Turkish opposition mayor seeks foreign financing after state lender rejections

The opposition mayor of the southern Turkish province of Mersin is looking to secure financing for municipal infrastructure projects from foreign institutions as state-run banks are withholding lending, Sözcü reported on Monday.

Opposition mayor Vahap Seçer said state lenders had shut the doors on the city’s local government and he had been having difficulties with bureaucracy.

The Mersin municipality has borrowed $18.7 million for the city's water supply from the French Development Agency, a public financial institution fighting poverty and promoting sustainable development, Seçer said.

He also plans to secure financing for a transport project from foreign institutions.

Seçer is following the example of Istanbul's opposition mayor, Ekrem Imamoğlu, who turned to foreign investors for funding after being denied by state lenders. 

During a visit to London in early November, Imamoğlu discussed with foreign investors a possible $500 million bond sale that could help fund major projects. He also announced that the municipality had secured $121 million of financing from Deutsche Bank for an underground transport project.