The government is planning to widen the authority of the district municipalities while narrowing down the authority of provincial municipalities, especially when it comes to the major provinces such as Istanbul and Ankara.
As the Hürriyet newspaper reported yesterday, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government is planning to make some changes within the district authorities within the scope of the presidential system reforms that are on the way. In this respect, it is reported that in metropolises such as Istanbul and Ankara, some authorities of the metropolitan municipality will be transferred to the district municipalities.
Last week, senior AK Party figures and mayors had a meeting at the party's headquarters, evaluating steps that should have been taken to increase the authority of the local administrations and their efficiency.
In order to increase efficiency, it is suggested to make alterations within distribution of certain authorities and transfer some rights to the districts. It is reported that the party has been working on the issue for a while now, consulting local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and local administration experts on the issue. If the final draft of the work gets approval from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, it will be presented to the National Assembly.
The work also suggests an increase within the revenue of the local administrations while strengthening the hand of the municipalities when it comes to the fulfillment of a decree. It is also being planned that the top managements of the municipalities will come to power alongside the mayor and when the term of the mayor ends their duty will come to an end as well.
"The work regarding the local administrations will be presented to the National Assembly in the upcoming days. It is important for the municipalities, local administrations to be stronger. Both our districts and metropoles should be strong, their resources should be increased alongside with their authority and they should be much more stronger as units that are closest to the people," said AK Party authorities speaking on the issue, adding that as local administrations work better, local development and an increase in local welfare becomes higher.
On June 24, 2018, Turkey officially switched its administrative structure through an election and embraced the presidential system, leaving the parliamentary system behind. Although it was a new system for the country and there was ambiguity among the people regarding how it would function, the government has dedicated this whole year to the explanation of the benefits of the system and became quite successful in it. Still, as the system begins to settle, some reforms are needed to make it function more efficiently.
The Presidency took up the issue and urged the State Supervisory Council to inspect state institutions and determine what kind of reforms around which areas are needed.
Although it's been awhile since word of the first reforms started, the inspection by the State Supervisory Council comes to the forefront as the first concrete step toward any revision in the system. It was reported by Habertürk daily in July that the aim of the inspection is to measure the effect of the new system to the work and functioning of the institutions and to determine grey areas that cause problems.
Commenting on the opposition's criticism of the executive presidential system, Erdoğan had said previously that the new governmental model was approved by the public in a referendum, highlighting the drawbacks of the former parliamentary system regarding a stabilized administration.
"Turkey went through the era when governments were changing every eight months. We don't want to live with it anymore. We want an administration that quickly takes decisions and implements them," he said.
Turkish voters narrowly endorsed an executive presidency in the April 16, 2017 referendum with 51.4% of the votes. The official transition to the new system took place when Erdoğan took oath as president in Parliament after the June 24, 2018 election. After the March 31 local polls, opposition parties called to re-evaluate the executive president system.