Istanbul Municipality recently tore down fences around a renovated historic block that was gated-in to give the appearance of a housing complex to a city block. With a history of booming nightlife, Istanbul's Sulukule neighborhood became the site of a state urban transformation project in 2005.
Renovation work on Istanbul's iconic Galata Tower's exterior was paused to protect the hatching common swift babies. The decision followed a petition with over 11,000 signatures and complaints from non-governmental organizations.
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu on June 25 announced that the municipality purchased a portrait of Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II at a London auction. According to the London-based world-famous Christie's auction house, the municipality's winning bid amounted to £770,000 ($955,000) for the oil painting, which is believed to be the work of Italian painter Gentile Bellini in 1480.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reportedly cost the Istanbul Municipality some 5,000,000 Turkish Liras. The city will be pausing non-essential projects for a year to compensate for the emergency spending, Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said.
The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has said that a taxi driver had his license revoked after battering a Moroccan woman passenger in February. The municipality said that the driver clasped the woman by the throat in an attempt to get the taxi fare of 22 Turkish Liras.
Aynur Tekin reports: A platform established by the residents of Istanbul's Princes' Islands, urged the municipality of Istanbul to ensure healthy conditions as well as routine inspections for the horses of the island. More than 1,000 horses living in stables on Istanbul's Princes' Islands are at risk of death due to lack of activity, they said.
In the light of social-distancing orders, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality placed "social distancing circles," measuring roughly 240 cm in diameter and spaced 180 cm apart, throughout Caddebostan Park. The municipality will extend the implementation to other parks in the city in the following days.
CHP Istanbul deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu has prepared a report on rights violations in Turkey in April, saying that there were 271 instances that the right to life was violated. Tanrıkulu, in his report, also cited violations related to COVID-19, mainly stemming from the government's bans on opposition municipalities from carrying out aid campaigns.
A foundation led by the Turkish president's son-in-law announced May 13 that they were annulling a contract they had signed with the Istanbul Municipality (IBB) in 2017, before it was won by main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). The announcement came after a few weeks long brawl with CHP deputy Veli Ağbaba about the project that started when the latter claimed that Istanbul municipality had funneled 41 million liras to T3 Foundation.
An Istanbul-based civil rights organization warned that non-centralized relaxation of COVID-19 precautions would lead to a worsening of the pandemic in Turkey. The non-governmental organization urged a centralized and inclusive normalization to avoid fatalities and further strain on socioeconomic activity.
Istanbul Municipal Council's members from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have significantly decreased the municipality's resources despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, prompting criticism from Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu for being politically-motivated. "I should underline that these decisions will go down in history. This is wrong during the pandemic period," he said.
Recent data from the Istanbul Municipality revealed that one out of every seven Istanbulite applied to receive financial aid from the municipality. While some 682,697 applications were made, 10.6 percent of households in Istanbul were granted financial aid.
Istanbul municipality committee warns early ‘normalization’ could lead to a sudden surge in infections
The Istanbul Municipality's Science Committee warned against early relaxing of COVID-19 precautions as the country begins normalization. The municipality criticized the reopening of shopping malls, hair salons and barber shops, and the start of the national soccer league.
Surgical masks will now be mandatory on Istanbul's central Taksim Square and Istiklal Avenue that leads to it, and a three-meters distance will be required between pedestrians. The district governor's office also said that the violation of both measures will be penalized by monetary fines.
A cyber attack targeting Istanbul Municipality's aid campaign website has disrupted its efforts. "We had to close access to our website because of an attack last night," spokesperson Murat Ongun said in a tweet on May 7. According to Ongun, a total of 41,883 bills were paid, amounting to 5,027,092 Turkish Liras.