Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB), Bosnia-Herzegovina Member Municipalities Coordination Meeting was held on 25 June 2021 in Sarajevo.

The meeting was attended by Deputy President of TDBB and Mayor of Beykoz Murat Aydın, TDBB Secretary General Fahri Solak and TDBB member Mayor of Karatay Hasan Kılca, on the other hand from Bosnia and Herzegovina the attendees are listed as: TDBB Administrative Board Member and Mayor of Novi Grad Semir Efendiç, Mayor of Bonavici Robert Lapcevic, Mayor of Teocak Tajib Muminović, Mayor of Doboj Istok Kemal Bratic, Mayor of Gorazde Ernest Imamovic, Mayor of Pale-Praça Almin Chutuk, Mayor of Jajce Edin Hozan, Chairman of Banoviçi Municipality City Council Rober Lapcevic and Deputy Mayor of Banoviçi Amir Mrkonjic, Deputy Mayor of Bihac Edin Moranjkic, Deputy Mayor of Srebrenik Municipality Adnan Bjelic, Foreign Relations Specialist of Gradacac Municipality Aziz Hodzic and Strategy Expert of Gradacac Municipality Seherzada Otanovic, Chairman of Gracanica Municipality City Council Nihad Krojinovic and City Council Member of Vareş Şaban Ibrisimovic.

On the occasion of the TDBB June Executive Board Meeting and project openings, TDBB delegation met with the TDBB Bosnia and Herzegovina Member Municipalities at the work meeting. At this meeting, it was discussed regarding the works to be done in order to develop active cooperation with the TDBB’s Bosnia and Herzegovina member municipalities. 

Mayor of Beykoz Murat Aydın said, at the meeting, that, “I am very glad to be here today. I believe it will be a productive meeting. There are 31 TDBB member municipalities from Bosnia and Herzegovina. As the TDBB Delegation, we have come to Bosnia for the purposes of inaugurating some of the projects that we have done collaboratively by TDBB and member municipalities, signing some of newly prepared projects and making several visits and meetings. We really feel like at home in Bosnia and we will be happy to host you in Istanbul as well.”

Mayor of Novi Grad Semir Efendic expressed that, “We have very strong bonds with TDBB however to boost this link and good relation through cooperation is up to our mayors. Sister city relations might get weak or break completely as a result of change of mayors or sometimes for other reasons. In such cases, these relations are getting stronger and increasing again with the help of TDBB’s efforts. In that respect, TDBB has been working in a very great way, they coordinate these relations successfully. We have known power of their activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Moreover, many municipalities from Turkey and Bosnia have become sister cities thanks to TDBB. Recently, we, as Novi Grad, signed a sister city protocol with Karatay city of Konya. We have achieved many beneficial projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina in cooperation with sister municipalities from Turkey and TDBB thanks to this dialogue and good relation. The most recent project to show this bond with TDBB is the Spreča Peace Bridge to be built between the cities of Doboj and Doboj Istok. Finally, I would like to remind you that we have held coordination meetings with TDBB before, and then we have got fruitful results. I hope this will also be a productive meeting as well. I would like to thank everyone who participated to this program.”

TDBB Secretary General Fahri Solak, we have held two TDBB coordination meetings in Bosnia and Herzegovina before. We made the first one in Travnik and the second in Novi Grad. This is our third meeting in Bosnia and we have a very hectic work schedule here now. First of all, Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the countries that we have been working close. So far, we have carried out more than fifty projects, in large and small scaled, by TDBB and member municipalities. At the executive board meeting that we have held yesterday, we have just decided on four more new projects. Moreover, as TDBB, we are open to new memberships from Bosnia and Herzegovina and also we are always ready to cooperate with Bosnian Municipalities for new projects. Furthermore, we aim to conduct TDBB Projects to small cities as well, outside the capital city. Today, at this meeting, we would like to hear from you. Regrettably, we could not meet for so long due to the pandemic. Therefore, I would like to underline that the suggestions and thoughts of our Bosnia and Herzegovina members are important to us.”

Mayor of Teocak Tajib Muminovic said that, “We, Teocak, are one of the new members of TDBB. We have been conducting the necessary procedure to become a sister city with Karatay Municipality. Hopefully, we will take the city council decision next month and complete the process”.

