Mersin Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Vahap Seçer stated that the contract value of the Metro Project is 3 billion 379 million 404 thousand 875 TL and said, “We started the construction with the groundbreaking ceremony on the 3th anniversary of Mersin's liberation on January 2022, 100, and we are now ready to find financing. We have to move very quickly. That's why we brought it before our Parliament. We will meet 85% of this investment from loans and 15% from our own budget.”
At the 2022st Meeting of the January 1 Assembly Meeting of Mersin Metropolitan Municipality, 3 billion 2 million lira loan was obtained for the project 'Construction and Electromechanical Systems of Mezitli 489.5 January Light Rail System Metro Line Supply, Installation and Commissioning Work' For this purpose, the issue regarding the authorization of the Mersin Metropolitan Municipality Mayor was unanimously referred to the Plan and Budget Commission.
“Our contract value is 3 billion 987.7 million liras”
President Seçer gave information about the contract price of the subway construction and said, “The VAT amount is 608 million 292 thousand liras. Our total contract value, including VAT, is 3 billion 987 million 697 thousand 752 TL 80 kuruş exactly. We can borrow 85% of this amount as per the legislation, we can get a loan. This figure corresponds to 3 billion 389 million 543 thousand TL. As you know, the borrowing authority was obtained on 16 August 2021 by the decision of the Assembly. It has now been approved by the Presidential Strategy Department. But in the Ministry of Treasury and Finance. With the approval and signature of the last rate, we will be able to borrow. The information we received is that it will be released in January. Hopefully it will. Now, if you look at it since August, we received this authorization in terms of domestic and foreign debt of 5,5 million TL in a period of 900 months until the end of January. So why was it 900? Why wasn't it 1, not 2, not 3? Because we had made our demand domestic and foreign borrowing. For domestic borrowing, we had to make a calculation related to the revaluation rate of our previous year's income. We could use it as domestic debt. We had the right to make 265 billion 1 million domestic debt, as per the legislation, with the share we allocated for the budget balance of 165 million liras last year.”
“We will cover 85% of this investment with loans and 15% from our own budget”
Adding that they have allocated the necessary part from 1 billion 165 million to 265 million budget balance, Seçer said, “Our remaining right was 900 million. We requested it from you. So what do we want now? We will be able to borrow 3 billion 389 million 543 thousand TL for this project for now. The remaining 900 billion 2 million 489 thousand lira debt authorization request after deducting 543 million is out of this limit as it is a foreign debt to use external debt. We don't need to impose a limitation on it. Again, we will take the authority from here. He will go to the Presidential Strategy Department again. It will go to the Treasury and Finance again. This will take a process. And as you know, we started the construction with the groundbreaking ceremony on the 3th anniversary of Mersin's liberation on January 2022, 100, and now we need to act very quickly in finding financing. That's why we brought it before our Parliament. We will cover 85% of this investment with loans and 15% from our own budget.”
“330 million euros whole, 26.6 million euros kilometers”
President Seçer, who gave detailed information about the metro in the Parliament, said, “We made the tender for 3 billion 375 million TL that day. We made the tender for 13.4 kilometers of flat account 330 million Euros for this. The amount is 3 billion 375 million TL. If you divide this by the cost of each kilometer, it means that we have cost 1 million TL for 252 kilometer and 24 million 626 thousand Euros for this. 330 million euros in total, 26.6 million euros per kilometer. Except for the wagon. No underproduction. Just no wagons. It has electronic system, reinforced concrete, everything. Just the wagon. Why did we separate it? We can buy the wagon at very reasonable prices and for a long time. We buy the world's reputable brands, from reputable companies. We did his research. At the point we have reached, the kilometer tender amount, which was 24 million 600 thousand euros that day at today's euro rate, has decreased to 16 million euros. From here we are not harmful. Only here, in the legal rate announced by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance, the receivables for price differences are in certain items. You know this. Some items will not. There is no burden or harm to the administration here. It is more advantageous to do it that day. "I wish we had done it earlier," he said.
