Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) and Sarajevo celebrated 20th anniversary of their sisterhood with an event named “Istanbul Culture Days” in Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina held in 24-27 August 2017.

Kadir Topbaş, Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Abdullah Skaka, Mayor of Sarajevo Municipality, Haldun Koç, Turkish ambassador to Bosnia Herzegovina, Hüseyin Eren, General Secretary of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Arif Emecen, General Manager of IETT (Istanbul Electric Tramway and Tunnel Establishments), Abdurrahman Şen, Head of Cultural Department in IBB and Mehmet Duman, Advisor to the Mayor of IBB attended the opening ceremony of “Istanbul Culture Days”.

Kadir Topbaş made a speech at the opening ceremony of “Istanbul Culture Days” and he expressed that Turkish people always support to people in Bosnia Herzegovina. Topbaş also added that these two nations have deep links thanks to their history. Topbaş stated, “Turkey share common values with Bosnia Herzegovina. We all should be cooperated for our future. We can build welfare and happiness by ourselves with a collaboration of both nations and spread peace to all over the world. Istanbul can be a bridge of peace considering its very old history where has always been a home of different civilizations, cultures and religions throughout the centuries.

In the opening ceremony Abdullah Skaka stressed that “the real wealth is our friends and same thing can be said for the cities”. Skaka asserted that he is very glad to celebrate the 20th anniversary of sisterhood between Istanbul and Sarajevo with participants from both cities. Skaka also confirmed that he believes that culture is the key for the close relations between Sarajevo and Istanbul. Thus, celebrating “Istanbul Culture Days” in Sarajevo can be considered as a good determinant of peace and brotherhood between Turkey and Bosnia Herzegovina.

The photograph exhibition is opened in Vijecnica Library which is a very historical place of Sarajevo within the events of “Istanbul Cultural Days”. In this exhibition, visitors can have a chance to see Istanbul from different perspectives. Another photograph gallery is opened in a photographer’s memory that died last year during the July 15 FETO coup attempt. Moreover, visitors watched the “Mehteran show” (Ottoman Military Band) in Başçarşı. In addition, during “Istanbul Culture Days” organization, visitors had a chance to enjoy the IBB Orchestra and watched a performance of folkloric dance team “Motif Halk Dansları Topluluğu”. Turkish singers Ziynet Sali, Hakan Peker had concerts and “Istanbul Culture Days” ended with a music performance of Turkish Folk Music singers Coşkun Karademir and Neşe Demir.