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InstitutionalMunicipal Brief History

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Republic of Turkey took over a centralist government structure from the Ottoman Empire. Constitutes are the most important arrangement affected municipalities of the Republican period. First one of them is the Constitution of 1921. The fact that Ankara became the capital city and governors of that time thought of a city to serve as an example accelerated the development activities. Ankara has always been a considerable laboratory in terms of municipality government. First, Ankara Shehremaneti (first form of modern municipality) was established with law no. 417 on 16th April 1924.

Ankara Shehremaneti undertook quite important duties between the years 1924-1930. In this period, drainages were made, expropriations were performed, factories were established for construction materials workers’ need for housing were met, gas depot, flour factory and bakery were opened and a contest for development plan of Ankara was organized.

Shehremaneti Law was abrogated by law no 1580 that came into force in the year 1930. Although law no. 1580 has been subject to several amendments up to now, it has been the primary source specifying duties, rights and obligations of modern municipalities. Since single party governed the country within the period from foundation of the republic till the year 1946, no democratic institutions can be seen.

The most significant amendment in law no. 1580 was made by the Decree Law no. 195 about Establishment of Metropolitan Municipalities came into force on 23.03.1984. The mentioned decree law was later amended by law no. 3030 on 09.07.1984.

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Meanwhile, the most important arrangements made in the local government field were “Ankara Development Directorate Law” of 1928 No. 1351, “Municipalities’ Banking Law” of 1933, “Bank of Provinces Law” of 1945, “Development Law” of 1956 No. 6785 and “Law on Establishment of Ministry of Public Works and Settlement” accepted by Law no. 7116 in 1958. The development law was shaped into its modern form by law no. 3194 on 9th November 1985.

Migrating from West into the Ottoman government structure, municipality governments were forgotten under the shade of central government for years. It could not make adequate use of scientific and technologic developments and its share taken from the gross national product was quite low. (About 0,5%)

Source transfer to the municipalities by central governments was usually determined in accordance with political tendencies of the mayors. Therefore, 1980’s were waited by municipalities to produce large and medium scaled urban projects.

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With the municipality income law No. 2464 adopted in these years, the share taken by the municipalities from the gross national product was increased to 4% in certain years. Although providing the metropolitan municipalities with a separate share from the taxes collected in the city by law no. 3030, transferring the power to collect property tax to the municipalities and additional source allocation from various funds in addition to the general budget shares provided to the municipalities on population basis within the framework of law no. 2380 put the municipalities at ease, an economic structure befitting the scope and deepness of the services rendered has not been constituted.