Erdogan attacks opposition mayors over virus aid
Ankara: On the Turkish capital's bridges and bus stops, Ankara mayor Mansur Yavas urges wealthier residents to help poorer citizens during the coronavirus pandemic by paying off their debts to grocers.
"Kindness is more contagious than disease," the advert proclaims, showing a large black book with the word "paid" in red.
Despite a government block on donation campaigns by Yavas and Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu in March, they have continued to help those in need.
The mayors, representing the main opposition CHP in an alliance with a smaller nationalist party, won the two biggest cities last year.
Their success and growing popularity mean they are now seen as potential rivals to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The interior ministry has launched investigations into the mayors and the government insisted donations must go through its "National Solidarity" campaign.
It has so far raised around two billion Turkish lira ($290 million) in the country which is hard hit by the outbreak with over 144,000 cases and 4,007 deaths.
The mayors' success was the first time in 25 years Erdogan's ruling AKP or its predecessors were not in charge of Ankara or Istanbul. - AFP