07 September 2019 19:56

İmamoğlu to Soylu: I don’t care who says what on Sunday

Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said with reference to the waste exhibition at Yenikapı, “These are all surplus vehicles.” Also replying to minister Soylu, İmamoğlu said, “I don’t care who says what on Sunday.”

Photogrpah: İBB Press Centre

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Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu appeared before the cameras to announce the arrangements Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) would make in connection with the opening of schools. Also mentioning his “waste exhibition” at Yenikapı in his speech, İmamoğlu said, “These are all surplus vehicles.” Reacting to Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu's words, “I’ll make an announcement on Sunday,” İmamoğlu commented, “I don’t care who says what on Sunday.”

In a live broadcast made from his Twitter account, Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu announced the arrangements IMM would make in connection with the opening of schools. Also mentioning his “waste exhibition” at Yenikapı in his speech, İmamoğlu said, “These are all surplus vehicles. They were being used in places of no benefit to the Metropolitan Municipality. They were being used on behalf of other entities. There have never been interruptions to services. This is a complete fiction and I call such talk lies, so you, too, take this as an example and prevent waste. The vehicles will be returned to the companies they were hired from. We will surrender the vehicles here and put out vehicle hire to tender in line with needs.”

The key points from İmamoğlu's announcement were as follow:

“ALL ARE SURPLUS VEHICLES”

“(Will there be a new vehicle tender?) Of course there will. We’ll surrender the vehicles here and put out vehicle hire to tender based on need. (Will women be helped with the income from this waste?) There are actually things we have announced in full. The point of most immediate concern is unfortunately poverty, urban poverty, and we will initiate a period in which we will get aid to families who are experiencing difficulty getting by in particular. We will start our creche constructions. We will work very attentively to spend our resources in line with need. This is not an exhibition but thinking that will spearhead informing society about waste. We are doing this with sadness not joy. We have long faces because the money is our money. We will show society how much we have saved after six months. We will fill society in. We are preparing a revolution in the tendering process. We will stage open tenders. Not those one or two companies participate in by invitation, but companies that come on merit. Thus, society will gain and the business world will gain.”

REPLY TO SOYLU: I HAVE GIVEN UP TRYING TO UNDERSTAND HIM

“(In response to a reply by Soylu concerning the surplus to need vehicles being exhibited in Yenikapı) Our assembling vehicles at Yenikapı in a display both of the extent to which waste is an important problem of the public sector and also of this effort we are making to surrender the vehicles to the companies in question needs basically to be looked at from the point of view of all state officials needing to sit down and think and take their heads between two hands with a view to how they can save every one of the country’s pennies. It is surely very wrong for the most authoritative mouthpieces of the state to try to muddy the waters with polemic-filled sentences. Dear members of the press, elected people like us, we who must give account to society, must without fail spend every penny with care and call a halt if there is an error. Following the messages we have given that we will without fail rectify this error involving the surplus vehicles placed there, that is, we are speaking of around 1300 vehicles when you look overall at the vehicles that had to be surrendered between 6 May-23 June. We are speaking of an annual saving of fifty million lira. Multiplied by five, this is 250 million lira. I am astonished at the actors who are trying to manipulate our effort to dispense with such waste. I try to comprehend what they want to do as well. Actually, I have also given up trying to understand.”

“I DON’T CARE WHO SAYS WHAT ON SUNDAY”

“Supposedly this or that will be said on Sunday. This is all polemics. I don’t care who says what on Sunday. On Sunday, I will be working on how I will open up five and a half million square metres of forest to the people of Istanbul. That’s why I don’t care. My business is service. I will also post my trip. Let’s see if people are interested in that polemic or the forest I make a trip to. This is shutting out reason.”

“They should actually ask where they made a mistake. There are actually those within the ruling party who ask this. There are those within the ruling party who say, ‘Waste is a very important problem for us. Unfortunately we have wasted a lot.’”

İMAMOĞLU TO SOYLU: BUZZING OF FLIES

“Our concern is using this country’s resources correctly. Saving should be the first rule of public administration. Waste is canonically forbidden. We are intent on preventing waste. We said in the campaign period we would prevent waste, saving would be our character in managing the economy and mobilization would represent our character. This is our character. Who said what, the ruling party entering into a contest with us or concern for status and creating polemics is unimportant. It is the buzzing of flies.”

“They’ll say, ‘Look, interruptions have been experienced.’ No, these vehicles are all surplus to need.”

“I’m not one to have made a profession of polemics.”

“Assembling them here involves no public deficit or some such thing. The companies in question will come and take the vehicles from here.”

“There are things we’ve announced. The main philosophy of our road map. The most immediate concern is poverty. We will initiate our social policies, a period in which aid is got out to families having incomes below the hunger level. Our creche constructions are beginning. With this waste we will channel it to the priorities of life, to work aimed at women, children and the poor. We will act most attentively in making good use of our resources. Some jobs have been done but have been done wrongly. If correct work had been done in place of certain buildings very different works would have emerged. The correct management of Istanbul’s resources will make Turkey’s job easier.”

ENHANCED TRANSPORT SERVICE ON 9 SEPTEMBER

“On Monday on which nearly three million pupils will start school we will enhance the transport service from Istanbul Electric Tram and Tunnel buses to metrobuses and ferries. We have made transport free between the hours of 06.00 and 14.00 under a specially passed assembly decision. We will thus have encouraged public transport use and reduced the use of private cars. There will be a decreased traffic burden and life will have been made easier.”

“Istanbul Electric Tram and Tunnel will move to the winter timetable from Monday. The service will have been enhanced to an extremely high level.”

“In particular, our contract vehicles on that day will be able to transport parents to schools, too, just as they take pupils. And they can also return by the contract vehicles. This will also make a valuable contribution in traffic terms. That is, they’ll go by contract vehicles without using private cars.”

“The problem of parking contract vehicles is also a life complicator. Consequently, İSPARKs in the vicinity of schools will provide school contract vehicles with free service. 118 car parks will have made life easier”

“WE’LL INITIATE TRANSPARENCY IN RECRUITMENT”

“With the campaign lasting seven months, people get lost as to which promise we made when. I said at the outset that if an IMM employee was ethical and did their job, I wouldn’t touch them. But I served for eighteen days and didn’t even recruit a single person. Even though I had friends in need. But why did they recruit so many people on 6 May? We won’t look at who’s who. We’ll have our data base as to how jobs and manpower are to shape up in the entity and in society. We’ll initiate transparency in this, too.”

“A person asks me if it will be OK if they get a job. This feeds society’s conviction. I also say to those who were dismissed there. Come, make your application and we’ll give you a job if deemed necessary.”

“I know full well who is unconscionable and how. So, let them not try to get me to do conscience accountancy. Let nobody set out to teach me justice and conscience. The era of spouses, friends and relatives has ended.”

“I know that if I let a comment slip to the friends that come they’ll make fifty thousand interpretations. I am not one to be obsessed with such affairs or to make problems. I try to be one who doesn’t give a dressing down but shows the way to people.”

(Translated by Tim DRAYTON)