Global Journal on Humanites & Social Sciences

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1 Global Journal on Humanites & Social Sciences Issue 2 (2015) Selected Paper of 3rd World Congress of Administrative and Political Sciences, (APDOL -2014) November 2014, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. Reform in Local Governments: What Did the New Municipal Law Bring in Turkey? * Cigdem Akman, Egirdir Vocational School, Suleyman Demirel University, 32500, Egirdir, Isparta, Turkey. Elvettin Akman, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of Public Administration, Suleyman Demirel University, 32260, Cunur-Isparta, Turkey. Murat Okcu, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of Public Administration, Suleyman Demirel University, 32260, Cunur-Isparta, Turkey. Suggested Citation: Akman, C., Akman, E. & Okcu, M. (2015). Reform in Local Governments: What Did the New Municipal Law Bring in Turkey?, Global Journal on Humanites & Social Sciences. [Online]. 02, pp Available from:http://www.world-education-center.org/index.php/pntsbs Received May 28, 2014; revised July 15, 2014; accepted October 09, Selection and peer review under responsibility of Prof. Dr. Andreea Iluzia IACOB, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, Romania Academic World Education & Research Center. All rights reserved. Abstract After 2000s significant change and transformation in local government has been achieved in Turkey and as a result, a lot of legal arrangement has been put into operation. As a result of these changes, which can be called as local government reform, it has been tried to form a local government structure that is powerful in view of authority, duty, source and has accountability, transparency, public particip ation. In this framework, local government units have been reshaped and their structure, duties, authorities have been redefined. While some units were abolished, some of them were united. In this study, 6360 numbered law is focused on. In this framework, it is aimed at shedding light on the change in local governments by examining municipalities, special provincial administrations, local government unions and villages. Keywords: Local government, 6360 numbered law, Localization. * This study is backed up by TUBITAK. Project No: 112K538, Project Name: ''Quests for New Scales in Locally Based Service Delivery: A review on Metropolitan Municipalities and Associations of Local Authorities.'' ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE: Cigdem Akman, Egirdir Vocational School, Suleyman Demirel University, 32500, Egirdir, Isparta, Turkey. address: / Tel.:

2 1. Introduction Turkey has been going through a cleavage in local and regional service delivery since beginning of the new millennium. With various legal arrangements, service delivery and other relevant terms are redefined. The Act on Special Provincial Administration (No 5302), the Act on Metropolitan Municipality (No 5216), the Act on Municipality (No 5393), the Act on Local Government Unions (No 5355) and finally the Act on New Metropolitan Municipality (No 6360), which were enacted after 2003, are the examples of arrangements in the field of local governments. Notwithstanding researches on content and purposes of legal arrangements in literature of Turkish Public Administration and local governments, an important point, outreaching the wording of amendments and giving the spirit, is overlooked: In all reform attempts, a legal infrastructure on shifting from commune-based local government system to territorial-based local government system was set up. In our country, when we consider the Village Law, enacted in 1924 and the Municipal Law, enacted in 1930, it can be said that the most important fracture regarding local authorities was experienced with the foundation of Metropolitans in In these years when the globalization hit Turkey by all means, ''transformation'' experienced by all the aspects, showed its impact on municipals which are the most significant local government units in the provision of local services, and then a binary municipality system was adopted. This time, exactly 30 years later, in the year 2014, The Turkish Metropolitian Municipality Model/Experience, which is created in 1984, proceeded to a new step. Apparently, Law Number 6360 is related to the ''foundation of metropolitan municipalities in fourteen provinces and twenty-seven counties'', and it only increases the number of metropolitans. However, while the regulation made 30 years ago only separated municipalities into two, the newly arranged one divided almost all Turkish Local Government Structure into two. In this study, the changes taken place in our country's local government system with the anachment of Law Number 6360, will be put forward Numbered Law in General In 6360 numbered New Metropolitan City Municipality Law s reason; it is stated that administration paradigm has changed with globalization, which has brought about new values. In many developed countries, efficient, effective, citizen oriented, accountable, participatory, transparent, and highly local government mentality is seen as basic principle for public administration reforms. These principles and values envisage citizen contentment and increasing citizens active participation in administration by developing service quality. According to the new public administration mentality, it is stressed that public administration has to meet efficiency, productivity and citizens increasing service expectations (6360 Sayili Kanun Genel Gerekce). With the aim of meeting expectations mentioned in general reason, 6360 numbered law was passed in 2012 in a short period, and profound changes affecting Turkey s local government system were carried out. With this law, significant changes have been experienced in administrative structure, financial system, political geography, representation and participation, staff structure, service provision, reconstruction and planning. Regarding administrative area; some arrangements such as abolishment of legal personality, formation of new legal personalities, administrative loyalty, change of names, union and participation, change of borders, allocation of authority have been executed. Regarding financial area; budget share of local governments have been reformed and new allocation principles have been arranged. Regarding service provision; by the equation of territorial borders with municipality borders, a lot of change in metropolitan city municipalities service provision especially in reconstruction and planning were done. The new reformation process gone through by the new law changed duty-authority and service areas, and with redefinition of service area, service providing institutions structure has been rearranged (Izci & Turan, 2013) Numbered Law s Effect on Local Governments With 6360 numbered law, number of metropolitan municipalities has reached 30 and %77 of population has become urban dweller. In addition, %37 of special provincial administrations, %55 of municipalities, %49 of villages has been abolished. When these percentages are taken into consideration, 6360 numbered law means a radical change in local government (Karasu, 2013). 120

