Gov’t transfers mayoral appointment authority to city councils after losses in big cities

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Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu at İstanbul city council.

In a move that violates the Turkish Municipalities Law, Turkey’s Ministry of Commerce has transferred the mayoral authority to appoint executives to municipal companies to the city councils, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Wednesday.

The ministry’s controversial decision, which it announced in a regulation on May 20, came shortly after the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost mayoral elections in big cities in the March 31 local elections including Ankara, İstanbul and İzmir.

The 37th article of the Municipalities Law states that a mayor is the head of the municipal administration and a representative of the municipality’s legal entity; hence, the mayor has the right to make appointments to municipal companies.

The ministry’s move has been interpreted as an attempt by the AKP to prevent opposition mayors from making appointments to municipal companies on their own.

The mayoral election in İstanbul, which was repeated on Sunday due to AKP objections, was again won by the opposition candidate, Ekrem İmamoğlu.

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