Governor (Turkey)

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In Turkey, a Governor (Turkish: Vali) is an official responsible for the implementation of legislation, constitutional and government decisions in individual provinces. There are 81 Governors in Turkey,[1] one for each province, appointed ceremonially by the President on the recommendation of the Interior Ministry. Governors are legally required to be politically neutral and have power over public offices within their Province, including the provincial police force. They also have a certain role in local government, though mayors and councillors are elected to these roles in local elections. The Provincial head of security (the police force) also concurrently serves as Deputy Governor.

The Kaymakam, (roughly translated as 'Sub-Governor') has similar functions and roles as the Governor but operates on a district level.[2]

Governors by province


The Governor is officially appointed (Turkish: atanma) to his or her role by the President of Turkey. The Ministry of the Interior first presents their candidate for approval to the President. The President then formally appoints the candidate as the Governor of a province.[3]

Term limits

There are no set term limits for Governors, though they can be removed from their position at the will of the Interior Ministry. Governors can also be moved from province to province, meaning that it is not unusual for Governors to be appointed to a Province in which they have no prior experience or personal connection.[citation needed]


Lale Aytaman (Muğla), the first of the only three female Governors to ever be appointed in the history of the Turkish Republic, with former President Turgut Özal in 1991

Governors are mainly tasked with the implementation of government legislation and decisions, meaning that they are senior members of the Civil Service.[4]


During ceremonies or formal national holiday celebrations, the Governor of a province serves as the most senior state official during provincial events unless a national state official (such as the President) is in attendance. The Governor presides over the celebrations and formally accepts any awards presented during a ceremony.[citation needed]

Civil service

One of the most important functions of a Governor is to make sure decisions, constitutional requirements and new legislation are implemented within the province over which they preside. They are also tasked with the implementation of any demands of government ministries. In the event that legislation cannot be directly or practically implemented, the Governor is responsible for bringing about the conditions in which new legislation is compatible with their province.

The Governor's powers are decided by government legislation and have the right to issue a 'general command' to implement government decisions, legislation and constitutional requirements.[citation needed]

Local government

Governors have the right to both supervise and reorganise local government positions, which include district and metropolitan municipalities as well as municipal and provincial councillors. Although local elections are held every five years to elect mayors and councillors, the Governor (who is unelected) has the right to inspect the proceedings of local administrations as well as conduct any reorganisations that may be deemed necessary. Any legislative changes to local government (such as the 2013 local government reorganisation) are also implemented by the Governor.[citation needed]

Command over public institutions

The Governor has the right to preside over any matters of state that are not already covered by public institutions within a province, or any matters that do not have an assigned public official to deal with them. The Governor can also request public institutions or officials to perform tasks that are related to their aims and purpose if a public institution dealing with said tasks is not available in a province.

The Governor has the right to appoint and move some public officials from their positions, as well as provide them his or her own personal viewpoint on certain matters. The Governor, as mentioned above, can redetermine the remit and the positions of some public officials within a province.[citation needed]

Provincial security

The Governor is the highest level of provincial command of both the police forces and the Gendarmerie. The Deputy Governor concurrently serves as the head of provincial security, who in turn commands both the head of the provincial police force and the head of the provincial Gendarmerie (A Colonel). In order to maintain peace and security, a Governor has the right to take certain decisions intended to stop civil disobediences.[citation needed]


From July 1987 to 2002 there existed the position of a supergovernor in the OHAL region (Governorship of Region in State of Emergency) with extra powers to resettle whole villages. He supervised the provincial governors of up to 13 provinces mainly populated by Kurds. From 1990 on he was able to coordinate the actions between the provincial governors.[5]