3 Seemingly, 6360 numbered law is about formation of metropolitan municipality in 14 cities, 27 districts and only increases metropolitan city number. However, while the arrangement about formation of metropolitan municipalities 30 years ago separates municipality system, this new arrangement separates Turkish local government structure. Metropolitan City Administration System composed of 30 metropolitan municipalities has brought important alteration. The chart below shows the change done in the numbers of local government units. Chart 1: Comparison of Before and After 6360 Numbered Law Former Situation New Situation Metropolitan Municipality Metropolitan District Municipality Provincial Municipality District Municipality Town Municipality Total Municipality Special Provincial Administration Village As the law has brought important changes for local government units, its effects must be examined separately. So, in this part of the study the law will be examined in view of for local government unit Municipalities in General With 6360 numbered law, there have been profound changes in metropolitan municipalities, district municipalities and town municipalities. One of the most important changes is that redefining metropolitan municipality and changing criteria for it, number of metropolitan cities have been increased from 16 to 30. The main point in the new law is that metropolitan municipalities borders have been broadened to city territorial borders. With these changes, town municipalities and villages have been abolished and they have been defined as quarters of district municipalities, which broadens metropolitan municipalities responsibilities. According to new law; municipalities having less than 2000 settlers were converted to villages, unless there are 500 settlers a new quarter cannot be established in municipality borders, metropolitan municipalities and municipalities having more than settlers have to guest house for children and women. With a new arrangement about authority delegation from metropolitan city municipality to metropolitan district municipalities, some responsibilities of metropolitan municipalities can be delivered to metropolitan district municipalities through council consent. This encourages cooperation between metropolitan municipalities and metropolitan district municipalities. In the framework of the new law, some town municipalities were closed and some of them were linked to city municipalities as district municipalities. As a result, 1053 town municipalities were converted to quarter and 27 new district were founded. From financial view, share of general budget tax income of non-metropolitan municipalities was decreased from % 2.85 to % 1.50, metropolitan district municipalities share of general budget tax income was increased from % 2.50 to % 4.50 (Law No: 6360, Article 25) Special Provincial Administration The most profound change affecting local government system is special provincial administrations abolishment in 30 metropolitan cities. Investment Observation Coordination Headship (IOCH) replaced special provincial administration. Seen as well established, special provincial administrations abolishment led to disputes and criticized on account to the fact that the abolishment is against constitution. However, constitutional court decided it was not against constitution. 121

