Turkey curbs municipality powers in transport, infrastructure

The Turkish government has ended the majority the big municipalities had in provincial coordination centres that decide on transport and infrastructure investment decisions, according to a new regulation published in the Official Gazette on Wednesday.

The new regulation changes the composition of the members of those centres, adding new institutions that represent the central government. 

The municipalities in Turkey’s largest cities have 11 members in those centres. The new regulation increases the seats of central government institutions from 10 to 14, by including the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Family and Social Policies, Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation and the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority among institutions represented in the coordination centres.

The coordination centres work under the directive of mayors.

The new rules come after opposition candidates won local elections in five of the country’s six most populous provinces last year. Istanbul mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu and Ankara mayor Mansur Yavaş ended 25 years rule by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its predecessors in the country’s biggest city and its capital.