13 more cities to gain metropolitan status
Black sea province of Trabzon is one of the 13 cities that will be metropolitan.A legal resolution that will give Aydın, Balıkesir, Denizli, Hatay, Malatya, Manisa, Kahramanmaraş, Mardin, Muğla, Tekirdağ, Trabzon, Şanlıurfa and Van metropolitan municipality status has been submitted to Turkey’s Grand Assembly by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
“12 years have passed since the last metropolitan municipality was established in Turkey,” the resolution read.
“In this period of time, the need has arisen for the establishment of new metropolitan municipalities for administrative, economic, and social reasons,” it also said.
New districts to be built
Under the new resolution, new districts will be built in the new metropolitan municipalities, and in 52 non-metropolitan cities, towns having populations less than 2,000 will be cease to exist as separate legal entities. With the new resolution, 56 million of Turkey’s citizens will live within the boundaries of metropolitan municipalities.
When the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) was preparing a proposal to Parliament to move forward the date of local elections, it also began working on a new law to extend the boundaries of the metropolitan municipalities in order to gain as many votes as possible in the local polls.
If approved, the law would increase the number of metropolitan municipalities from 16 to 29 and change their structures to the advantage of the AKP.
The changes must be concluded by Oct. 27, because regulations affecting elections can only go into force 12 months after they are passed.
The AKP moved to bring the elections forward from March 2014 to Oct. 27, 2013.