Foundation of Izmir municipality in XIX. Century
Emergence of local administrations during the era of the Ottoman Empire generally occurred after the second half of 19th century. Although “Provinces municipality law” dated 1877 is the first legal regulation related to the municipality, it is possible to say that organizations of municipality as an urban service institution in Turkey dates back the second half of the 19th century. Organizations of municipality emerged in port cities of the empire such as Istanbul, Izmir, and Thessaloniki. In addition to the fact that these cities were the significant trade centers of the empire, multi-cultural social fabric they had led to development of municipality organizations in these cities for the first time.
Europe economic expansion expanding following the industrial revolution did not only transform the Ottoman ports such as Izmir, Thessaloniki and Istanbul into a market open to the west in the 19th century but also lead to the initiation of urban infrastructure services from transportation to the communication in these cities. Foreigners trading at the Ottoman ports used to mention about the inadequacy of infrastructure services of the Ottoman cities all the time.
Following the constitution of Altinci Daire-i Belediye in Istanbul established as the first municipal organization of the Ottoman Empire and by taking Paris municipality as an example, Levanter family companies trading in Izmir and many consulates began to Express their request about constitution of a similar municipality office in Izmir like Istanbul from the beginning in the 1860’s.
It is understood by a document in prime ministry Ottoman archive in Istanbul that the Ottoman Emprise allowed the foundation of a municipality office in Izmir on 25th November 1867.
It is emphasized in the said document that foreigner merchants and capital owners should be presented at the city council. Works for foundation of Izmir municipality after Altinci Daire-i Belediye in Istanbul were initiated on 25th November 1867 and official works were initiated as of 1868.
Even if sources do not indicate who the first mayor of Izmir was, it is known that a person called Mr. Suleyman among the first mayors of Izmir is expressed in Trade Directory of Huseyin Rifat. In addition to these, the first mayor is Yenisehirlizade Ahmet Efendi becoming Izmir mayor in 1875 as found by the sources.