(By Special Correspondent in Turkey, Ankara): –
Clean water drinking is a fundamental and basic requirement of human beings. Historically humans have made efforts to use clean water from the natural sources available to them. It is necessary for humans to have access to clean water due to the rise in water borne diseases. Use of dirty water is causing deaths and illnesses especially in this uncertain high risk COVID-19 period.
Despite all the AKP government’s financial obstructions, the Mayor of Ankara Mr. Mansur Yavas works actively for getting the necessary financial resources from international investors and partnerships to develop “Tatlar Waste water Treatment Plant”, this is a Public Health and security issue for the country.
While the central government is proud to build its pandemic hospitals at exorbitant costs (billions of dollars), the Mayor of Ankara is leading an unprecedented fight to find financial funds for the control of waste water and the construction of new drains adapted to the needs of the Ankara population which is a considerable health risk which poisons the water, land, food and drinking water not only of Ankara but also of Istanbul. Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş stated on June 25, 2020 that, “Istanbullites getting dirty water from the capital during the municipal administration of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) when he said water purification was overlooked.
Mr Yavaş said “AKP municipal administration in Ankara made unnecessary spending instead of necessary work, including the $750-million theme park (Dinosaurs Park) in the capital that was shut down within one year due to utility debts. His emphasized that his attempts to improve Ankara’s water and sewage infrastructure is for public health and it has been blocked in the municipal council.
Referring to deputies from the ruling AKP and their ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) voting down a loan to renew the water system. As stated by the Mayor of Ankara “Ankara’s wastewater, if these pipes burst, one-third of the city will lose running water. The previous administration didn’t make the necessary investments. This is about public health and high risk for Public Health and propagation of COVID-19.
According to research published in January 2020, the banks have “systematically” adjusted lending patterns around elections in the last 15 years to boost provinces where incumbent mayors from the ruling party faced tough challenges. State banks also cut lending in provinces where opposition mayors faced tight elections. For this reason, Mansur Yavaş’ struggle for securing public health in Covid-19 period, reminds the battle of David and Goliath.
One year into his tenure, Ankara’s mayor represents a robust and resilient challenge claim to the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in terms of popularity. According to research carried out by Metro poll in April, Turkish people believe Yavaş has dealt with the COVİD-19 crisis more successfully than Erdogan. Yavas has been widely praised for his social projects during the pandemic, which have helped people from all backgrounds, making him the public’s most-trusted figure with 8.18 points.
President Erdogan comes fourth, with a score of 6.65, while Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, another challenger to Erdogan, ranked sixth in the list. The mayor of the Turkish capital has promised to make Ankara an example for “the whole world”, despite inheriting a city owing creditors more than $1 billion.
The Ankara municipality continued to offer high-quality services, moreover, the municipality used innovative social-media methods to collect donations from the public to provide social assistance to hundreds of thousands of families. Opposition mayors have gained strong support even among pro Erdogan voters because of the government’s failure to provide social assistance to the needy and offer financial help to those who have lost their jobs during this period. The initiative, dubbed “kindness is contagious”, helps explain why mayor Mansur Yavas has high approval ratings just over a year after wresting control of the city from the ruling party of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The AKP government instead of investing in exorbitant hospital infrastructure which increases the public deficit and enriches the AKP’s entrepreneurs in the health sectors, should take care of the prevention of health risks. This pandemic must be a lesson of cooperation for the future of humanity and not a political tool for segregation.
In the election on 31 March, 2019, Mr. Mansur Yavaş became the first CHP Mayor of Ankara after 25 years of AKP (and its predecessor Refah Partisi) rule, taking 50.9% of the vote compared to his rival’s 47.1%.He assumed office on 8 April 2019, after a recount of several ballots failed to close the gap between him and Özhaseki. Ankara’s mayor, Mansur Yavaş who took over the post from the long serving Melih Gökcek affiliated to the ruling AKP party has focused his efforts on addressing poverty in Turkey’s capital targeted solutions. Mansur Yavaş has been widely praised for his social projects during the pandemic, which have helped people from all backgrounds.
Editor’s comment: Mayors are like parents of the city and work in all kind of environments and do good work. London Mayor Sadiq Khan is from Labour Party but federal government is run by Conservative Party Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Mayors works beyond party affiliations and politics to get the things done. Mayors focus on local city civic issues and leave the foreign policy to the government foreign office. One hopes Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş will build bridges with the ruling AKP Party and get things done for the people of the capital.
The Mayor of Turkish capital Ankara is a lawyer by profession and married with two kids.
Edited by, Dr Shahid Qureshi, Chief Editor