UKOME, whose majority structure in favor of IMM was changed with the regulation published on February 19, 2020, rejected the "new taxi" request for the 6th time, which it had rejected 7 times before. Emphasizing that their main concern is 16 million citizens, İBB President Ekrem İmamoğlu said, “I don't have a problem with anyone's license plate. I am not in a position to deal with the right granted by the law. But over this business, I am against those who show enthusiasm to 'Let me earn more'”. Sharing the information that the dissatisfaction with taxis is at the level of 80 percent, Imamoglu said, "The only problem of those who say 'no' to this job is: 'Imamoglu should not do a good job.' This is my claim. I stand behind my claim," he said. Regarding the proposal of "conversion of 6 minibuses and 750 minibuses into taxis", which was rejected 250 times before, the decision was made at the UKOME meeting, which pleased the tradesmen. According to the decision, a total of 1000 minibuses and minibuses will be converted into taxis.
The Transportation Coordination Center (UKOME) convened at the Istanbul Congress Center in Harbiye, under the management of Ekrem İmamoğlu, President of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM). The most interesting agenda items of the UKOME meeting, where 18 items were discussed, were the proposals for "1.000 new taxis for the regulation of taxi transportation" and "conversion of 750 minibuses and 250 minibuses into taxis". At the meeting, which started with the opening speech of President İmamoğlu, the opinions of the representatives on each item were taken and voting was carried out. IMM Deputy Secretary General Orhan Demir made a presentation accompanied by slides at the meeting and expressed his views on why Istanbul needs new taxis.
DEMİR: “WE ARE TRYING TO AVOID UNREGISTERED SERVICE”
Sharing information about the new system, which will be put into service and whose technological equipment and driver training have been completed, Demir said, “We will have the opportunity to call a taxi with vehicles and communication tools that are compatible with technology. While taxis are waiting for customers in one corner, the problems of passengers not being able to find a taxi will be eliminated in one corner. And more importantly; Of course, we will show you how a new taxi model is. The important thing is to raise the standard and quality of the taxi. That's the main purpose here. For this reason, it is necessary to work as an example for a taxi and show its standard and where it should be. Our goal is very clear: We are starting to eliminate the problem of finding a vehicle. We reduce vehicle waiting times. We are trying to reduce and solve the problems between the passenger and the driver. We are trying to prevent unregistered service and we are trying to increase the mobility of citizens,” he said.
AKSU: “WE ARE AGAINST THE CONVERSION OF MINIBUSES TO TAXI”
Eyüp Aksu, President of the Istanbul Chamber of Taximen and Tradesmen, argued that the number of taxis in Istanbul is sufficient and said, “The reason why there seems to be a problem in the number of taxis is that the people of Istanbul consider taxi transportation attractive in terms of price, instead of public transportation, due to the cheapness of the fare tariff. In other words, if 4 people prefer a taxi instead of using public transportation, all citizens currently prefer taxis because they pay less. By using the world's most expensive fuel, working with the cheapest taximeter, we have become truly a public transporter. In fact, a taxi is a private transport. If it is cheap, the quality will certainly not be.” Stating that they are against the conversion of minibuses into taxis, Aksu stated that they approved the conversion of minibuses into taxis.
QUESTION FROM IMAMOĞLU TO THE FORMER IMM BUREAUCRAT: “Did you measure in 19 years?”
Speaking at the meeting, former İBB Traffic Manager and new Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Istanbul 1st Regional Manager Serdar Yücel claimed that they did not have any problems with taxi drivers during their time. Yücel, who argues that good and quality transportation cannot be achieved by increasing the number of taxis, said, “Let's work on quality, not number. Let's increase the controls," he said. Yücel claimed that in Demir's speech, he accused him of changing views according to his old and new duties. Asking Yucel how many years he had served in the IMM, Imamoglu received the answer "19 years" from the bureaucrat. İmamoğlu's second question to Yücel was, “Is there a need for a taxi for you or not? Didn't you measure the time you served? To Yücel's words "We are trying to measure", the Mayor of IMM said, "We measured, we came to the conclusion. You didn't measure for 19 years," he replied.
