Under investigation: A Turkish mayor who wants refugees to pay ten times more for water consumption faces accusations of “hate and discrimination”

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Translated by Leo Kendrick

An investigation has been launched against Bolu Mayor Tanju Özcan on charges of “hate and discrimination” and “abuse of office” following disparaging remarks about refugees and attempts to raise the water bills of foreigners residing in the municipality.

In a statement several days ago, Bolu Mayor Tanju Özcan said, “We will increase the fees for water, solid waste, and other items by 10-fold. In other words, Turkish citizens and foreign citizens will not be able to use water at the same price.”

Mr. Özcan is a member of The Republican People’s Party (CHP), Turkey’s main political opposition.

Seyit Torun

CHP also responded to Özcan’s comments. Seyit Torun, Deputy Chairman of the party said in a written statement that “Tanju Özcan’s views on foreigners are his own. Inhibiting access to a fundamental right to life like water, and even bringing it up as a topic of discussion, is fundamentally opposed to our party policies.” 

The Bolu Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office took action regarding Özcan’s statements and launched an investigation against Özcan. The allegations under investigation are “abuse of power” and “hatred and discrimination”.

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