As of 2007, the mayor of Istanbul is Kadir Topbas. The metropolitan model of governance has been in use since the establishment of the metropolitan administration in 1930. All decisions regarding city development are made by the metropolitan council. The metropolitan government structure consists of three main organs: the Metropolitan Mayor, the Metropolitan Council and the Metropolitan Executive Committee. There are three types of local authorities: municipalities, special provincial administrations and village administrations. Among the local authorities, municipalities are gaining greater importance with the rise in urbanization. The Istanbul Province has 39 districts of which 27 form the city proper of Istanbul.
Turkey is a parliamentary representative democracy. It follows a strong tradition of secularism. Turkey has a strong constitution that governs the legal framework of the country and sets out the main principles of the government. The President of the Republic is the head of state and is mainly a ceremonial role. The real power lies in the hands of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers which makes up the government while the legislative power lies in the hands of the parliament. Every Turkish citizen who has turned 18 years of age has the right to vote. There are roughly 50 registered political parties in the country. The Constitutional Court has the final authority to strip the public financing of political parties that it deems anti-secularist or separatist or even ban its existence completely.
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