“We are the public sector, we want to make the construction in accordance with the most beautiful specifications”
President Seçer also stated that the payments will be in TL and said, “We haven't paid 1 cent of interest from 1 TL debt yet. We did not receive it, but we are waiting for the authorization. Payments will be TL. We have no business with the euro. I mean in terms of comparing the euro with the markets, in terms of your testing. The tender we made is 3 billion 375 million liras. Plus, provided that it includes price increases within the legal framework of the Ministry of Treasury and Finance. Everyone will comply with the terms of the tender. I'll sleep too, the contractor will too. We will do what the law says. But if you ask what is the difference between the period we made and now, we cannot make this tender at these prices now. There is no loss of administration. So I don't want to make a sentence, we can even say advantageous. But of course, we expect the work to be completed on time, with the quality we want, without any victimization of the contractor company, before the work goes into a problem. We do not have the mentality of setting a trap for anyone, making cheap tenders, and then failing the construction. We are the public sector, we want to make the construction in accordance with the most beautiful specifications. "We wouldn't want events like this to happen," he said.
“I hope the central government will find a way to overcome this process with realistic economic policies”
Stating that the better the economy is, the more comfortable he will be, President Seçer said, “The government is making investments right now, isn't it? It does, life goes on. The private sector does. But it makes it more compact and more controlled. We can't stop. We are the municipality. But do we have the comfort of 6 months ago, 1 year ago? No. But we are careful. We made the tender for this in April at the time. At that time, the TL did not depreciate so much in exchange rates, there was no big rumble, no big noise. It means we did it at the right time. But you said that the environment is not available at this time. I hope, I wish, the central government will find a solution to overcome this process with realistic economic policies. It's not my job, it's the Commonwealth's job, it's the government's job. The better the economy, the more comfortable I will be, the more comfortable the business person will be," he said.
“The joke of the open-close is this; cost less”
President Seçer, who also spoke about the 7,5 kilometer cut-and-cover section of the metro, said, “We have taken our measures. There they go down to 15 to 21 meters already. The joke of the open-close is this; the cost is lower. 11 stations on the subway. As you said, 7 of them have parking lots for 1400 cars. There are motorcycle and bicycle parking spaces. There are social areas in 9 stations. Shopping centers, cultural areas, entertainment areas etc. In fact, we are also solving the city's problems in this sense. The deeper the station goes, the higher the cost of the metro. In other words, going down to 15 meters is one thing, going down to 35 meters is another. That's the whole point. All the work has been done,” he said. Seçer stated that they will also sell the clay that emerged during the construction process of the metro.
“I am a President who did not even use 20 million TL for high interest rates”
President Seçer emphasized that they want to finish the project in 3,5 years and said, “Whatever the conjuncture is, we will of course use financing under these conjuncture conditions. But don't worry, I'm a President who didn't even use 20 million TL because of high interest. Whatever Turkey's credit rating is, we get reports from the Credit Rating Agency," he said. According to the information he received, Seçer stated that one of the 2 municipalities with a very good credit rating in Turkey is Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and the other is Mersin Metropolitan Municipality, and said, “We can't borrow more than the foreign borrowing figures of the Republic of Turkey anyway. The Presidency will not allow it, the Treasury will not allow it. Our citizens should be at ease in that regard," he said.
Seçer, emphasizing that he gives confidence as a Mayor with his knowledge and commercial experience to date; “Our municipality will go into debt in the best way. We will get support from experts. If necessary, we will pay consultancy fees, we will receive consultancy, but we will never allow such an adventure, an adventure like this.”