Since Governors are appointed by the government, there have been concerns over whether Governors can truly be neutral. This is because they are appointed by a partisan government. Several politicians that have become government ministers, such as Efkan Ala and Vecdi Gönül, have previously served as Governors of multiple provinces. Furthermore, Governors have been accused on numerous occasions of acting with bias in favour of the government. İzmir Mayor Aziz Kocaoğlu accused the Governor of İzmir of campaigning for the Justice and Development Party during the 2014 local elections.[6] Governors in Hakkari and Denizli were also accused of forcing public employees to attend President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's controversial 'public opening' rallies before the June 2015 general election.[7] In 2015, the Peoples' Democratic Party issued a manifesto pledge to introduce elections for Governors, rather than appointing them through the Interior Ministry.[8]

Central Governors

Besides the 81 Provincial Governors, some Governors who have previously served in a province may be reassigned as a 'Central Governor' (Turkish: Merkez Valisi). This post does not carry with it any active responsibilities and is effectively a means of terminating a Governor's term without withdrawing their privileges or suspending their pay (though their wages are reduced in comparison to provincial governors). The 'centre' (merkez) refers to the Ministry of the Interior, where a Central Governor is given a small office but have no role until they are reassigned to govern a province. Central Governors may visit the Interior Ministry whenever they wish. However, Central Governors may be given special tasks should the Interior Minister deem it necessary. Previously, it was possible for a Governor to legal contest their reassignment from a provincial to a central Governor in an attempt to remain in an active gubernatorial role, though this privilege has since been removed.[9]

There are currently around 99 Central Governors, though this number changes frequently along with re-organisation decrees issued by the government.[10]

List of current Governors

Province Governor Term start
Adana Mustafa Büyük 23 May 2014
Adıyaman Mahmut Demirtaş 3 August 2012
Afyonkarahisar Hakan Yusuf Güner 23 May 2014
Ağrı Musa Işın 20 February 2015
Amasya İbrahim Halil Çomaktekin 2 August 2013
Ankara Mehmet Kılıçlar 15 September 2014
Antalya Muammer Türker 15 September 2014
Artvin Kemal Cirit 2 August 2013
Aydın Erol Ayyıldız 2 August 2013
Balıkesir Mustafa Yaman 15 August 2014
Bilecik Ahmet Hamdi Nayir 13 February 2014
Bingöl Yavuz Selim Köşger 19 February 2015
Bitlis Ahmet Çınar 3 August 2015
Bolu Aydın Baruş 16 February 2015
Burdur Hasan Kürklü 23 May 2014
Bursa Münir Karaloğlu 4 August 2013
Çanakkale Hamza Erkal 3 August 2015
Çankırı Vahdettin Özcan 17 August 2011
Çorum Ahmet Kara 15 September 2014
Denizli Şükrü Kocatepe 15 September 2014
Diyarbakır Hüseyin Aksoy 15 September 2014
Edirne Dursun Ali Şahin 23 May 2014
Elazığ Murat Zorluoğlu 16 February 2015
Erzincan Süleyman Kahraman 15 September 2014
Erzurum Ahmet Altıparmak 16 May 2013
Eskişehir Güngör Azim Tuna 16 May 2013
Gaziantep Ali Yerlikaya 19 February 2015
Giresun Hasan Karahan 3 August 2013
Gümüşhane Yücel Yavuz 23 May 2014
Hakkâri Yakup Canbolat 23 May 2014
Hatay Ercan Topaca 15 September 2014
Isparta Vahdettin Özkan 3 August 2013
Mersin Özdemir Çakacak 15 September 2014
İstanbul Vasip Şahin 15 September 2014
İzmir Mustafa Toprak 3 May 2013
Kars Günay Özdemir 23 May 2014
Kastamonu Şehmus Günaydın 23 May 2014
Kayseri Orhan Düzgün 16 May 2013
Kırklareli Esengül Civelek 15 September 2014
Kırşehir Necati Şentürk 15 September 2014
Kocaeli Hasan Basri Güzeloğlu 15 September 2014
Province Governor Term start
Konya Muammer Erol 2 August 2013
Kütahya Şerif Yılmaz 8 May 2013
Malatya Süleyman Kamçı 15 May 2014
Manisa Erdoğan Bektaş 23 May 2014
Kahramanmaraş Mustafa Hakan Güvençer 15 May 2014
Mardin Ömer Faruk Koçak 16 February 2015
Muğla Amir Çiçek 15 September 2014
Muş Seddar Yavuz 3 August 2015
Nevşehir Mehmet Ceylan 9 May 2013
Niğde Necmeddin Kılıç 2 August 2013
Ordu İrfan Balkanlıoğlu 23 May 2014
Rize Ersin Yazıcı 23 May 2014
Sakarya Hüseyin Avni Coş 23 May 2014
Samsun İbrahim Şahin 15 September 2014
Siirt Mustafa Tutulmaz 23 May 2014
Sivas Alim Barut 3 March 2014
Tekirdağ Enver Salihoğlu 16 February 2015
Tokat Cevdet Can 23 May 2014
Trabzon Abdil Celil Öz 2 August 2013
Tunceli Osman Kaymak 23 May 2014
Şanlıurfa İzzettin Küçük 16 February 2014
Uşak Ahmet Okur 3 August 2015
Van İbrahim Taşyapan 19 February 2015
Yozgat Abdulkadir Yazıcı 3 August 2012
Zonguldak Ali Kaban 2 August 2013
Aksaray Şeref Ataklı 13 February 2014
Bayburt Yusuf Odabaş 15 September 2014
Karaman Murat Koca 3 August 2012
Kırıkkale Ali Kolat 3 August 2012
Batman Azmi Çelik 13 February 2014
Şırnak Ali İhsan Su 19 February 2015
Bartın Seyfettin Azizoğlu 23 May 2014
Ardahan Ahmet Deniz 23 May 2014
Iğdır Davut Haner 13 February 2014
Yalova Selim Cebiroğlu 15 September 2014
Karabük Orhan Alimoğlu 16 February 2014
Kilis Süleyman Tapsız 3 August 2012
Osmaniye Kerem Al 15 September 2014
Düzce Ali Fidan 16 February 2015

