Yıldırım says Turkey’s Uber ban ‘can be reviewed’
Yıldırım, the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) mayoral candidate for Istanbul for the March 31 local elections, touched on the ongoing Uber ban during his meeting with a group of journalists in Turkey’s largest city on Jan. 7.
“Taxis are the mirrors of our city. They should be checked on education and security issues. Uber, on the other hand, is a technological convenience. [The ban on] it can be reviewed if required adjustments are made,” he said.
Yıldırım added that he had operated two taxis in Istanbul in the 1980s but sold them after four months after concluding that “the business was not for me.”
After a series of violent attacks by taxi drivers on Uber drivers, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had intervened in June, heralding an end to Uber in Turkey. “That business is now over. There is no such thing anymore,” he had said.
Then a prime minister, Yıldırım had also supported taxi drivers, saying that the Uber dispute was “finished” and it is the government’s duty to remove the ride-sharing app’s network.
Since then, the number of Uber cars in Istanbul has significantly decreased as authorities have begun to issue hefty fines both to drivers and passengers.
Meanwhile, customer complaints against taxi drivers, especially in Istanbul, skyrocketed.
In September, rumors that Uber may be legalized soon were triggered after the ride sharing app announced that Turkish users of its UberXL service can now receive official electronic receipts.
When a Turkish Twitter user asked whether the e-receipt would be approved by Turkey’s Treasury and Finance Ministry, the company responded positively.
Despite rumors on social media, it was not clear whether the Uber decision was part of a larger initiative that would legalize the company’s activities in Turkey.