Fiscal decentralization in metropolitan municipalities: the Turkish case

Aksuoğlu, Okan
After 1980, so-called neoliberal transformation has prevailed in numerous countries all around the World including Turkey. Neoliberal policies did not only redesign the economic structure of the countries by displacing welfare states in favors of market forces but also prescribe restructuring schemes for the state apparatuses. In most cases, especially in the early years of the neoliberal reforms, localization of the political structures was at the center of the state restructuration schemes leading to at least discoursively some form of strengthening of the local authorities. In Turkey too neoliberal restructuration of economy and polity was a topical issue after 1980. In the early 2000s, some decentralization schemes were widely discussed and some changes were made at the provincial and municipal levels in 2004 and 2005. It would not be unfair to argue that legal changes made during this period paved the way to the metropolitanization of local government structure in Turkey. With the Metropolitan Municipality system, the central government has also gained the ability to implement and control its national policies at the local level. The dominant discourse on local government has argued that local authorities have been strengthened considerably as a result of mentioned changes in the local government structure after 2004. Fiscal strengthening of the local authorities is part of this discursive argument. This thesis questions the fiscal decentralization and strengthening argument by focusing on the financial conditions of metropolitan municipalities covering the years between 2014-2018. The analysis shows that metropolitan municipalities at metropolitan and district levels have not been strengthened as much as the dominant view on this issue suggests.
Citation Formats
O. Aksuoğlu, “Fiscal decentralization in metropolitan municipalities: the Turkish case,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2021.