Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB) Member Municipalities Meeting was made in Kyrenia city of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on 22 October 2019, hosted by Union of Cyprus Turkish Municipalities (KTBB).

TDBB Member Municipalities Meeting was attended by TRNC Minister of Internal Affairs Ayşegül Baybars, President of TDBB and also Mayor of Konya Metropolitan Municipality Uğur İbrahim Altay, TDBB Secretary General Fahri Solak, President of Union of Cyprus Turkish Municipalities and also Mayor of Güzelyurt Mahmut Özçınar, Mayor of Kyrenia Nidai Güngördü, Mayor of Lapta Mustafa Aktuğ, Mayor of Lefke Aziz Kaya, Mayor of Değirmenlik Ali Karavezirler, Mayor of Yeniboğaziçi Mustafa Zurnacılar, Mayor of Alsancak Fırat Atasever, Mayor of Çatalköy Mehmet Hulusioğlu, Mayor of Yenierenköy Emrah Yeşilırmak, Mayor of Beyarmudu İlker Edip, Mayor of Mehmetçik Cemil Sarıçizmeli, Mayor of Paşaköy Habil Tülücü, Mayor of İnönü Ali Öncü, Mayor of  Büyükkonuk Ahmet Sennaroğlu, Mayor of Akdoğan Ahmet Latif, Mayor of Serdarlı Halil Kasım, Mayor of Vadili Mehmet Adahan, Mayor of Geçitkale Hasan Öztaş, Mayor of Dipkarpaz Suphi Çoşkun, Mayor of Esentepe Cemal Erdoğan, Mayor of Tatlısu Hayri Orçan and Mayor of Akıncılar Hasan Barbaros, in addition to TDBB Administrative Board Members coming from notably Turkey, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Macedonia. 

TDBB has deep knowledge

Baybars, Minister of Internal Affairs of TRNC, pointed out that the realization of TDBB’s Administrative Board meeting in TRNC is crucial both for strengthening local governments and strengthening the unshakable ties in Turkish world. Baybars said: “We are so honored and proud to be here with you. The existing cultural and historical ties of the Turkish world are indeed unshakable, and the common interests of the Turkish world require solidarity and cooperation. We know that TDBB has deep experience, especially with regard to local authorities, and we want to take advantage of these experiences. We are very happy for your sharing experiences in the work plan that we have started to build on within the framework of the efforts to reform the local governments in TRNC. Both local and central, always collaborating with Turkish world and strengthening our cooperation in our projects to develop a common vision with very deep historical and cultural ties, and broadening our perspective and innovative approach is extremely important for us. As Ministry of Internal Affairs, we have a duty to act together with our municipalities in order to ensure that the municipalities retain their own power and contribute to the formation of strong municipalities without interfering with the local administrative autonomy of any municipality and without exceeding the administrative guardianship limits. Therefore, we are ready to give every support and contribution as the government to strengthen our municipalities and to better serve our people by creating their own revenues. I am very pleased to see you in TRNC and to be together with you. Welcome again. We are much better and stronger together.”

We Stand By the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus In Any Case

Uğur İbrahim Altay, President of Union of Turkish World Municipalities and Mayor of Konya Metropolitan Municipality, said: “As the new administration of TDBB, we are holding our first foreign administrative board meeting in TRNC. Today there are representatives from 6 countries including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kyrgyzstan, TRNC, Macedonia, Moldova Gagauz Region and Turkey. It is not possible to separate Turkey and Cyprus. We are on the side of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in all its cases. Together, we’ll carry out projects that will be example for the world. In particular, we would like to thank the TRNC government for its support of Operation Peace Spring.”

Stating that TDBB carries out projects in regard to the common cultural and historical heritage of the municipalities which are regionally close to Turkey, President Altay added: “We are working to increase the contact between municipalities, to maintain cultural heritage, to consult the programs of our municipalities, to develop and consult new proposals on Municipality and city management. One aspect of TDBB is that 11 countries, including Turkey, are represented on administrative board. Today we are holding this meeting together with 6 countries. TDBB is the only international municipal union that Turkey has. Especially in the area of Sister Municipalities, we do experience sharing programs to municipalities in our close geography for the creation and development of new sister city relations and especially for the transfer of municipal experience formed in the last 15 years. Altay emphasized that Turkey aims to transfer the important experience achieved in the area of municipalities especially in the last 15 years to member municipalities and he added: “The training of employees in our member municipalities in municipalities that are prominent in Turkey is taking place under the leadership of TDBB. The aim here is to present the spirit of municipality in Turkey for the benefit of people in the whole region”.

Özçınar, President of Union of Cyprus Turkish Municipalities, expressed his pleasure to host the meeting and wished the meeting to be a means of strengthening local governments by acting in unity and togetherness.

The Reform Law Must Be Completed As Soon As Possible

The most discussed issue at the meeting was the local government reform act. It was emphasized that efforts should be made to complete the local government reform law, which has been on the agenda for a long time, and that municipalities should be re-formed in accordance with the unique conditions of TRNC or be continued by strengthening the existing structure.

TRNC municipalities should be strengthened economically

At the meeting of Member Municipalities, it was mentioned that it is necessary to establish more Sister City relations with other countries of the world and to realize concrete projects cooperatively with TDBB, to organize programs for the development of TRNC municipalities with information and experience sharing and expert training programs, to carry out necessary processes to increase the recognition of TRNC municipalities through institutions such as TDBB by inviting and including international programs, to increase the contribution of the state to TRNC municipalities and to strengthen the municipalities economically by benefiting from Bank of provinces and similar institutions, to solve the administrative and political problems related to the lands that TRNC Municipalities will invest and to fix the absence of teacher in some regions of TRNC.

Support from TDBB to Slow Cities Meeting In TRNC

In the meeting, it was also stated that the general assembly meeting of the Cittaslow (Slow City) movement, which includes member cities from 25 countries, 17 from Turkey and 5 from TRNC, will be held in TRNC between 07 and 10 November 2019. It was stated that for TRNC, which is a society and country isolated from the world, its participation in such movements is very important in terms of representation, and that with such international networks, TRNC could find the opportunity to express itself better. Therefore, it was stated that the meeting of Slow Cities to be held in TRNC was very important and that preparations had reached a certain stage but had difficulties financially and that TDBB was expected to contribute financially at this point. So a decision was taken at the TDBB Administrative Board meeting held a day later and a decision was made to support the Slow Cities meeting financially.

The Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB) TRNC Member Municipalities Meeting ended with a mutual gift presentation and family photo shoot.