“INSTITUTION WAS CREATED BY ADDING A CHAIR”
Saying, “I am a person who has thoroughly analyzed this issue,” İmamoğlu said:
“The current Minister, holding a billboard in his hand, said, 'We need so many taxis,' we can explain this with many reasons. Therefore, do not defend the views of the past to us. I asked your opinion today; You still haven't answered. Moreover, today you work in this institution, are here on behalf of the Ministry of Transport and express your opinion on behalf of the Ministry of Transport. What a pity, we are on the agenda, we are in the days when an institution was formed by adding a chair here, through seizing the number of seats of Istanbul UKOME -look, this is its only ability-. I'll ask other questions, you can't handle it. So let it go, don't get involved in political issues. So how did you work at UKOME? What task are you doing today? I know what you represent. I know what you didn't. You made a statement about it. You said, 'My view has not changed'. The gentleman has the thought 'Your opinion has changed'. This is not an insult. Because a person's opinion can change. And you said, 'No, it hasn't changed.' So I asked you a question: Do you need a taxi or not? You said 'it's relative'. What did you say? You gave a lot of other answers, but you didn't answer whether they were there or not."
“I AM NOT AN ADMINISTRATIVE TALKING FROM HIS BELLY”
Expressing that they held a meeting with the taxi driver representatives about a year ago, İmamoğlu said, “The vice president of the chamber and the members of the delegation, who came to visit me on behalf of the President of the Chamber, said to me, 'Okay, give up the rental business, sell it; Let's say yes, he said. This was said in front of the cameras. I did not say. Said the managers. 'Let's buy the lease 1; We do not say anything' reminded. Emphasizing that in his previous duties, there were those who said, "Istanbul needs a taxi," holding a board, and said, "Shall I go further? You marketed a county-by-county taxi. I know; I know politically. I have heard these from your representatives. 'It will be sold today, it will be sold tomorrow, it will be sold the next day, it will be sold in six months.' How will it be sold? Look, I'm not a gut-wrenching administrator. The taxi was marketed and the representatives of the chambers explained it left and right. The closest witnesses here are the representatives of the tradesmen here. They all know. Not only me, all tradesmen know this. Tradesmen representatives follow him.durmazlar. They got that information from somewhere; they will tell,” he said.
“SPECIAL EFFORT IS MADE TO MAKE POLITICAL DECISION”
Emphasizing that the issue that “touches the heart” is the desire to sell the taxis in question instead of being rented, İmamoğlu said, “I know that special efforts are made here to take a political decision. Don't deceive anyone, bro. The Chairman of the Chamber is talking about transparency. You can't find anyone more transparent than me, Mr. President. I gave the raise that you couldn't get for 3 years to the shopkeepers. I gave the raise that you couldn't get for 3 years and you didn't open your mouth and talk about me while you were making 50 newspaper headlines saying 'Zamcı'. But I tried not to expect from you, but to correct a wrong practice, so that the poor tradesman would bring bread to his house," he said. Stating that taxi drivers largely support them, İmamoğlu said:
“I KNOW IT IS DIFFICULT TO DEFEND FALSE”
“I know it's hard for him to defend wrong. I know that defending wrong is a very difficult craft. I know that your job is difficult. That's why I'm aware of how difficult it is for you to do or to do yourself. I don't want to increase this difficulty too much, but I will say a few things. In an issue that has reached almost 6 complaints per taxi, Mr. Chairman of the Chamber says, 'You are managing perception.' A newspaper that has not made a single good news about me in my entire life, Yeni Şafak newspaper - a newspaper that only slandered and insulted me throughout my life - says, 'Taxi drivers harassed the people of Istanbul'. This is just last week. So it has nothing to do with me. He's been making perceptions about me my whole life. A broadcasting organization that tries to corner me with negative, that is, with a bad example, with slander. Look, the news 'Taxi drivers harassed Istanbul' is out there.”
