TÜRKİYE BELEDİYELER BİRLİĞİ

 

Municipal Organs

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A-    Municipal Council

The municipal council is the decision-making body of the municipality, elected by people for five years. Except for metropolitan municipalities, the municipal council has minimum 9 to maximum 55 seats for councillors depending on the population size of the city. The mayor should be added to these figures for the mayor is a natural member and speaker of the municipal council

 

Table 5: Number of municipal councillors by municipal population

Municipal population

Number of municipal councillors

Up to 10,000

9

10,001 to 20,000

11

20,001 to 50,000

15

50,001 to 100,000

25

100,001 to 250,000

31

250,001 to 500,000

37

500,001 to 1,000,000

45

Above 1,000,000

55

 

No separate election is held for the metropolitan council. One fifth of district municipal councillors (highest voted) shall also become councillors in the metropolitan council. Further, district mayors are also natural members in the metropolitan council. The metropolitan mayor is also the speaker of the metropolitan council.

 

The number of seats in the metropolitan council varies by the number and sizes of districts. For example, Istanbul Metropolitan Council has 300 councillors plus the mayor.

 

Those who are eighteen years of age may vote in the parliamentary and local elections. However, to be elected a parliamentary deputy, mayor or municipal councillor, one needs to be at least twenty five years of age.

 

Municipal councillors are paid out of the municipal budget for the meetings they have participated. The payment is one third of that made to the mayor. Mayors receive remuneration established in the law on the basis of population size of the city. Councillors are reimbursed for expenses whenever they are assigned outside the city.

 

a-      Major duties of municipal council

  •  Approve the municipality’s strategic plan, budget, work program and investment program;
  •  Approve the municipality’s revenues and expenditures, and annual report for the previous year;
  • Approve land development plans;
  •  Decide on granting concessions, establishing enterprises and companies, allow sales of companies;
  •  Allow the municipality to borrow, purchase and sell property;
  • Set the fee rates for municipal services;
  •  Decide on the organization of the municipality.

 

b-     Council oversight

The municipal council is both the decision-making body and the supervisory body. The council shall exercise such power when granting approvals or permits as mentioned above as well as by posing questions to or tabling a motion of censure against the mayor.

A majority of at least three fourths of the full membership of the council shall be required to reject the annual report or declare the mayor incompetent. The resolution on incompetence of the mayor shall have legal effect only after it is upheld by the Council of State.

It is almost impossible to remove a mayor from office by this method. There is no mayor removed by a resolution of incompetence in the nine years since the entry into force of the Law.

 

c-      Dissolution of municipal council

A municipal council shall be dissolved by a decision of the Council of State upon the request of the Ministry of Interior where the municipal council in question neglects to timely perform its statutory duties and such failure impedes or delays the municipality’s work, or it passes resolutions on political issues unrelated to the duties conferred on the municipality. If the mayor votes affirmatively in the council resolutions that leads to dissolution, s/he will be removed from office by the Council of State as well.

 

B-     Municipal executive committee

The municipal council is the decision-making body of the municipality. The municipal executive committee is a commission that implements the resolutions of the council. The municipal executive committee is comprised of the mayor and 10 other persons in metropolitan municipalities, 6 in municipalities with population of 100,000 or above, and 4 in other municipalities. The mayor is also the chairperson of the municipal executive committee.

It is a mixed commission with one half of the members of being councillors elected by the municipal council, the other half municipal administrators selected by the mayor (one must be the fiscal administrator of the municipality).

Major functions of the municipal executive committee are as follows:

  •  Review the municipality’s strategic plan, annual work program, budget and revenues and expenditures of the previous year to be submitted to the municipal council;
  • Adopt expropriation decisions;
  • Hold tenders on the purchase, sale and lease of property;
  •  Impose statutory penalties.

The municipal executive committee convenes at least once a week on an agenda outlined by the mayor. Committee chairperson and members are paid a monthly allowance.

 

A-    Mayor

Mayors have since 1963 been elected by direct popular vote. The mayor and municipal councillors are elected for five years in the elections held on the same day. Re-election is not limited; for example Ankara metropolitan mayor is currently serving his fifth five-year term. The mayoral election is a single round, first-past-the-post voting, i.e. the highest voted candidate wins.

