Who are the former mayors of Istanbul?

Who are the mayors of Istanbul? Who are the elected mayors of Istanbul? If you want to know who managed to become mayor in the municipal elections held in Istanbul so far, you are in the right place.

Istanbul’s Republican Era mayors were provincial governors appointed from 1923 to 1958. After 1958, mayors began to be elected through municipal elections. During coup periods when democracy was disrupted, military administrations were appointed to the municipality. During periods when elected mayors were dismissed, deputies served in their place.

In this list, we will not be talking about governors, coup plotters, or deputies appointed to replace the elected mayor. This list will only include elected mayors who were elected by the people of Istanbul.

Ekrem İmamoğlu – CHP (2019 – )

ekrem imamoglu

Ekrem İmamoğlu, who was the president of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in the local elections of March 31, 2019, took office on April 17, 2019, and was dismissed on May 6, 2019, with the cancellation of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality elections. Ali Yerlikaya was appointed as his replacement. Following the election held on June 23, 2019, Ekrem İmamoğlu was reinstated by the people of Istanbul and he received his certificate of election and started working on June 27, 2019.

During his time in office, he opened many nurseries and student dormitories, implemented social projects such as Halk Süt and Kent Restaurant, restarted the construction of 10 metro lines that had been stopped in the past, and made great progress. It has also completed many metro lines and commissioned other transportation services. He worked to renew Istanbul’s aging bus fleet.

His term will end on March 31, 2024. He announced that he is running for mayor again in the 2024 elections.

Kadir Topbaş – AK Parti (2004 – 2017)

kadir topbas

Kadir Topbaş, who managed to be elected as the mayor of Istanbul in 2004, 2009 and 2014, was deemed worthy of the title of legendary mayor among the public. Mevlüt Uysal was appointed by the municipal council to replace Topbaş, who was controversially resigned in 2017. He died of Covid-19 on February 13, 2021.

During his period, he completed many metro lines and made progress in highways and put important road routes into operation.

Ali Müfit Gürtuna – Fazilet Partisi (1999-2004)

Ali Müfit Gürtuna

Ali Müfit Gürtuna, who served as deputy mayor instead of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 1998, was elected mayor in the elections held in 1999. Gürtuna, who served as president until 2004, completed his term in 2004 and did not run for re-election.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan – Refah Partisi (1994-1998)

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

He took office in 1994 and succeeded in reaching especially the poor sections of the city. The municipal activities he put forward were highly praised for that period and his popularity increased in a short time. He was dismissed from his job in 1998 because of a poem he read.

Nurettin Sözen – SHP (1989-1994)

Nurettin Sözen

Nurettin Sözen was elected as the Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality as a candidate from the SHP, which was established after the CHP was closed down by a military coup in the 1989 local elections. During his term as mayor, he took important steps in protecting Istanbul from fire. In September 1992, the construction of the Istanbul Metro (Taksim-4. Levent) started, Istiklal Street was pedestrianized and the nostalgic trams, which were discontinued in 1961, were put into service again, and tram services (T1 line) were started between Topkapı and Sirkeci Train Station in 1992. Natural gas started to be supplied to residences since 1992.

Bedrettin Dalan – ANAP (1984-1989)

Bedrettin Dalan

Bedrettin Dalan was elected as the president of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality from the Motherland Party. During his term as mayor from 1984 to 1989, the Üsküdar coastline was opened for development and transformed into its current state. At the same time, the coastal area from Tuzla to Maltepe was eliminated, the beaches were closed, the sea was filled and a coastal road was built on top of it. Infrastructure works of the city, especially sewerage, were accelerated. Darlık Dam was built between 1986-1988. İDO was established and brought into urban transportation.

Aytekin Kotil – CHP (1977-1980)

He was elected mayor from CHP in the municipal elections held in 1977. He was dismissed by the coup plotters in the 1980 coup and was replaced by military rule. Kotil, who worked as a municipality with a populist and socialist municipalism approach, was dismissed from his post on September 12, 1980, due to the September 12 coup.

Ahmet İsvan – CHP (1973-1977)

He served as mayor between 1973 and 1977. In the 1973 elections, in which he participated as a CHP candidate, he was elected as the Mayor of Istanbul with a historical rate (63.6 percent), receiving more than twice the votes against the Justice Party candidate Fahri Atabey. He founded the Public Bread Factory in 1977 in order to break the price monopoly of bakers and provide cheap, healthy bread to the public.

Fahri Atabey – Adalet Partisi (1968-1973)

In 1968, he was elected Mayor of Istanbul from the Justice Party. He served as Mayor of Istanbul between 8 June 1968 and 9 December 1973. He died on August 2, 1994.

Haşim İşcan – CHP (1963-1968)

He was elected mayor from CHP in the municipal elections held in 1963. He built 1,500,000 meters of asphalt road to Istanbul. The construction of the Karaköy Underground Passage started on April 2, 1964. The passage was built on 63 columns and there were 23 shops. During his term as mayor, Haşim İşcan restored the Galata Tower and opened it to tourism. He organized Taksim Gezi Park. He died while on duty on March 11, 1968, unable to recover from the coma he suffered from a brain hemorrhage.