turkish state has once again entered the path of being the state of the people. Those who turn institutions into their own barn will of course be held accountable.”
Meanwhile TUGVA officials initially denied the allegations but later accepted that there is a leak. They are now targeting the journalists and newspapers who are investigating the incident saying that this is “an operation against Islam”.