 

The mayor is a politically strong person because s/he is elected by direct popular vote and the mayor’s party of affiliation holds the majority in municipal council. The mayor is also administratively strong for s/he controls the municipal budget and manages the staff. S/he has the power to appoint and remove all municipal administrators and employees except in the case of the secretary-general and directors-general of affiliated entities where these positions exist in metropolitan municipalities and incumbents are appointed by the Minister of Interior upon a proposal from the respective mayor.

 

Since the mayor is the speaker of the council and the chairperson of the executive committee, s/he has the power to set the agenda and steer the debate in those bodies. The office is so strong that even incumbent parliamentary deputies compete for it; for example, in the last nation-wide local elections 6 incumbent parliamentary deputies were elected metropolitan mayors. There are also parliamentary deputies elected as provincial mayors. By rule, a parliamentary deputy will resign from the parliament when s/he is elected a mayor.

 

The mayor shall not take part in the management of political parties, or assume duties as a parliamentary deputy or any other public office.

 

The mayor has the following major functions:

  • Chair the meetings of the municipal council and municipal executive committee, and implement decisions/resolutions;
  • Govern the municipality in accordance with the strategic plan, work program and resolutions of the municipal council;
  • Pursue and collect the municipality’s revenues and receivables;
  • Protect the rights and interests of the municipality;
  • Represent the municipality; sign the contracts on behalf of the municipality;
  • Appoint municipal administrators and employees;
  • Manage the municipality’s affiliated entities and municipal enterprises
  •  Manage the municipality’s property.

VI. MUNICIPAL ORGANIZATION

A-    Municipality organizational structure

Municipal employees other than the elected administrators (mayor and municipal councillors) are organized in the organizational setup of the municipality as described in the Municipality Law.

 

For metropolitan municipalities, the secretary-general is the highest professional manager of the municipal organization while directors-general are the highest professional managers of the affiliates such as the water and sewer administration or the transport administration. Units under a secretary-general or director-general are setup as departments.

 

Non-metropolitan municipalities do not have a post of secretary-general; instead units are organized as branches directly reporting to the mayor. For non-metropolitan municipalities, the mayor may appoint vice-mayors from among councillors or municipal administrators.

 

The central government lays down the general principles concerning which units may be established at municipalities and affiliated entities, job positions and employees. In addition to the mandatorily established units along the said principles, municipalities may set up other necessary units by municipal council resolutions.

 

The municipal organization consists of units for clerical affairs, financial services, technical affairs and municipal police. Based on the needs, it is possible to establish units for health, fire-fighting, land development, human resources, legal affairs and other units.

 

The Municipality Law imposes a limit on personnel expenditures which shall not exceed 30% of the municipal budget. If such limit is exceeded, the municipality cannot recruit additional staff.

 

The personnel expenditures of municipalities stand at an average of 15.15% of their budget, or 17.59% if employer’s social security contributions are included.

 

B-     Personnel regulations

Municipalities employ three categories of personnel namely civil servants, contract staff and workers. Civil servants are employed in the administrator positions and mandatory service positions. Where a municipality does not have qualified staff for such positions as architects, engineers and lawyers, it may employ staff on one-year contracts. Workers are employed under labour contracts for non-mandatory tasks. In addition, municipalities have workers of private companies that are employed through outsourcing.

There is no specific legislation for civil servants and workers working at municipalities; they work under the legislation specific to their status, i.e. the Law on Civil Servants and the Labour Law.

Recruitment and remuneration of administrators, technical staff and office workers in the municipality are governed by the Law on Civil Servants.

The number of those employed through outsourcing has rapidly increased in recent years. Their bosses are the contractor companies.

 

C-    Municipal employees in the public sector

The ratio of municipal employees to all public employees in Turkey is much lower than in other OECD countries. The September 2014 data by the State Personnel Department indicated that municipal employees accounted for about 8% of all public employees. This ratio is above 30% in OECD countries except Greece; and above 70% in Denmark, Spain and Sweden.

