Istanbul taxi drivers delay price hike until after rerun vote

Following talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Istanbul taxi drivers on Monday decided to delay a long-awaited taxi fare hike until after next month’s mayoral election, opposition newspaper Sözcü ​reported​.

Eyüp Aksu, head of the Chamber of Istanbul Taxi Businesses, told Sözcü that the taxi tariff would increase 30 percent, to 3.25 Turkish lira per kilometre, while the initial payment would increase from 4 to 6 liras at the end of June.

Earlier this month, Turkey's top electoral board annulled the results of the March 31 vote and scheduled a rerun election in Istanbul, the country's financial powerhouse, for June 23. Erdoğan’s ruling party had appealed the initial results, in which the main opposition candidate claimed a slim victory.

Some 17,400 taxis operate in Istanbul, home to about a fifth of Turkey's population of 81 million people.

Aksu's comments came a few days after Erdoğan ​vowed that the​ Turkish government would not let the ride-hailing app Uber undermine the rights of Turkey’s taxi drivers.

New regulations were announced in recent weeks tightening transport licensing requirements, making it more difficult for drivers to register with Uber and threatening a two-year ban for violations.