More questions about iTaksi and Istanbul’s infrastructure
Lately, I have written that it would be better if the Istanbul Municipality did not enter competition with private entrepreneurs. I wrote that the municipality should not act as an investment fund with the money they collect from residents. I had two main points for being against the municipality’s investments. The first reason is that it is not fair on real entrepreneurs when the municipality enters competition.
For example, we already have a Turkish taxi-hailing application called Bitaksi and we also have a local Uber called Olev. So, instead of establishing a competition between these two, the municipality should find a way to support them. That’s how it is done globally. The second point for why I am against the municipality acting as an investment fund is the basic fact that it collects our money to do municipality works. Nobody in the municipality called me to ask if I wanted my money to be used for establishing a competition between Turkish startups instead of building better rain drainage systems.
Because the Istanbul Municipality is too busy establishing competition and killing innovation, it is at the point of not being able to do its core duties. This is unacceptable. It is a shame. How in the world can any municipality executive explain to me that I had to almost swim to reach the metro while the municipality supported soccer teams spending millions of euros to compete against Istanbul’s own soccer teams?
Can someone at the municipality explain to me the fact that it was a better decision to buy the latest player to a football team instead of taking necessary precautions in order to prevent Gayrettepe metro station from flooding? How can anyone explain that the third bridge had to be closed down because of heavy rain, when the municipality and the Istanbul Governor’s Office told us that the bridge could shelter millions of people if and when a disaster struck Turkey? They told us that the bridge and the roads that were built leading to the third bridge were built to withstand any disaster that could happen in Istanbul.
Apparently a day of heavy rain was heavier than all the possible disasters the Istanbul Municipality mentioned and was ready for.
It’s about time the municipality went back to basics and became a decent municipality, instead of destroying markets with its unnecessary investments. It’s about time that the Istanbul Municipality realized that we, as citizens, need the municipality and don’t want new startups from them; we just want to be able to commute in Istanbul without the fear of drowning. We don’t want them to give millions of dollars to a team that no body supports. We want to find a decent park and enjoy having many trees surrounding us.
Istanbul is the city with the least amount of trees, with a figure of only 1.4 percent. It is disastrous when you compare this to London’s 19 percent, or New York’s 14 percent. If the Istanbul Municipality were to make a survey, it would surely understand what the people really want.
I urge them to stop anything that doesn’t fall into the municipalities’ core mission. It is bad for the people, it is bad for business, it is bad for innovation and it is bad for the country when the municipality functions like an investment fund.