Opposition Ankara mayor declares 800 million lira saving on single tender

The new mayor of Turkey’s capital, Ankara, has told the public that his administration has saved over 800 million lira ($131 million) on a single tender agreement in his first month as mayor.

“We showed the world in a clear and transparent way via the internet in 2016-2017 that 1 billion lira was spent on a tender in one year. We have achieved the same with this year’s prices at 188 million lira ($30 million)”, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) mayor Mansur Yavaş said.

The figures are doubly impressive given the lira’s fall in value since 2016. Last year, the lira fell by 28 percent against the dollar, and is has continued to slide this year.

Ankara was one of several surprise victories for the CHP, which won four out of Turkey’s five largest cities in the March 31 local elections.

Since Turkey’s Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) has accepted an appeal from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the country’s largest city, Istanbul, will head to the polls again on June 23 after CHP candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu won the vote on March 31.

İmamoğlu and Yavaş have made a point of focussing on waste by previous local governments in the two municipalities. Both Ankara and Istanbul have been run by AKP politicians for 25 years.

The AKP’s former mayor of Ankara, İbrahim Melih Gökçek, was widely known for embarking on dozens of eccentric and costly public projects over a reign that lasted from 1994 to 2017, when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pressured him to resign as mayor.