 

Municipal staff

 

Other public employees

 

A-    Municipal Council

The municipal council is the decision-making body of the municipality, elected by people for five years. Except for metropolitan municipalities, the municipal council has minimum 9 to maximum 55 seats for councillors depending on the population size of the city. The mayor should be added to these figures for the mayor is a natural member and speaker of the municipal council

 

Table 5: Number of municipal councillors by municipal population

Municipal population

Number of municipal councillors

Up to 10,000

9

10,001 to 20,000

11

20,001 to 50,000

15

50,001 to 100,000

25

100,001 to 250,000

31

250,001 to 500,000

37

500,001 to 1,000,000

45

Above 1,000,000

55

 

 

No separate election is held for the metropolitan council. One fifth of district municipal councillors (highest voted) shall also become councillors in the metropolitan council. Further, district mayors are also natural members in the metropolitan council. The metropolitan mayor is also the speaker of the metropolitan council.

The number of seats in the metropolitan council varies by the number and sizes of districts. For example, Istanbul Metropolitan Council has 300 councillors plus the mayor.

Those who are eighteen years of age may vote in the parliamentary and local elections. However, to be elected a parliamentary deputy, mayor or municipal councillor, one needs to be at least twenty five years of age.

Municipal councillors are paid out of the municipal budget for the meetings they have participated. The payment is one third of that made to the mayor. Mayors receive remuneration established in the law on the basis of population size of the city. Councillors are reimbursed for expenses whenever they are assigned outside the city.

 

a-      Major duties of municipal council

  • Approve the municipality’s strategic plan, budget, work program and investment program;
  • Approve the municipality’s revenues and expenditures, and annual report for the previous year;
  • Approve land development plans;
  • Decide on granting concessions, establishing enterprises and companies, allow sales of companies;
  • Allow the municipality to borrow, purchase and sell property;
  • Set the fee rates for municipal services;
  • Decide on the organization of the municipality.

 

b-     Council oversight

The municipal council is both the decision-making body and the supervisory body. The council shall exercise such power when granting approvals or permits as mentioned above as well as by posing questions to or tabling a motion of censure against the mayor.

 

A majority of at least three fourths of the full membership of the council shall be required to reject the annual report or declare the mayor incompetent. The resolution on incompetence of the mayor shall have legal effect only after it is upheld by the Council of State.

 

It is almost impossible to remove a mayor from office by this method. There is no mayor removed by a resolution of incompetence in the nine years since the entry into force of the Law.

 

c-      Dissolution of municipal council

A municipal council shall be dissolved by a decision of the Council of State upon the request of the Ministry of Interior where the municipal council in question neglects to timely perform its statutory duties and such failure impedes or delays the municipality’s work, or it passes resolutions on political issues unrelated to the duties conferred on the municipality. If the mayor votes affirmatively in the council resolutions that leads to dissolution, s/he will be removed from office by the Council of State as well.

 

B-     Municipal executive committee

The municipal council is the decision-making body of the municipality. The municipal executive committee is a commission that implements the resolutions of the council. The municipal executive committee is comprised of the mayor and 10 other persons in metropolitan municipalities, 6 in municipalities with population of 100,000 or above, and 4 in other municipalities. The mayor is also the chairperson of the municipal executive committee.

It is a mixed commission with one half of the members of being councillors elected by the municipal council, the other half municipal administrators selected by the mayor (one must be the fiscal administrator of the municipality).

Major functions of the municipal executive committee are as follows:

  • Review the municipality’s strategic plan, annual work program, budget and revenues and expenditures of the previous year to be submitted to the municipal council;
  • Adopt expropriation decisions;
  • Hold tenders on the purchase, sale and lease of property;
  • Impose statutory penalties.

The municipal executive committee convenes at least once a week on an agenda outlined by the mayor. Committee chairperson and members are paid a monthly allowance.

A-    Mayor

Mayors have since 1963 been elected by direct popular vote. The mayor and municipal councillors are elected for five years in the elections held on the same day. Re-election is not limited; for example Ankara metropolitan mayor is currently serving his fifth five-year term. The mayoral election is a single round, first-past-the-post voting, i.e. the highest voted candidate wins.

