Istanbul mayor İmamoğlu to file criminal complaint against AKP’s municipal subsidiaries

Istanbul’s newly elected opposition mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu is preparing to file a criminal complaint against the heads of municipality subsidiaries appointed by the former ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) mayor, who have not resigned from their posts after he took office.

The subsidiary companies are set up to provide municipal services, including provision of water and transport, but have separate budgets and can hold the status of private legal entities.

“We promised the people that we would give an account for everything. There are administrators who are resisting the authority granted to us by the people of Istanbul. The municipal subsidiaries mean two thirds of the municipal budget and 80 percent of the staff. We are not going to allow a handful of people to stand against the will of the nation,” İmamoğlu said on Twitter.

The new Istanbul mayor had previously called on all 28 subsidiaries of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) to gather their general boards and elect new administrative boards after becoming mayor of Turkey’s financial powerhouse in the June 23 Istanbul mayoral election redo.

Ten officials who resigned from their posts in the municipality after İmamoğlu took office have kept their positions as presidents on administrative boards of the municipality’s 10 most important companies, independent news site Diken quoted İmamoğlu as saying.

The 28 IBB-affiliated companies have a total annual turnover estimated at 24 billion lira ($4.2 billion), almost two-thirds of the budget, according to İmamoğlu.

The Istanbul mayor criticised the companies for waiting out the 45-day grace period following his authorisation as mayor of Istanbul.

“Why are you going to remain there for another 40-45 days? What for? This is not your own company and I’m not taking over for myself. As such, it doesn’t matter who is there. I’m going to file a criminal complaint, whether it is my right or not,” İmamoğlu went on to say.

İmamoğlu made international headlines on June 23 by ending 25 years of rule in the city by the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its predecessors.

Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, is also its main economic hub, making the loss a highly significant one for the ruling party.