4 IOCH was designed to work under control of governor with the aims: executing, observing and coordinating public institutions investments and services in metropolitan cities, coordination and execution of emergency call and emergency aid, advertisement of the city, coordinating and executing central administration s investment in rural areas, representation, ceremony, awarding and executing protocol services, guiding public institutions in the city and inspection of these services (Law No: 6360, Article 34). This change led to separated local a government system, 51 cities having special provincial administration, 30 cities having no special provincial administration. From financial view, while special provincial administrations share in general budget tax income is % 1.15, IOCH s share is % 0, Local Government Unions (Mahalli Idare Birlikleri) A lot of local government units in our country have difficulty in providing optimal service in efficient, effective, democratic way in justice and participation principle because of various legal, social, institutional, economical, administrative reasons. So, local governments are encouraged to established corporations for taking precautions to solve scale problems and cooperate, as seen other examples in the world. However, 6360 numbered law caused a contradictory situation mentioned above. Local government system has been separated into two parts. In this framework, special provincial administrations in metropolitan municipalities, local government unions and villages were done away with. With taking action of 6360 numbered New Metropolitan City Municipality Law on 30 th of March 2014, local government unions having no member and any agenda were done away with on 30 th of March 2014 at latest. Furthermore, the staff employed in these unions according to 5355 numbered Local Governments Union Law s 18 th article s first sentence were conveyed (Okcu ve Akman, 2014: 243). After 6360 numbered law, updated numbers related to local government and municipalities are so: Chart 2: Number of Local Government Unions and Municipal Administrations Type Municipal Administrations Local Government Unions Source: Mahalli Idareler Genel Mudurlugu, 2013 Yılı Mahalli Idareler Genel Faaliyet Raporu, After 30 March 2014 local elections, number of local government unions has decreased from 1411 to 784 as local government unions in metropolitans were abolished. Chart 3: Number of Local Government Unions According to Their Classification Type (Before 6360 Numbered Law) (After 6360 Numbered Law) 1. National wide unions Municipality service union Special provincial administration-municipality service union 4. Development union Environment infrastructure service union Tourism union Fresh water union Village service union Other Total

5 Source: Mahalli Idareler Genel Mudurlugu, 2013 Yılı Mahalli Idareler Genel Faaliyet Raporu, In new metropolitan administration system there is no village or special provincial administration, so it is not possible administration units to from unions 3.4. Villages (Koyler) Villages in the borders of metropolitan cities were abolished and linked to district municipalities as quarters. In this way, villages were converted to quarters. What is outstanding here is that with the new arrangement village culture was destroyed and rural citizens were converted from villagers to urban townsman. As more research and observation are carried out and the law is enforced, new findings about how the sociologic change affects villagers will be able to be determined. Another important point is how agricultural and animal husbandry are affected and what kind of precautions will be taken and enforced. While in villages non-legal personality any more, tax, fee and share responsibilities did not exist in the past, with the new law these responsibilities are valid for peasants. The law has suspended these responsibilities for 5 years for peasants to get ready. Moreover, price of fresh water in villages is adjusted not to excess %25 of lowest scale during 5 years. 4. General Evaluation and Conclusion It seems that alteration process in Turkey started in the framework of administration reforms has gained a new dimension with 6360 numbered law and local government system has been divided into two parts. In this context, well established special provincial administrations have been replaced by Investment Observation Coordination Headship (IOCH), duplication of metropolitan municipalities with the new law, abolishment of local government unions established for corporation among local government units and execution of public service in accordance, abolishment of villages legal personality and peasants being converted to urban townsman, which all are outstanding. In addition to these, it is seen that with important financial change, through transfers coming from central administration, local governments income has been increased. As stated in the constitution, whether their responsibilities are balanced with their income is still arguable. Because their authority and responsibilities have increased, their financial source must be sufficient to achieve their duties. To what extent, the basic reasons for the change such as efficient, eff ective, economical public service provision, accountability, transparency, being citizen oriented, participation are implemented is highly significant. Effects of 6360 numbered law changing local government system with the reasons mentioned above must be examined. With this study important changes caused by the new law are handled. However, after a period of application of the law, it must be examined in a detailed way and its shortcomings must be dealt with. References 6360 Sayili Kanun Genel Gerekce, Received from: İzci, F., & Turan M. (2013). Turkiye de Buyuksehir Belediyesi Sistemi ve 6360 Sayili Yasa Ile Buyuksehir Belediyesi Sisteminde Meydana Gelen Degisimler: Van Örnegi, Suleyman Demirel Universitesi, Iktisadi ve Idari Bilimler Fakultesi Dergisi, 18(1), Karasu, M. A. (2013) Sayili Buyuksehir Belediye Kanunu ve Olası Etkileri -Sanliurfa Ornegi, Gazi Universitesi İ.İ.B.F. Dergisi, 15(1), Mahalli İdareler Genel Mudurlugu, 2013 Yili Mahalli Idareler Genel Faaliyet Raporu, Received from: Okcu, M., & Akman, E. (2014) Sayılı Kanun Sonrası Mahalli İdare Birliklerinde Ortaya Cikan Yeni Durum, Uluslararasi Turk Dunyasi Yerel Yönetimler Sempozyumu Bildiriler Kitabı, Editör: Deniz İscioglu, KKTC,

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