The İstanbul Governor's Office has rejected an application by the Kimse Yok Mu charity to conduct an aid campaign to help the families of victims killed in terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) attacks.
Kimse Yok Mu is a charitable organization that is active in 113 countries around the world.
Announcing the decision by the governor's office to reject the application, Kimse Yok Mu President İsmail Cingöz wrote on Twitter the application was rejected based on Article 29 of Law No. 2,860 on the collection of charitable donations.
However, Cingöz said there is no legal basis for the governor's office to reject their application because the aid campaign is lawful and was prepared in accordance with the requirements mentioned in the law. Cingöz said their aid campaign does not violate the law at all, highlighting that all the official documents had already been sent to the governor's office and that all of Kimse Yok Mu's aid campaigns were conducted according to the same criteria determined by the governor's office.
Cingöz said officials from the governor's office are engaging in misconduct by constantly rejecting any aid campaign planned by Kimse Yok Mu, adding they are also engaging in clear discrimination and hate speech against the charity. He said Kimse Yok Mu will seek legal redress.
Condemning the governor's office over its discrimination against Kimse Yok Mu, Cingöz called on the İstanbul Governor's Office and the İstanbul Provincial Directorate of Associations to end their unlawful actions and smear campaign against Kimse Yok Mu based on baseless charges and allegations.
Kimse Yok Mu, which has had consultative status in the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) since 2010, became a target of the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) ongoing hate campaign against the Gülen movement -- popularly known as the Hizmet movement and inspired by the ideas of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen -- after a major graft probe came to light on Dec. 17, 2013, implicating people from the inner circle of the AK Party and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was prime minister at the time.
Kimse Yok Mu is affiliated with the movement.
Erdoğan and AK Party figures accuse sympathizers of the Gülen movement, especially those in the police force and the judiciary, of trying to overthrow the government by launching the graft probe, despite having no evidence to support their accusations. Hizmet, whose supporters are inspired by the views of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, has rejected all the accusations.
In October 2014, the Cabinet restricted Kimse Yok Mu's right to collect donations without obtaining prior permission from the relevant authorities, and as a result the organization cannot use written or visual media to promote its donation campaigns, leaving the Kimse Yok Mu website as the primary means of providing information about donation campaigns.
Most recently, an investigation against Kimse Yok Mu came to light after Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor Musa Yücel sent a subpoena to Kimse Yok Mu's management in April of this year asking the charity to send him information about the organization's activities for Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) in 2011. When Hizmet's lawyers went to the Ankara Courthouse on April 16, they found that the investigation included charges of being an "armed terrorist organization." However, because the Ankara 4th Penal Court of Peace had ordered that the details of the investigation remain confidential, the lawyers could not examine the contents of the investigation file.
Published on Today's Zaman, 18 November 2015, Wednesday