New Metropolitan Regime of Turkey: Authoritarian Urbanization via (Local) Governmental Restructuring

Alkan A.

LEX LOCALIS-JOURNAL OF LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT, vol.13, no.3, pp.849-877, 2015 (SSCI) identifier identifier


In December 2012, approximately 1,5 years before the March 2014 Local Elections and 2 years before the August 2014 Presidential Elections, Turkish Grand National Assembly of the single party AKP majority government- enacted a Law not only establishing 14 new Metropolitan Municipalities in addition to the 16 former, but also annihilating 30 Provincial Local Governments, 1.635 Town Municipalities, and 16.580 Village Local Administrations, which makes almost the half of Turkey's local governments. The Law, at the same time, made amendments to the legislation on local governments. As a consequence of this arrangement which represents the largest restructuration of the (local) administrative system all throughout the Republican history, Turkey's urban population artificially increased to 91% from 77% in 2012, and 77% of Turkey's population started to live in metropolitan areas. This paper analyses the demographic, administrative, local governmental changes brought by the new system, and tries to make clear its wider context in terms of late AKP government's economic and urban policies, and authoritarian tendencies.