Istanbul has experienced a tenfold increase in its foreign resident population over the past eight years, according to water subscription figures released by Istanbul’s Municipality.
The city’s water and sewerage authority İSKİ says around 2.5 million foreign nationals now reside in the city, a number that positions Istanbul’s foreign population to potentially rank as the ninth most populous city in Europe, according to Buğra Gökce, the municipality’s deputy secretary-general.
In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Gökce revealed that the number of foreign subscribers in the city soared from 145,000 in 2019 to 255,985 this year. These subscriptions often come from residences where multiple households coexist, with populations often exceeding 10 individuals per house, he argued.
Meanwhile, investigations carried out by İSKİ have unveiled irregularities in residence applications and time extensions among some foreigners under temporary protection.Gökce disclosed that some individuals acquired necessary documents for their residence applications through fraudulent means, leading to multiple active contracts being made for the same household.
In response, İSKİ initiated corrective measures, he said. Foreign nationals are now required to register their residence address at the same location where they intend to establish a water subscription contract. Exceptions are made only for applicants providing authentic real estate title deeds.
Moreover, restrictions have been imposed limiting foreigners to a single water subscription contract per individual.
Furthermore, non-residential contracts held by foreigners who were found to have multiple subscriptions have been annulled, Gökce elaborated.