Belde (literally "town", also known as kasaba) means "large village with a municipality" in Turkish.
All Turkish province centers and district centers have municipalities, but the villages (and also subdistricts) are usually too small to have municipalities. The population in some villages may exceed 2000 and in such villages a small municipality may be established depending on residents' choice. Such villages are called belde. Up to 2014 the number of belde municipalities was about 1400. However, on 30 March 2014 by the act no. 6360 all villages (those with and without municipality) were included in the urban fabric of the district municipalities in 30 provinces. Thus belde municipalities in 30 provinces were abolished. The number of abolished belde municipalities is 1040.
Presently, in 51 provinces, which are not in the scope of the act no 6360, there are still 394 belde municipalities.
Municipalities are the basic units of local government in Turkey. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute the population of Turkey was 76,667,864 as of 31 December 2013. The majority of the population live in settlements with municipalities. The number of municipalities in Turkey was 2,947 in 2009. But in 2013, most of the small town municipalities were merged to district municipalities by the Act 6360 which came into effect at the 2014 local elections sharply decreased the number of municipalities to 1,394.
A village is the smallest settlement unit in Turkey.