It appears that the bill on the surge in spending is increasingly due.
Istanbul and its subsidiaries had debts of 14 billion lira, about $ 2 billion, when he took over the business in June, Imamoglu said on Monday. The subsidiaries of the community are paralyzed by tax debts and are practically bankrupt.
The outgoing mayor, an official appointed by Mr. Erdogan, even received and spent an extremely unusual advance of Treasury funds and left the incoming administration unable to pay city wages, he said.
"After a week, there was no cent left in our budget to pay staff," he said.
At a recent televised budget meeting, Mr. Imamoglu went into more detail and showed how spending had exceeded revenue over the past five years. The payment obligations for loans, most of them in foreign currency, have risen to over 60 billion lira or $ 10 billion.
"Financial discipline got out of control from 2013 to 2014." Imamoglu said at the meeting. "The last five years have been a complete disaster for financial management."
The discoveries of the mayor and his team have now cast a hard light on how Istanbul was led by the dominant Mr. Erdogan, the city affairs for almost 25 years , first as Mayor in the 1990s and later as Prime Minister and President.
Mr. Erdogan gained enormous popularity by providing public services from garbage collection to local transportation. However, he also oversaw an enormous urban sprawl, which critics claim has irreparably ruined the legendary city.