Istanbul mayor launches campaign to fund unpaid bills

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has launched an online aid campaign calling on better-off residents to help financially troubled dwellers in paying their unpaid bills, as the coronavirus pandemic has strained many households in Turkey's largest city.

İmamoğlu called on Istanbul residents in need to post their unpaid water and natural gas bills to an online system established by municipal officers, in a Twitter post he shared.

He also urged people who want to contribute to pick one bill from the list and submit the payment online.

Emphasizing on the campaign's strict anonymity, İmamoglu said: "The hand that gives will never know the hand that receives. Istanbul is putting its mark on a historical act of solidarity."

Immediately after the calls, Istanbul residents flocked to the website of the municipality to pay the due bills.

So far, a total of 42,000 bills worth 5 million Turkish Liras on the system were paid thanks to the online campaign, according to Murat Ongun, the spokesperson of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

He also noted that the campaign's website was also under a cyber-attack originating from abroad.

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