MAYOR AHMET MISBAH DEMIRCAN
Mayor Ahmet Misbah Demircan belongs to one of the long-established families Demircan of Beyoğlu. He was born in 1967 in Kasımpaşa, Beyoğlu where he currently lives.
After he has completed the primary school at Piyalepaşa Elemantary School, he graduated from Behçet Kemal Çağlar High School. He was awarded his Bachelor Degree in 1992, from the Marmara University, Faculty of Theology, followed by his master degree in Political Sciences and International Relations Department at the same University. Besides that, he has participated to language courses in Tunis and England.
He started his professional life in the field of tourism and gained professional experiences in different countries. He has developped the approach of analysing “Turkey from the World” and the “World from Turkey”. After gaining experience in various fields of tourism, he became general manager in a private company in the tourism sector. During his post of General Manager, he found the opportunity to design a system, to adapt IT solutions with specific softwares to the management of the company and to execute a result-oriented work discipline. He has carried out works for a “customer oriented service and satisfaction”. Those experiences has enlightened his projects in his political carreer as well.
Political and Social Activities
He took a step into active politics in 2001, with the foundation of the Justice and Development Party (AK Parti). He started his polical life as Justice and Development Party-Sarıyer District Deputy President and continued at the same political party as Member of the Regional Executive Committee and the Party Administratif Center Deputy President of Tourism Commission. At the general elections of 3 November 2002, he was deputy candidate in the 16th rank, from the 2nd electoral region of İstanbul.
During the regional elections of March 28, in 2004, he was nominated as candidate for Beyoğlu Municipality in Istanbul by the Justice and Development Party (AK Parti), won the elections and became Mayor of Beyoğlu Municipality.
Since his very young age, he played an active role in civil society organizations and occupied responsibilities at Independant Industrialists and Businessmens’ Association (MÜSİAD) and at the Association of Turkish Travels Agencies (TURSAB).
During his first term as Mayor of Beyoğlu Municipality, his first project was to constitute “Local Civil Union of Forces” in order to integrate actively the 185 civil society institutions in the decision management. That way, he enabled the civil societies institutions to be part of different projects and take advantage of different groups’ ideas and experiences, and to implement the projects with wider consensus. He has implemented, most of the projects created at the Local Civil Union of Forces Center, in collaboration with the stakeholders civil society institutions.
The projects he has undersigned are original projects, beyond the classical municipal management. He has acquired to the Municipality of Beyoğlu “Kefken Environment and Summer Camp” located in 40 decar of forest in Kefken with the intent to provide a projection into the future for youngs, in the field of culture, art and tourism which are the main industries of Beyoğlu, and to orientate the human ressources relevant to the vision of the district. In 7 years, with the participation of 30.000 students from Beyoğlu, 1.100 foreign students from 30 countries to the camps for one week, and with the courses in different fields, in personnal development, theater, music, folklore, painting courses and sport, the youngs of Beyoğlu found the opportunity to discover themselves and their competences.
He has implemented the project of “Smart City Beyoğlu” in order to transfer all the datas and archives of Beyoğlu into digital environment, and to make the Municipality an institution which is reachable 24 hours by the citizens, auditable and where the bureacratic system is at the minimum. The “Communication Center” and the “Reception” reachable for 24 hours, were started within this project and taken as succesful examples, which made the Municipality of Beyoğlu one of the most visited municipalities from different parts of Turkey. As a result of this project, Beyoğlu Municipality has been granted the “E-municipality Special Prize” by Turkey Information Technology Industrials Association (TUBISAD ) in 2007.
The lighting and environmental arrangements works at the deserted streets of Beyoğlu gave results in a short time and the doomed streets came back into life as culture, art and tourism spaces. During his presidency, the Yeşilçam Film Awards, Galata Fashion Festival, Golden Hands Festival and Bouquiniste Festival Projects contributed to the development of the culture and tourism industry of Beyoğlu. In order to revive the region of Tarlabaşı, he initiated the Project of “Tarlabaşı Getting Renovated”. In the regions of Şişhane, Asmalı Mescit, Galata, Talimhane, in a period of 7 years, 4.000 buildings have been renewed and restored and those quarters which were totaly deserted once upon a time regained attractiveness in Beyoğlu. As a result of this project, Beyoğlu Municipality was awarded the “Best Tourism Region” Prize by the tourism operators member of Tour Expi (Berlin 2010).
The “Social Market” system established in order to enable financially unfortunate citizens to meet their needs and shop without being embarrassed is a very first example. Social Markets gives the opportunity to 4.000 families to shop regularly whithin the limits of their cards filled with credits by the Municipality.
The “District Mansions” which have been designed as health, education, culture and art centers of Beyoğlu Municipality reached the number of 13 at the end of 7 years. District Mansions play the function of a place where every year approximatively 8.000 people have the opportunity to receive education, services and where old-young, women, men, people from different groups come together and get socialised.
The Library of Turabibaba which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2008 has reached 4.100 members. Since its opening, the library is the heart of culture and education with 115.000 persons who benefit from it. Beyoğlu Library has been selected as an exemplar library by the Turkish Librarians’ Association and has been awarded “Best Library for Public Relations 2011”.
Demircan who has executed a successful management in the district where he was born and grew up, Beyoğlu the pearl of İstanbul, he has been showned as candidate at the elections of 29th March 2009 and has received 12% votes more than his rival.
Besides his responsibilities at the Municipality, he is a lecturer at the University of Bahçeşehir for the class of “Leadership”. He has attended many conferences as a speaker on the issues of Urban Transformation, Restoration, Urban Planning, Information and Technology Applications in Public Spheres.
In accordance with the area of Beyoğlu, which hosts the majority of the Consulates General and its’ Cultural Center Institutes, he gives a special importance to foreign relations issues. Within this approach, he has initiated to become membership of several International Organisations and assumed active role at Eurocities, UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments Organisation), COPPEM (Standing Committee for the Euro Mediterranean Partnership of Local and Regional Authorities), ATO (Arab Town Organization).
Ahmet Misbah Demircan is married with Mrs Ferda Demircan and father of Zeynep, Rana and Neva. He speaks Arabic and English.