AKP’s Istanbul mayoral candidate needs to stay in office for 160 years to fulfill promises

Even though AKP’s Istanbul mayoral candidate Murat Kurum promised to build 650,000 new houses within the scope of urban transformation, the municipality and government could merely build 20,000 houses in the last five years. At the current transformation rate, Kurum needs to stay in office for 160 years to complete his promise.

Duvar English

Murat Kurum, the Istanbul mayoral candidate for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has repeatedly pledged to construct 650,000 new houses in the city within the scope of the urban transformation projects against the earthquake risk. 

However, based on the construction pace of public institutions over the last five years, this promise would take approximately 160 years to fulfill, according to the reporting of the daily Sözcü.

In the megacity, the municipality’s construction company KİPTAŞ and the government-run Housing Development Administration have been implementing the construction operations for the past five years while the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) run the municipality.

Former Environment Minister Kurum has been criticizing the current municipality at almost every rally over the speed of urban transformation. 

According to Ali Kurt, General Manager of KİPTAŞ, the number of houses TOKİ delivered in Istanbul from 2019 to 2024 was 8,500. Kurum was the minister responsible with TOKİ from 2018 to 2023.

KİPTAŞ, on the other hand, has delivered 10,039 houses and the number of houses it has delivered will reach 1,200 before the elections. The number of houses built by the two organizations in five years will be merely 20,000 before the local elections on March 31.

An average of 11 houses can be completed per day; hence, the 650,000 houses promised by Kurum would require 58,400 days, i.e. 160 years.