After Turkey's President Erdoğan's ruling party AKP lost several provincial municipalities to the opposition's candidate in March 31 elections, the newly elected city administrators report the burgeoning debt balance of the municipalities.
According to Sözcü daily, the newly elected mayor from the opposition party CHP, Zeydan Karalar, said that the municipality has 4.2 billion liras (~740 million USD) of debt.
"The debt is more than 4.2 billion liras and there is no income to pay this debt. It has a budget deficit, expenses are more than the total income. Neither providing service nor paying debt is possible," said Karalar.
According to the sources, in 2018, İstanbul municipality's total income amounted to 18 billion 425 millions of liras; the debt on the books, however, was 20 billion 215 million. The total debt of the municipality to domestic and foreign banks, subsidiaries, public institutions, and organizations and their affiliates is approximately 22 billion liras.
According to the reports of the mid-2018, the debt of Ankara metropolitan municipality had 4.5 billion liras. The municipality owes 1.25 billion liras to the Treasury; short and long term bank debt was 2 billion liras. The municipality has a 1.3 billion liras of debt to 3rd parties, while the interest expenses are 142 million liras.
Erdoğan's ruling AKP lost two major cities, Ankara and Istanbul, to the opposition party candidates after many years, according to the results of the March 31 elections. Ankara's newly-elected mayor has recently received his official certificates after one week, while AKP continues appealing to the results in Istanbul, leading partial and total recounts of the votes in all 39 districts.
AKP also appealed for annulment of local elections in Istanbul.
AKP DOES NOT WANT TO GIVE ISTANBUL
Çiğdem Toker from Sözcü daily wrote the ruling AKP's insistent moves and discourses, showing their unwillingness to lose Istanbul.
“What makes the loss heavy is actually a secret known by everyone,” Toker wrote in her column last week, referring to the importance of Istanbul as a source for rent-seeking activities and a center for financial distribution.
“We are talking about tens of thousands of bids, public resources that can be identified with hundreds of billions, and the authority to spend them,” Toker wrote.
The city administration under the ruling party AKP is also known for its endowments that worth millions of dollars to Islamic charities and foundations run by the Erdoğan family.