Upon the question of a council member on the possible damage to the environment during the construction process of the Metro Project, President Seçer said, “Both the project author, the company that will manufacture it, and our technical committee, the Department of Transportation, carried out a very meticulous work. You know, I am as concerned as you are about not paralyzing the traffic and not disturbing our people. The traffic flow of the city, streets, arteries, vehicle exits are clear. You give it a shape with a good engineering mind… Construction work; a firm, strong, knowledgeable company with high technical equipment, and money. If you give the money, the construction goes fast. Hopefully, with your support, we will get a loan authorization. We will get this approved by the President without delay, we will get it approved by the Finance Ministry, and we will bring the service to Mersin in a very short time. Our project is 13.4 kilometers, not 35 kilometers. Currently, one of the 2 stages is a tram, I just said, project work is being done with Saya Junction. We want to lay the foundation of the tram within 2 years. Where did this come from? The tram costs one-eighth that. I would too, but there is no tram or level rail system in this region. Here you will either not do it or you will go underground, but the tram has a very long option, and it is a very cheap and very long-cost public transportation model, credited by the tram constructor or contractor companies. That's why we are getting the project done very quickly, and we even want to start the bridge junction construction there together with the metro station and tram station there," he said.
When the same Assembly member wanted to learn about the approximate cost of the Metro Project, President Seçer said, “We will borrow with the longest-term, cheapest, financing model that will not tire us. We haven't made a clear decision yet. The cost in TL is completely related to price increases, legal price increases. Even if there is a zero price increase, we have a tender price of 3 billion 375 million TL plus VAT, and this will end with VAT, but how much it will cost, I cannot guess.”
“We don't play yeast in the lake, we don't do anything unconsciously”
Stating that the Metro Project is not an independent project of municipalities, Seçer said:
“'I want subway, I have a project. Come on, give me a loan, I'm going out to tender.' not. So we're not building a building. We do not build an empty bus station in Anamur. We do not build an unused fire station in Erdemli, we do not build a bus station in Gülnar. No one asks for an account, it looks empty. This is important. You do this project, the Ministry of Transport, General Directorate of Infrastructure gives you a visa and approves it. Then he goes to the Presidency. At the point I came to, the project was done. I say it over and over again; The past period is different in rail systems with the project, quantity and vision we put into practice. Macit Bey also thought of a light rail system in his own way, had a project made, but did not put it into practice. Our population 'central should exceed 1 million. I can't get a loan, I don't put it into practice,' he said. Later administration, I will also give numbers by numbers. This administration also paid 8,5-7 liras of the consultancy and project cost of 7,5 million. We found it in our lap and said; 'there are unnecessary lengths in this project'. In other words, passenger capacity is low at the destinations. We have reviewed it. We got it included in the Presidential Investment Program and took it to 3 stages. We put the tram, we put the northern line of the rail system. This is a 35 kilometer projection. The information I received when this was approved; 'The President should go out to look for finance as soon as possible, we will give his approval.' I'm speaking for the presidency. Everyone made an effort, we ran it, it was included in the investment program. Now you say 'there is no fol, there is no egg, what happened to this groundbreaking?' When I ask for the financing, I will know how much it will cost, so that I can find money accordingly. There is no tender yet. How can I get a loan authorization from you? Who will give me money? According to the project, you give me financing. If he hadn't waited there for 5 months, and signed off in 2-3 months, I would have used this money 10 times now, but the process is taking place. But if you say 'where did this 2,5 billion come from' you would be wrong. The amount that I will use the loan subject to the contract is 3 billion 389 million liras. The reason why I took out a part of 900 million liras of this, I put the domestic debt on that demand. As a result of a calculation made with the income budget of the previous year in accordance with the legislation, it is 900 million. The rest is unlimited because the foreign debt legislation sees this as appropriate for me. It says 'borrow the remaining part, that is, the entire part of the foreign debtor'. And I'm going to get this from you right now, which will take a process. Meanwhile, construction will continue. Our contract has been manufacturing for 4+2 years. It will complete in 4 years, and there is an option for 2 years in case of any negativity. I just said; a strong firm a good firm and money; That's the whole formula for making construction go fast. The subject is this. We do not steal yeast into the lake, we do not throw lead into the darkness. We do not do unconscious work.”
In the secret ballot held in the Assembly; Mehmet Topkara was elected to the Audit Committee with 39 votes, Osman Çöl 38, Zafer Şahin Özturan 38, Muhittin Ertaş 34 and Abdurrahman Yıldız with 32 votes.