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Turkish court rejects appeal of regulation transferring administration of municipal companies to city councils

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Turkey’s Council of State has rejected an appeal for a stay of execution of a Ministry of Commerce regulation authorizing city councils, instead of mayors, to appoint board members and directors to municipal companies, the Gazete Duvar news website reported on Tuesday.

The appeal was filed by the Ankara Municipality, which requested a stay of execution and the annulment of the regulation altogether. While the top administrative court rejected the request for a stay of execution, the content of the regulation will be reviewed and decided on at a later time, the report said.

Until the promulgation of the regulation, the executives of municipal companies were appointed by mayors, while the city councils were tasked with auditing them. The Ankara Municipality said the regulation has led to an illogical situation whereby the city councils are authorized to both manage and inspect the companies.

The regulation came after Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) suffered a string of significant defeats in last year’s local elections, including the loss of Turkey’s two largest cities, İstanbul and Ankara, to the candidates of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

AKP officials have been involved in rows with the İstanbul and Ankara mayors over major construction projects and, more recently, municipal donation campaigns for pandemic relief.

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