Ezgi Çapa / Istanbul, July 16 () - Mesut Toprak, a high school friend and businessman at odds with President Tayyip Erdoğan over a construction project in Istanbul, will fully cover the expenses of a reconstruction project of the Istanbul İmam Hatip High School, a religious high school the two attended in the past.
Toprak, the owner of the Astay Construction Company, fell out with Erdoğan over the 16/9 Project, a three-tower housing project in Istanbul’s Zeytinburnu district that drew reaction from then-PM Erdoğan for damaging Istanbul’s historical silhouette.
Toprak will reconstruct the high school covering all the expenses after a construction agreement was signed by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB), Astay, the Istanbul Education Directorate and Fatih Municipality.
A 24-classroom building, conference hall, presentation room, multi-purpose room, dining hall and laboratories are expected to be built as part of the reconstruction. The right to use the building will be given to the Education Ministry for 30 years.
Hüseyin Sağ, an İBB Assembly member from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), said the signing of a contract to reconstruct an İmam Hatip High School was not ethical since the contractor construction company had a project on which a demolition decision had been made, referring to the 16/9 Project.
“There is a demolition decision for the 16/9 Project, and it is not being implemented. The covering of all the reconstruction expenses of the Istanbul İmam Hatip High School by the Astay Construction Company, which is also the project owner of the 16/9 Project, will be used as a cover to not demolish the 16/9 Project” Sağ said.