Turkish Mayors
Research by Brian Baker

ON THIS PAGE: Turkish local government ||| Turkey's political parties ||| Mayors of largest Turkish cities |||



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Turkish mayorsTurkish local government
October 2019: Turkey, with a total population of some 82 million people, has eight cities with more than one million inhabitants. More than 42 per cent of Turks live in the country’s 20 largest cities. The residents of Istanbul – some 15 million – already account for more than 18 per cent of the country’s population. Despite the numerical, economic and cultural importance of Turkish cities, Turkey remains a highly centralised unitary state. While, as a member of the Council of Europe, Turkey is obliged to guarantee the political, administrative and financial independence of local authorities, the Council’s monitoring committee has reported ‘fundamental deficits in implementation’. While the findings were announced well before the March 2019 local elections, the annulment of the initial results of the mayoral election in Istanbul and the dismissal of the elected mayors of Diyarbakir and Van over allegations of links to Kurdish separatists in August 2019, strengthen the authors’ assertions that the independence of local authorities in Turkey is still threatened by central government.


Main political parties in Turkey
AKP (Justice and Development Party); Conservative, authoritarian; Party of President Recep Erdogan; Members of Parliament: 291/600; Control of municipalities: 737/1,351

CHP (Republican People’s Party); Social-democratic, centre-left; Main opposition party; Members of Parliament: 140/600; Control of municipalities: 261/1,351

HDP (People’s Democratic Party); Socialist, liberal; Second largest opposition party; Members of Parliament: 62/600; Control of municipalities: 62/1,351

MHP (Nationalist Movement Party); Far-right. Nationalist; Members of Parliament: 49/600; Control of municipalities: 234/1,351

IVI (IVI Party); Conservative, liberal, pro-European; Members of Parliament: 39/600; Control of municipalities: 25/1,351

DP (Democrat party); Centre-right, liberal; Members of Parliament: 1/600; Control of municipalities: 8/1,351

DSP (Democratic Left Party); Social democrat, centre-left; Members of Parliament: 0/600; Control of municipalities: 5/1,351


