He is one of the legendary mayors of Turkey: Who is Yılmaz Büyükerşen?

Turkey's inner regions are known to be more conservative. This university professor turned a city in central Turkey (Eskişehir) into paradise. This dusty steppe city, with a river running through it (the Porsuk River), became a touristic city with its museums, statues, and parks during his mayoral term.

By Jane Dickens Published on 15 Haziran 2024 : 11:23.
He is one of the legendary mayors of Turkey: Who is Yılmaz Büyükerşen?

Yılmaz Büyükerşen was born on July 01, 1937 in Eskişehir. In 1962, he was among the first graduates of the Academy of Economic and Commercial Sciences in this city. During his student years, he worked as a reporter, writer, cartoonist, and editor-in-chief in various newspapers.

He helped establish the Chamber Theater and then the Municipal Theater with the capital obtained by selling blood to the blood bank with his student friends. Following his graduation, he became an assistant to the Finance Department of the Academy in the same year. He became a Doctor in 1966 and an Associate Professor in 1968. Büyükerşen, who was appointed Vice President of the academy in the same year, was promoted to Professor in 1973.

Yılmaz Büyükerşen (born 8 November 1937) is a Turkish politician, educator and former mayor of Eskişehir. Büyükerşen graduated from the Eskişehir Academy of Economics and Commercial Sciences (later renamed Anadolu University) in 1962. During his academy years, he worked as a reporter, columnist, caricaturist, and editor in various newspapers. With his friends from the academy, he established a chamber theatre and later a municipal theatre with funds raised by selling their blood to blood banks.

In 1976, he was elected President of Eskişehir Academy of Economics and Administrative Sciences. He was reappointed as the President of the Academy with the elections held in 1980, which was the end of his presidential term.

Following the reorganization of universities with the Higher Education Law in 1982, Prof. Dr. Yılmaz Büyükerşen, who was appointed as the Rector of Anadolu University by the President, was appointed as the Rector for the second time by the President in 1987, at the end of his term.

In addition to this duty, he was a member of the "Radio and Television Supreme Council" and the President of the board for 2 terms. He left his post in 1993 with the enactment of the RTÜK Law instead of the Supreme Council. Prof. Dr. Yılmaz Büyükerşen, who was reappointed as Rector by the President as a result of receiving the highest number of votes in the Rectorate election held in 1992, was terminated due to the provision added to the YÖK Law that "rectorship cannot be held for more than two terms".

Büyükerşen, who was elected as the Mayor of Eskişehir Metropolitan Municipality in the local elections of April 18, 1999, by receiving 44% of the votes, was also appointed as the Head of the Turkish Delegation of the European Commission Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and continued in this position until 2004.

Yılmaz Büyükerşen was elected as the Mayor of Eskişehir Metropolitan Municipality for the second time, receiving 45% of the votes in the elections of 29 March 2004. In the local elections of March 24, 2009, he was elected as the Metropolitan Municipality Mayor for the third time, this time by receiving 52% of the votes. In the elections of March 30, 2014, he was elected as the Metropolitan Mayor for the fourth time. Yılmaz Büyükerşen became the Metropolitan Mayor for the fifth time, receiving 53 percent of the votes in the local elections held on March 31, 2019.

During his years as the Mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality, Büyükerşen prepared very large-scale projects, many of which are shown as exemplary projects for other cities in Turkey, and provided the necessary financing for the projects and implemented them.

Among the projects implemented by Yılmaz Büyükerşen in Eskişehir, the establishment of a rail system in urban transportation, the cleaning of the Porsuk Stream along with its environmental regulations, the renewal of the vehicle and pedestrian bridges, the construction of giant regional parks spanning hundreds of acres in many parts of the city, the Symphony Orchestra, the City Establishment of art institutions such as theaters, the opening of new culture, arts, and congress centers, preparation and implementation of conservation and survival projects for historical buildings, completion of infrastructure deficiencies with the city's new treatment facilities, underwater world, science experiment center, space house, education centers, etc. Projects include the commissioning of many investments and the establishment of new museums, including the Yılmaz Büyükerşen Wax Sculptures Museum, which is the only one in Turkey.