 

The mayor is a politically strong person because s/he is elected by direct popular vote and the mayor’s party of affiliation holds the majority in municipal council. The mayor is also administratively strong for s/he controls the municipal budget and manages the staff. S/he has the power to appoint and remove all municipal administrators and employees except in the case of the secretary-general and directors-general of affiliated entities where these positions exist in metropolitan municipalities and incumbents are appointed by the Minister of Interior upon a proposal from the respective mayor.

 

Since the mayor is the speaker of the council and the chairperson of the executive committee, s/he has the power to set the agenda and steer the debate in those bodies. The office is so strong that even incumbent parliamentary deputies compete for it; for example, in the last nation-wide local elections 6 incumbent parliamentary deputies were elected metropolitan mayors. There are also parliamentary deputies elected as provincial mayors. By rule, a parliamentary deputy will resign from the parliament when s/he is elected a mayor.

 

The mayor shall not take part in the management of political parties, or assume duties as a parliamentary deputy or any other public office.

 

The mayor has the following major functions:

  • Chair the meetings of the municipal council and municipal executive committee, and implement decisions/resolutions;
  • Govern the municipality in accordance with the strategic plan, work program and resolutions of the municipal council;
  • Pursue and collect the municipality’s revenues and receivables;
  • Protect the rights and interests of the municipality;
  • Represent the municipality; sign the contracts on behalf of the municipality;
  • Appoint municipal administrators and employees;
  • Manage the municipality’s affiliated entities and municipal enterprises
  • Manage the municipality’s property.

VI. MUNICIPAL ORGANIZATION

 

A-    Municipality organizational structure

Municipal employees other than the elected administrators (mayor and municipal councillors) are organized in the organizational setup of the municipality as described in the Municipality Law.

For metropolitan municipalities, the secretary-general is the highest professional manager of the municipal organization while directors-general are the highest professional managers of the affiliates such as the water and sewer administration or the transport administration. Units under a secretary-general or director-general are setup as departments.

Non-metropolitan municipalities do not have a post of secretary-general; instead units are organized as branches directly reporting to the mayor. For non-metropolitan municipalities, the mayor may appoint vice-mayors from among councillors or municipal administrators.

The central government lays down the general principles concerning which units may be established at municipalities and affiliated entities, job positions and employees. In addition to the mandatorily established units along the said principles, municipalities may set up other necessary units by municipal council resolutions.

The municipal organization consists of units for clerical affairs, financial services, technical affairs and municipal police. Based on the needs, it is possible to establish units for health, fire-fighting, land development, human resources, legal affairs and other units.

The Municipality Law imposes a limit on personnel expenditures which shall not exceed 30% of the municipal budget. If such limit is exceeded, the municipality cannot recruit additional staff.

The personnel expenditures of municipalities stand at an average of 15.15% of their budget, or 17.59% if employer’s social security contributions are included.

As depicted in Figure 2, provincial, district or town municipalities (non-metropolitan municipalities) have no position of secretary-general; units are organized as branches.

 

 

B-     Personnel regulations

Municipalities employ three categories of personnel namely civil servants, contract staff and workers. Civil servants are employed in the administrator positions and mandatory service positions. Where a municipality does not have qualified staff for such positions as architects, engineers and lawyers, it may employ staff on one-year contracts. Workers are employed under labour contracts for non-mandatory tasks. In addition, municipalities have workers of private companies that are employed through outsourcing.

There is no specific legislation for civil servants and workers working at municipalities; they work under the legislation specific to their status, i.e. the Law on Civil Servants and the Labour Law.

Recruitment and remuneration of administrators, technical staff and office workers in the municipality are governed by the Law on Civil Servants.

The number of those employed through outsourcing has rapidly increased in recent years. Their bosses are the contractor companies.

C-    Municipal employees in the public sector

The ratio of municipal employees to all public employees in Turkey is much lower than in other OECD countries. The September 2014 data by the State Personnel Department indicated that municipal employees accounted for about 8% of all public employees. This ratio is above 30% in OECD countries except Greece; and above 70% in Denmark, Spain and Sweden.

 

 

Municipal staff

 

Other public employees