03 September Tuesday

Mayor İmamoğlu: “Number of Mayoral Offices to be Cut Down”

Responding to a question about the previous squandering of municipal resources, Mayor İmamoğlu said: “As Mayor, a total of 17 to 18 mayoral offices have been allocated for myself in various buildings. But I say, ‘These are not enough, I want more!’ The reason is that I already have hundreds of thousands of offices in Istanbul. The workplace of every shopkeeper, artisan and business person is my own office. The streets are my offices. Even the homes of my fellow citizens are my offices. As the local government of a city that is home to 16 million people, we will do our best. Keep your morale high, everything will be great.”

Repeating his claim about being “fair” to everyone, Mayor Imamoğlu said: “I would say that being fair to everyone is my philosophy. I will surely continue on this path. Nobody will be able to label me as a partisan mayor that serves only half of the people.”

In response to a question regarding the loss in İSPARK, a subsidiary of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) which provides parking services throughout the city, the Mayor said: “There are more than 60 thousand vehicles enjoying free and discounted parking. For God’s sake, what good is that? I have instructed my staff to investigate these issues. We will make the amends shortly,” and added that private car owners would have the opportunity to pay their parking fees by credit card from now on.

Shortly before his meeting at İSPER, an IMM subsidiary, Mayor İmamoğlu answered questions by reporters, some of which are as follows:

- Mr. President has said, “In Diyarbakır, whom was he talking to and about what?” What would you say about that?

“I feel sorry for these comments. Indeed, while I'm governing Istanbul, I talk to people and institutions. And the people I spoke with in Diyarbakır are Turkish citizens. I shook their hands. These were people who were given a right by the Supreme Board of Elections, after thorough research, to run in the local elections. [...] On behalf of the 82 million Turkish citizens, I feel sorry for my country. Everything we do is fully transparent, and we have no such tradition of talking behind closed doors.”

- During your visit in Diyarbakır, you gave an Atatürk portrait as a gift. What message were you trying to convey?

“This land has values that are accepted all across the country. I want everyone to feel these. This country has a founder and founding values. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, was a pioneer to pass these values on to us. Everywhere I go, I always make sure to bring symbolic gifts such as this one.”

- IMM’s cooperation protocols with some foundations were recently cancelled. Will these cancellations be continued in the coming period?

“Of course. We will get rid of all the squandering of resources. IMM is Istanbul’s richest institution, how in the world can it be paying a monthly rent of 2.2 million liras for a single building? There are so many issues to deal with. I have a responsibility for dealing with them, and I am busy dealing with them.”

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