Müzeyyen Yüce / Duvar
The Council of State, Turkey's highest administrative court, has transferred the power of mayors to appoint executives of municipality companies to municipal councils.
Thereby, the powers of Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu and Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş, who are both from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), will be restricted. The decision of the Council of State, which was taken by a large majority, will be issued in the upcoming days.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) holds the majority of seats both in Istanbul and Ankara municipal councils, which is why many of the projects of İmamoğlu and Yavaş are blocked.
CHP deputy chair Seyit Torun described the move as “revenge” for the CHP's election success on March 31, 2019 local elections and June 23, 2019 re-run of Istanbul's mayoral race.
“When the AKP lost the metropolitan cities in the last local elections, it got into an effort of 'How can we stop the operation of CHP-run municipalities, how can we strip them of their powers, and how can we stop citizens from getting their services?'” Torun said.
After the AKP suffered a humiliating loss in Turkey's biggest cities in March 2019 local elections, the Environment and Urbanization Ministry issued a regulation that transferred the power of mayors to appoint executives of municipality companies to municipal councils.
The issue was taken to the court after Ankara Trade Registry Directorate refused to approve Yavaş's 2019 appointment of Kerim Yılmaz to BELKO Company, whose 99.67 percent of shares are owned by the Ankara Municipality.
The Ankara 10th Commercial Court ruled against the regulation, saying it violates the law, and ruled in favor of Yavaş. The court's decision was appealed and the case moved on to the Council of State.