İmamoğlu becomes president of Union of Municipalities

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has been elected as the president of the Union of Municipalities of Turkey (TBB), becoming the first head of the union from the CHP since its establishment in 2005. 

Duvar English

The Union of Municipalities of Turkey (TBB) on June 5 elected Ekrem İmamoğlu, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality mayor of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) as its president. 

İmamoğlu won with 515 votes against his opponent Ahmet Metin Genç, mayor of Trabzon in northern Turkey, who received 250 votes. 

İmamoğlu's council list included 14 mayors from the CHP, the pro-Kurdish People’s Equality and Democracy (DEM) Party, the nationalist İYİ (Good) Party, and the radical Islamist New Welfare Party (YRP).

No mayors from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) or its ally the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) were elected to the council. 

In his commencement speech, İmamoğlu touched upon the 2024 local elections that resulted in a CHP victory. “The 2024 local elections have sent a clear message to all political cadres: winning elections with politics aimed at annihilating each other is not possible.”

According to the mayor, the first step for the union was to accelerate cooperation among municipalities. Such cooperation would also establish the relationship between local administrations and central government. 

He concluded his remarks by saying, "I will represent an understanding that seeks justice wherever there is unlawfulness. I promise you solidarity and justice."

Before the election results were announced, the mayor of the southeastern province of Mardin Ahmet Türk of the DEM Party expressed his discontent regarding the trustee appointment to the Hakkari Municipality. 

Türk said, "Unfortunately, we see that the will of the people is being overridden today. I strongly condemn the removal of our Hakkari Mayor from office."

Some mayors in the hall responded by saying, "We do not condemn it," raising their voices in opposition to Türk. The proceedings halted for a few minutes as the mayors argued from across the auditorium. 

Every district, provincial, and metropolitan municipality of Turkey is represented in the Union of Municipalities of Turkey (TBB). The union represents municipalities at both national and international levels and organizes programs and events to improve local governments.