Recent changes

The government usually appoints or moves serving Governors to different positions through cabinet decrees. Notable decrees are listed below.

Date Decree № Governors affected
1 August 2012 2012/3511 40
3 May 2013 2013/4699 24
2 August 2013 2013/5197 25
13 February 2014 2014/5916 14
21 May 2014 2013/6366 31
15 September 2014 2014/6780 31
16 February 2015 2015/7295 17
3 August 2015 2015/7991 4

See also


  1. ^ "Cumhuriyet Gazetesi - Zeynep Oral: "Yuh Olsun: 81 İlde 1 Kadın Vali!"". 21 September 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Kaymakamın Görev ve Yetkileri - T.C. PALU KAYMAKAMLIĞI". Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  3. ^ Jongerden, Joost (2007-05-28). The Settlement Issue in Turkey and the Kurds: An Analysis of Spatial Policies, Modernity and War. BRILL. p. 141. ISBN 9789047420118.
  4. ^ "Valinin Görevleri Nelerdir ?". Buyutec.Net. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  5. ^ Jongerden, Joost (2007-05-28). The Settlement Issue in Turkey and the Kurds: An Analysis of Spatial Policies, Modernity and War. BRILL. ISBN 9789047420118.
  6. ^ "Kocaoğlu'ndan İzmir Valisi'ne veryansın". Haber7. 30 September 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  7. ^ Müjgan Yağmur. "Bu da oldu…Hakkari Valiliği'nden AKP mitingine katılmayanlara tehdit!". Taraf Gazetesi. Archived from the original on 20 July 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  8. ^ "HDP Seçim Beyannamesi metninin tamamı". Sabah. 21 April 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  9. ^ "Milli Gazete - Hak Geldi, Batıl Zail Oldu - Merkez valiliğine atanmak ne demek?". Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Merkez Valisi kimdir, kaç Merkez Valisi var? 16-09-2014". Retrieved 30 June 2015.

External links

  • Official website of the Interior Ministry
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