Istanbul mayor dismisses gov’t plans to seize authority over Bosphorus

The opposition mayor of Istanbul Ekrem İmamoğlu on Sunday hit back at Turkey’s Ministry of Urbanisation and Environment over its plans to transfer the authority of the municipality over development plans on the Bosphorus strait to a new government department.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) mayor of Turkey’s largest city said that all authority for the city’s famed Bosporus and its surroundings belonged to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB).

“Authority over the Bosphorus and its surrounding areas belong to the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality. The end!” independent news site Diken quoted İmamoğlu as saying on Sunday in Istanbul, where he participated in the 41st Istanbul Marathon.

A draft law prepared by the ministry seeks to transfer the authority over the Bosphorus strait to the Undersecretariat of the Bosphorus and two new boards, which would effectively take over jurisdiction to make decisions on development projects in districts located along the city’s famed waterway that forms a continental boundary between Europe and Asia.