?zmir's AA+ rating better than the government's

?zmir lost to Dubai by a wide margin in its bid to hosit the Expo 2020. However, having lost twice in its Expo ambitions, ?zmir is now preparing to open the biggest fair complex in Europe.

Because ?zmir has always been managed by the main opposition Republican People?s Party (CHP), it has never been on good terms with the government.

Mayor Aziz Kocao?lu from the CHP and his team are given a hard time by the government at every opportunity. As a matter of fact, a court case in which 130 people from his team are being tried on corruption claims is currently ongoing. 

A group of journalists got together with the ?zmir mayor the other evening in Istanbul to discuss his city?s economic vision.

The city has no debt to the central budget. When you come to think that the total amount of debt of municipalities to the central budget is 13.6 billion Turkish Liras, and that Ankara is one of the biggest debtors, this is an important aspect for a city that the government treats like a step child.

The municipality uses its own resources or takes loans from international markets to build infrastructure, including rail systems and biological sewage treatment systems. The ?zmir municipality has invested more than the central government for the past 12 years. According to the mayor, International Rating Agency Fitch has increased ?zmir?s rating to AA+.

If we go back to the fair topic, ?zmir is the city where the sector of fairs was born and developed in Turkey.

In my childhood, I remember my parents visiting the ?zmir International Fair and coming back with ?innovative gifts? that none of my friends had.

I visited the Zeki Müren exhibition at Beyo?lu?s Yap? Kredi Art Gallery recently and I realized how...

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