Mayor of Doboj Istok Kemal Bratic stated that, “Doboj Istok is a sister city of Tavşanlı Municipality from Turkey. Our sister city relations are progressing really well. The bridge project will be the most significant project that we will actualize with TDBB”.

Head of City Council in Doboj Municipality Selvid Hurtic said that, “First, I would like to forward greetings of Arben and Boris to you. We are very pleased to cooperate with TDBB and Doboj – Doboj Istok Peace Bridge is one concrete sign of this cooperation.”

Mayor of Pale-Praça Almin Çutuk said that, “We are looking for ways to develop and further develop in the Eastern Bosnia. I’ve been the mayor of this town for five months. In such a short time, I may say that we have felt the support of Turkish municipalities. We have two sister municipalities from Turkey and we want to further develop our cooperation with them”.

Head of City Council of Gracanica Municipality Nihad Krojinovic said that, “We have become a TDBB member at the end of 2019, then unfortunately the pandemic started. Gracanica is an industrial city and we do not have any sister cities from Turkey. In our city, we have problems regarding solid waste management. We need support from Turkey regarding this issue”.

Mayor of Jajce Edin Hozan posited that, “Jaice is a touristic city and we have a sister city Alaçatı from Turkey. Addditionally, we would like to build a sister city relation with Sultanbeyli Municipality as soon as possible and establish a good cooperation with them.”

Head of City Council of Banovici Municipality Rober Lapcevic said that, “We have become a TDBB member a month ago. Yet we haven’t done a concrete project but looking forward to start any municipal projects”.

Deputy Mayor of Srebrenik Municipality Adnan Bjelic expressed that, “I may say that our municipality has the closest relations with TDBB out of others in Bosnia. Up until now, we have actualized many projects with TDBB. Our relations are in a very good level both with TDBB and our sister cities from Turkey which are Efeler and Edremit Municipalities”.

Seherzada Otanovic who is from Gradacac Municipality Strategy Department said that, “We have a sister city with Sivas Municipality from Turkey and our relation with our sister Sivas is in a very good level, we have built a park cooperatively in our city. We always welcome you all to our city where good people live in it”.

Aziz Hodzic from the Foreign Relations Department of Gradacac Municipality said that, “Gradacac is a very developed industrial city and we have industrial zones. We are expecting investors from Turkey in our city. Some of our ongoing projects are Cultural Center Restoration and Sports Hall Renovation Projects”.

Deputy Mayor of Bihac Municipality Edin Moranjkic said that, “In our city, the biggest problem are refugees. We are struggling with a lot of problems regarding refugee issues right now. Turkey, in this regard, is a very experienced country in terms of refugees. We are hoping to share your experiences and know-how on refugee issues. On the other hand, Bihac is also a touristic city and we also expect tourism investments in our city. Finally, I would like to thank the stakeholders of our joint project in cooperation with TDBB which is the project of Bihac Martyrdom Monument. We are proud and pleased to be a member of TDBB”.

Member of City Council of Vareş Municipality Şaban Ibrisimovic said that, “We have just made the membership to TDBB and this partnership made possible with the efforts of Mr. Semir Efendic. In such a short time, we have conducted a school project with TDBB. In this project area, there is no schools before and for this reason this project is brilliant. Vareş used to be an industrial city with full of mines; some companies from the UK and Austria are planning to operate a gold mine in Vareş in 2022. Besides, we have asked support TDBB to run a work to establish sister city relations with Turkish municipalities and we hope we may continue to strengthen the partnership with TDBB”.

Mayor of Gorazde Municipality Ernest Imamovic stated that, “I was chosen as mayor at the last elections. Gorazde is the only city that managed to defend itself in Dirina during the war. I would like to thank Turkey for their support so far. In Gorazde, there is Kayseri Mosque, Islamic Unity Center, Güngören Park and in the last five months, the construction of a university has started by a Turkish businessman’s foundation. Our sisters from Turkey are Güngören, Karatay, Gaziemir, Bayrampaşa and Adapazarı Municipalities. In our city, there is a gun and bullet factory and dynamite factory owned by a Turkish businessman. The population of Gorazde is now 17 thousands. After the war, it was around 3,000 and with the development in industry, our population got a rapid increase. Moreover, we want to establish a new industrial zone here, in this regard I invite you to make investments here.

The meeting was concluded with the presentation of the Membership Certificates of new TDBB Bosnian Member Municipalities.