Istanbul municipality approves water price cuts
The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Council has approved proposals to lower the price of water for city residents and the monthly transportation fee for students.
Accordingly, a discount of 46 percent will be applied to household water bills, whereas a 10 percent discount will be applied to workplaces.
“Previously, price increases in İSKİ [Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration] bills were … in line with inflation, but as of now, there will not be an increase depending on inflation. The prices [of water usage] will stay the same until the end of the year,” Tevfik Göksu, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Council’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) group deputy chairperson told reporters. Göksü is also the mayor of Istanbul’s Esenler district.
As for the student transportation monthly boarding passes, the price has been reduced from 85 Turkish Liras (approximately $14) to 40 liras (approximately $8).
These monthly transportation cards, also called “blue cards,” will be valid for 30 days, or for 200 rides, according to the new ruling.
Also, the municipality council has approved making public transportation free of charge on the upcoming national holidays, the Youth and Sports Day on May 19, as well as the Ramadan feast.
The proposals were submitted by the AKP to the council, but in fact, the price discounts for water usage and student monthly passes were election promises of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) mayoral candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu.
Following the municipal council’s decision, İmamoğlu tweeted on May 15: “The water discount that we had promised prior to the election and had proposed to the İSKİ General Council during our 18-day-long performance, has passed the İBB [Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality] council. Let this be beneficial for Istanbul residents.”
AKP’s mayoral candidate Binali Yıldırım lost against CHP candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu, trailing by around 13,000 votes behind his rival in the local elections on March 31.
The Supreme Election Council (YSK) members accepted on May 6 the AKP’s objection to the results in Istanbul, revoking İmamoğlu’s mayoral certificate and ruling for an election re-run set for June 23.