“WHAT HAS BEEN BELIEVED, WHAT IS THE insistence?”
Emphasizing that their main concern is 16 million citizens, İmamoğlu said, “At most, 16 million citizens will be satisfied. Then the driver will be satisfied. Because someone is 16 million, someone is tens of thousands of people. I never have a problem with the tradesman's plate. Zinhar. I don't have a problem with anyone's license plate. I am not in a position to deal with the right given by the law. But over this business, I am against those who show enthusiasm to 'Let me earn more'”. Sharing the information that the dissatisfaction with taxis is at the level of 80 percent, İmamoğlu said, “This is such a problematic area. Get out on the street. Eighty percent research. I say, 'Ninety percent.' What faith, what insistence? See, this would work. It had already started. We were starting to experience the first examples. It has time, it has time. These folks would have had a beautiful contemporary product. You know what the only problem is? 'Imamoglu wouldn't do that.' As in every job, the only problem is, 'Imamoğlu cannot do this. Imamoglu cannot show anything beautiful.' The only problem. Here, I only praise Eyüp Bey. His problem may be different. But other than that, the only problem of those who say 'no' to this job is 'Imamoğlu should not do a good job.' This is my claim. I stand behind my claim," he said.
"THE PEOPLE WILL ANSWER THIS"
Emphasizing that this is the truth behind the move made to seize UKOME, İmamoğlu said, “Let our people hear this. Our people should know this. On one occasion, one way or another, the public will answer that. The people, condemned to poor quality service, will give the necessary and deserved answer to the heroes of this political decision. Where? On the day when the people have authority. I will continue to express insistently and stubbornly that; In this city where we measure, cut, design and know that it needs five thousand taxis, IMM can manage and operate it properly. It doesn't need anyone else. This creates a regulation task; that regulation also attracts taxis in the other system towards here in a qualified manner. It also adds them to the system. No tradesman, driver or taxi license plate owner will ever be a victim. At the end of the day, everyone wins.”
“THIS IS THE PLACE TO CREATE Ideas”
Saying, “I will insist that the taxi issue continue to be discussed,” İmamoğlu said, regarding the institutions that were subsequently installed in the UKOME structure, “One or two of our friends here spoke. He expressed a negative opinion. However, in the next participation, I will ask why the other people who expressed a negative opinion did it one by one. If you don't answer, we wait. Everyone will answer. Because no one personally participates here. He is representing his institution. Let me give a few examples. For example, there is someone from the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services here. Representing that institution, he will express what he thinks about the taxi. Have to. Or at AFAD or elsewhere. Because this is the place to express his opinion on behalf of the institution. One says 'Raise it', the other is not a place to raise your hand," he said.
THE DECISION IS SUPPLIED FOR MINI BUSERS
During the voting of the proposals for "1.000 new taxis for the regulation of taxi transportation" and the conversion of 750 minibuses and 250 minibuses into taxis", there was a discussion about the "district mayors". İBB 1st Legal Counsel, Eren Sönmez, stated that district mayors or their representatives can also vote in accordance with precedent court decisions. With the approval of İmamoğlu, district municipalities were also included in the voting. As a result of the voting, the proposal for “1.000 new taxis for the regulation of taxi transportation” (25 accepted, 37 rejected) was rejected. The previously rejected offer of “conversion of 750 minibuses and 250 minibuses into taxis” was accepted this time. The shopkeepers in the hall welcomed the decision with applause.
IMM's offer of "5.000 new taxis for the regulation of taxi transportation" was rejected by UKOME 6 times before. IMM's request, which revised its request to "1.000 new taxis" before the last meeting, was again rejected by UKOME for the 7th time in total.