Cooperation Protocol was signed between Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB) and Union of Croatian Municipalities (HZO) on 17 September 2020 at TDBB Headquarters.

The signing ceremony was attended by TDBB Deputy President and Mayor of Zeytinburnu Municipality Ömer Arısoy, President of Union of Croatian Municipalities Martin Baričević, TDBB Secretary General Fahri Solak, Mayor of Konavle Municipality and Member of Executive Council of Union of Croatian Municipalities Božo Lasić, Director of Union of Croatian Municipalities Mladen Puškarić, Expert of Protocol, Media and Public Relations of Union of Croatian Municipalities Branimir Kovačević and TDBB External Relations Specialist Kenan Ibrisimovic. 

Deputy President of TDBB and Mayor of Zeytinburnu Municipality Ömer Arısoy, in his speech at the signing ceremony, expressed his gratitude for the cooperation with Union of Croatian Municipalities on behalf of TDBB and Zeytinburnu Municipality and he underlined the importance of the further development of this cooperation for both sides.

President of the Union of Croatian Municipalities Martin Baricevic, in his speech during the ceremony, posited that: “I would like to express that we are very pleased to sign this protocol of cooperation before the end of this year and also would like to thank you for accepting us in such a difficult period of time considering the pandemic situation that all of the world is under the effects of it. We believe that this cooperation will be leaded us in a positive way in the aspect of local governments. In addition, I think that this cooperation will result in positive results in terms of developing relations between the two countries”.

After the speeches, the cooperation protocol was signed by Deputy President Ömer Arısoy on behalf of TDBB and by President Martin Baricevic on behalf of Union of Croatian Municipalities.

TDBB Secretary General Fahri Solak, at a meeting with the delegation held before the ceremony, said that: “At the beginning of this year, we had an Information and Experience Sharing Program for Croatian mayors. And now, we are pleased to sign the Cooperation Protocol with Union of Croatian Municipalities. We are confident that our cooperation will bring us positive results regarding Turkish-Croatian relations. In 2018, we went to Croatia and paid several visits with Croatian institutions and local governments. Afterwards, Zeytinburnu and Sisak Municipalities became sister cities. Therefore, I hope that after our cooperation these kinds of relations will further enrich and the sister city relations between Turkey and Croatia will be strengthened”. 

Mayor of Konavle and Member of the Executive Council of Union of Croatian Municipalities Božo Lasić, underlined the historical ties between Turkey and Croatia and he talked about the common values and history ​​of the two countries. He expressed that he believe these commonalities and ties will become a good basis for the development of further cooperation.

The director of Union of Croatian Municipalities Mladen Puškarić expresed that they are very glad to sign this protocol in Istanbul and put forward that: “I assume that some of our municipalities will become members of TDBB after signing this protocol. On our last visit to Turkey, when we took part in TDBB Information and Experience Sharing Program for Croatian Municipalities, we learned a lot about municipalism, and I believe that this cooperation will lead us to more positive results”.

The cooperation protocol has the following goals: to share experiences on certain issues of local governments to increase the efficiency of the cooperation, to monitor developments in the field of local government and ensure the necessary coordination between the relevant institutions, helping to increase the capacity of local governments, to develop joint projects to build management models focused on quality, efficiency and productivity, to organize events such as training program, symposium, congress, conference, seminar, panel on common issues to be determined in the field of local government, and last but not the least to hold events for delegations of investors and commercial enterprises.

The ceremony ended with an exchange of gifts and photo for memory.

18.09.2020