Mayors of the largest Turkish cities
City, population,
municipal website
Mayor,
Mr or Ms
Elections
Profile & Politics
Adana
Popl: 1,719,000
www.adana.gov.tr
Zeydan Karalar, Mr • First elected March 2019;
• Next election 2024
• Born 1958
• Engineer;
• Mayor of Seyhon 2014 – 2019;
• Won in 2019 with 54% of votes.;
• Chair of CHP Provincial Party since 2010;
• Party. CHP
Adapazari
Popl: 512,000
www.adapazari.gov.tr
Mutlu Isiksu, Mr • First elected March 2019;
• Next election 2024
• Born 1974;
• Politician;
• Lost election for mayor in 2014;
• District President AKP 2009 – 2014;
• Party: AKP
Ankara
Popl: 5,445,000
http://www.ankara.gov.tr/
Mansur Yavas, Mr • First elected March 2019;
• Next election 2024
• Born 1955
• Lawyer by profession;
• Mayor of Beypazari from 1999 to 2009 as member of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP):
• Left MHP in 2013 to join the centre-left Republican People’s Party (CHP)
• Contested the 2014 Ankara mayoral election, which he ‘lost’ in controversial circumstances by one per cent of the vote.
• Party: Republican People’s Party (CHP)
Antalya
Popl: 1,194,200
www.antalya.gov.tr
Muhittin Bocek, M • First elected March 2019;
• Next election 2024
• Born 1962;
• Politician; • Administrator;
• Four terms at Mayor of Konyaalti and also as President of the Mediterranean Municipalities;
• Party: CHP
Bursa
Popl: 1,926,000
www.bursa.gov.tr
Alinur Aktas, Mr • Became mayor 2017;
• Elected March 2019;
• Next election 2024
• Born 1970;
• Politician;
• Former mayor of Inegol;
• Party: AKP
Denizli
Popl: 611,200
www.denizli.gov.tr
Osman Zolan, Mr • First elected 2014;
• Re-elected 2019
• Next election 2024
• Born 1964;
• Lawyer. Politician. Originally appointed mayor in 2011;
• Party. AKP
Diyarbakir
Popl: 1,010,000
www.diyarbakir-bld.gov.tr
Adnan Selcuk Mizrakh, Mr • First elected March 2019;
• Dismissed August 2019 for political reasons:
• Subsequently the government appointed Husan Guzeloglu as so-called mayor;
• Next election 2024
• Born 1963;
• Doctor of Medicine;
• Member of Parliament;
• Was one of several elected mayors removed in August 2019 by the Turkish government which cited alleged encouragement of/ connections with Kurdish separatists;
• Party: HDP
Erzurum
Popl: 409,300
www.erzurum.gov.tr
Mehmet Sekman, Mr • First elected 2014;
• Re-elected 2019;
• Next election 2024
• Born 1958;
• Formerly in business as a financial advisor.
• Manager and Politician;
• Formerly a Member of Parliament and Mayor of Samandira and also of Kartal;
• Party: AKP
Eskisehir
Popl: 746,600
www.eskisehir.gov.tr
Yilmaz Buyukersan, Mr • First elected 1999;
• Re-elected 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019;
• Next election 2024
• Born 1937;
• Artist, Academic and Teacher;
• Former Director of Anadolu University;
• Member of Democratic Left party until 2011;
• Party: CHP
Gaziantep
Popl: 1,626,400
www.gaziantep.gov.tr
Fatma Sahin, Ms • First elected 1999;
• Re-elected 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019;
• Next election 2024
• Born 1966;
• Engineer and Politician;
• Former Member of Parliament and Government Minister;
• Elected mayor in 2014;
• Maintains close relations to European Union:
• Shortlisted for the 2018 World Mayor Prize:
• Party: AKP.
Gebze
Popl: 686,800
www.gebze.gov.tr
Zinnur Buyokgoz, Mr • First elected 2019;
• Next election 2024
• Born 1964;
• Politician;
• Contractor and architect though mostly employed as a city planner;
• Also a Businessperson;
• Deputy Mayor 2004-2009;
• Won 2019 election with 51% of the votes
Istanbul
Popl: 14,670,000
www.istanbul.gov.tr
Ekrem Imamoglu, Mr • First elected March 2019;
• Result subsequently annulled;
• Re-elected with increased majority in June 2019;
• Next election 2024
• Born 1970;
• Business Owner and corporate manager;
• Mayor of Beylikdozu 2014 – 2019;
• Head of CHP Youth Wing from 2009:
• Following narrow victory in March 2019 the Government annulled the result and ordered fresh election;
• In June 2019, Mr Imamoglu won by 800,000 votes;
• Party: CHP
Izmir
Popl: 2,931,000
www.izmir.gov.tr
Tunc Soyer Mr • First elected March 2019;
• Next election 2024
• Born 1959;
Politician and administrator;
• Previously employed by Izmir Chamber of Commerce;
• Mayor of Seferihisar between 2009 – 2019;
• Won the 2019 election by securing 58% of votes;
• Party: CHP
Kahramanmaras
Popl:  517,900
www.kahramanmaras.gov.tr
Hayrettin Gungor, Mr • First elected March 2019;
• Next election 2024
• Born 1965:
• Public management specialist and financial advisor;
• Party: AKP
Kayseri
Popl:  929,700
www.kayseri.gov.tr
Memduh Buyukkilic, Mr • First elected March 2019;
• Next election 2024
• Born 1953:
• Doctor of Medicine;
• Extensive experience as a manager in NGOs;
• Formerly a Member of Parliament;
• Has served as mayor of several smaller cities in the Kayseri region;
• Party: AKP
Konya
Popl: 1,268,900
www.konya.gov.tr
Ugur Ibrahim Altay, Mr • First elected March 2019;
• Next election 2024
• Born 1974;
• Civil engineer, business owner, project manager;
• Elected as Mayor of Selcuklu in 2009 and in 2014;
• Party: AKP
Malatya
Popl:  453,100
www.malatya.gov.tr
Ahmet Cakir, Mr • First elected 2009;
• Re-elected 2014 and March 2019;
• Next election 2024
• Born 1964;
• Business Owner.;
• Party: AKP
Mersin
Popl:  974,100
www.mersin.gov.tr
Vahap Secer, Mr • First elected March 2019;
• Next election 2024
• Born 1963;
• Member of Parliament 2007 – 2015;
• Party: CHP
Samsun
Popl: 595,400
www.samsun.bel.tr
Mustafa Demir, Mr • First elected March 2019;
• Next election 2024
• Born 1961;
• Architect:
• Former President of AKP in Samsun;
• Party. AKP
Sanliurfa
Popl:  573,800
www.sanliurfa.bel.tr
Zeynal Abidin Beyazgul, Mr • First elected March 2019;
• Next election 2024
• Born 1957;
• Lawyer and notary;
• Party. AKP
Van
Popl:  480,600
www.van.bel.tr
Bedia Ozgokce Ertan, Ms • First elected March 2019.;
• Dismissed August 2019 for political reasons;
• The government subsequently appointed Mehmet Elmin Bilmez as replacement
• Born 1975;
• Lawyer;
• Founder of the Van branch of Human Rights Association;
• In 2004 became the first woman to be elected to the provincial assembly;
• Member of Parliament since 2015;
• After winning in March 2019 with 54% of the vote, dismissed by Government in August 2019 for alleged associations with Kurdish separatists:
• Party. HDP




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