‘International Local Administrations Conference’, organized by Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB), was held in Bursa on 11 June 2022, hosted by Bursa Metropolitan Municipality.

The Conference, which was held in cooperation with TDBB and the Cultural Capital of the Turkish World Bursa Metropolitan Municipality, was attended by nearly 200 mayors from more than 20 countries, including Uzbekistan, Somalia, Serbia, Turkey, in addition to Azerbaijan, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Palestine, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Lebanon, Mongolia, and Moldova.

“Problems Will Be Solved Through Brotherhood”

In his speech at the Opening Session of the Conference, President of TDBB and also Mayor of Konya Metropolitan Municipality Uğur İbrahim Altay said that they are happy that the 6th General Assembly of TDBB was held successfully with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Stating that TDBB extends from Central Asia to the Balkans with 1,194 member municipalities from 30 countries, Altay added: “To date, we have made significant efforts to develop both our cities and our region, to increase cooperation and solidarity with all member countries, and to reinforce the law of brotherhood between us and the peoples of the region. I see this success as a manifestation of the unity and solidarity between us. The spirit of unity and solidarity we have shown under this roof shows that all kinds of problems and obstacles can be solved through peace and brotherhood, and that uniting around a common culture of solidarity reveals the contribution of peace and prosperity in our region. As TDBB, we have carried out many activities from education to solidarity, from culture to art since our establishment. From now on, we will continue to carry our geography of culture and civilization to higher levels with the contributions we make to our cities, countries and regions. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all our member municipalities, to all the institutions and organizations we cooperate with.”

Mayor of Bursa Metropolitan Municipality Alinur Aktaş, in his speech at the opening, said that Bursa’s being the Cultural Capital of the Turkish World excited them and that they both met and exchanged ideas with other local administrations thanks to such organizations. Noting that the heart of the Turkish World beats in Bursa this year, Mayor Aktaş added: “We are also very happy to show Turkish hospitality to our guests. Although the name of TDBB is Union of Turkish World Municipalities, the projects it carries on are the works for the ‘union of geography of the heart municipalities’. Because here I see our very valuable guests and friends from the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Middle East, different geographies and even Africa. The Turkish World Capital of Culture feature will remain with us for 1 year. It started on January 1, and on December 31, 2022, our Cultural Capital of the Turkish World will end. But we will act as if this mission is always ours.”

After the speeches, mayors from different countries presented various gifts to the President of Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB) Uğur İbrahim Altay and Mayor of Bursa Metropolitan Alinur Aktaş, and a family photo was taken with the participants.

After the opening ceremony the conference continued with 4 separate sessions

In the first session of the conference titled as “The Development of Local Administrations in the Turkic Republics in the 30th Anniversary of Their Independence”, while Mayor of Başiskele (Kocaeli) Mehmet Yasin Özlü was the chairman of the session, Mayor of Azerbaijan Narimanov Temraz Tagıyev, Kazakhstan Shymkent Municipality Council President Bakhadyr Natymbetov, Head of Kyrgyzstan Presidential Administration Department Mirbek Kozhoev and President of Uzbekistan National Ascension Institution Bobur Bekmurodov took place as speakers.

In the Second Session titled as “Development of Local Governments in the Balkan Countries”, while Mayor of Şehzadeler (Manisa) Ömer Faruk Çelik took part as the chair of the session, Mayor of Bosnia and Herzegovina Travnik Kenan Dautovic, Mayor of North Macedonia Tetovo Bilall Kasami, Mayor of Kosovo Mamusa Abdulhadi Krasnic, Deputy Mayor of Montenegro Tuzi Haris Ramovic and Gagauzia Comrat Regional President Ivan Topal also attended as speakers.

In the third session titled as “Development of Local Governments in Africa, TRNC and Middle East Countries”, while UCLG-MEWA Secretary General Mehmet Duman chaired the session, Mayor of TRNC Tatlısu Hayri Orcan, Mayor of Palestine Gaza Yahya Sarraj, Mayor of Lebanon Deirnbouh Muhammed Sadieh and Somalia Mogadishu Municipality Foreign Relations Manager Mohamed Hassan also took part as speakers.

In the last session of the conference titled as “The Role of Unions in the Development of Local Governments”, while Mayor of Tavşanlı (Kütahya) Mustafa Güler was the chairman of the session, General Manager of Albanian Municipalities Union Agron Haxhimali, Gagauz Region Union of Municipalities President Oleg Garizan and Mongolian Union of Municipalities Secretary General Yanjinlk Puverdorj made speeches.

After the conference, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey İzmir State Turkish World Dance and Music Ensemble performed songs and dances specific to the participating countries, giving the participants a colorful day.

The program was completed with the return of the participants to their countries after the city tour on Sunday, June 12, 2022.

TDBB International Local Governments Conference Opening Session