The 6th Ordinary General Assembly Meeting, in which the new administrative bodies of the Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB), which aims to cooperate in the field of Local Administrations with almost 1,200 Member Municipalities from 30 friendly and brotherly countries, were determined, was held in Istanbul on 10 June 2022, with the participation of President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The 6th Ordinary General Assembly Meeting, which was held at Haliç Congress Center, was attended by President Erdoğan, as well as the President of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) Prof. Dr. Mustafa Şentop, Chairman of Council of Elders of the Organization of Turkic States Binali Yıldırım, Parliament Members, Foreign Mission Chiefs and nearly 400 mayors, council members, representatives of local government organizations and guests from more than 20 countries including Azerbaijan, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Palestine, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Lebanon, Mongolia, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Somalia, Serbia and Turkey.
The General Assembly program started with the opening speech of President of TDBB Uğur İbrahim Altay, after the registration and cocktail, and the screening of the introductory movie of TDBB.
TDBB Establishes Brotherhood Between Local Administrations
Speaking at the opening ceremony, President of TDBB and Mayor of Konya Metropolitan Municipality Uğur İbrahim Altay reminded that TDBB was established in order to develop cooperation, brotherhood, unity and solidarity among the local governments of friendly and brotherly countries, and to carry out joint projects in economic, social and cultural fields, to find solutions to the problems of city administrations and to create new urban culture models in an area extending from the Balkans to Central Asia, with the approval of President Erdoğan, on 12 November 2003.
President Altay continued as follows: “Various programs and projects continue to develop cooperation between our members from 30 different countries and local governments in friendly and brotherly countries. As TDBB, one of the largest local government organizations in the world, we are strengthening our ties with all our member countries and sister cities day by day. Thanks to our Union, we are crowning our common cultural and civilizational heritage dating back centuries with our cooperation and solidarity in areas such as local governments, politics, economy, education and art. We make great efforts to develop our cities in every field by sharing our country’s experiences, especially in local administrations, with the member municipalities of our union, and today we carry out projects with the financial support of our members in this hall”.
Emphasizing that the main purpose of the union is to act in accordance with the spirit of the cities, President Altay said, We will continue to work in this direction with great determination. Under your leadership, Turkey has become a leader in its region, a country that has a voice in the world, the shadow of which extends beyond its borders, as it has in history. Now, we address a very wide geography and we help the oppressed, the victim and the needy. Along with these, acting with the awareness of how much importance your Excellency attaches to local governments, we are walking on the direction you have drawn, both in our projects at the national level and in our international cooperation, and we are trying to spread the understanding of municipality that we learned from you in our heartland.”
President Altay said, “Under your leadership, we will raise our relations with the Turkish world and brotherly countries to higher levels and continue to illuminate every place we set foot, from the steppes of Asia to the Balkans, with the shining sun of our civilization.”
Close Relationships are Established with the Distanced Relative Geographies
Binali Yıldırım, Chairman of Council of Elders of the Organization of Turkic States, stated that the Turkish World met again in the early nineties after 70 years, following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Noting that they once again started to establish close relations with the geographies in heart, Yıldırım said, “It has been 30 years, so a generation has grown. Therefore, together with today’s Organization of Turkic States, whose foundations were laid in 2009, and the Turkic Council as it was then known, important steps have been taken to improve relations between Turkic States in particular.”
Stating that the disconnection in language, work and thought that the Soviet system brought has disappeared and that the importance of the Turkish World has increased day by day in this period, Yıldırım said, “Municipalities will share their experiences in Turkish states in our geography of heart, we will build the future by keeping our culture and our past alive, establishing smart cities and establishing environmentally sensitive cities. With these feelings, I once again wish success to the Union of Turkish States Municipalities. I wish success to our esteemed Mayor of Konya Metropolitan Municipality Uğur İbrahim Altay. I would like to thank our previous presidents”.
TDBB is A Unique Organization in The World
President of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey Mustafa Şentop stated that since the beginning of the 20th century, there had been interruptions in the relations between the Turkish world and added, “Thank God, we have started to compensate for the interruptions in a great harmony at the end of the last century and for the last 20 years. While friendly and brotherly countries of brotherly geographies maintain their relations on the basis of international law, local governments continue to carry out various programs and projects aimed at improving cooperation between us at great speed.
Expressing that Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB) is a unique organization in the world, Şentop said, “It is an organization that was established to bring together local governments from many different countries, to share information and experience, to share plans and projects. We know how important TDBB, a unique organization, is and how it operates in areas on which we need to focus. I would like to thank the valuable presidents, mayors and members of the Union of Turkish World Municipalities, who have worked hard to bring this beautiful and unique idea to life.
Our Union Is Among the Leading Structures of The World in Its Field
President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who participated in the program, started his speech by wishing the 6th General Assembly of TDBB to be beneficial. Thanking everyone who has served under the roof of TDBB since its establishment, President Erdoğan said, Our union, the foundations of which were laid 22 years ago, has been active for 19 years. Today, our union, which has become a huge family with approximately 1,200 member municipalities from 30 different countries and regions, is among the leading structures of the world in its field. Our Union is instrumental in developing cooperation between friendly and sister municipalities in a wide geography stretching from the Balkans to Central Asia. I am pleased that our union, which has expanded its sphere of influence with new programs and projects, has built strong bridges between our countries, cities and people.
The encompassing structure of the Union of Turkish World Municipalities is important
Expressing his satisfaction with the spread of the work carried out at the level of governments with municipalities, President Erdoğan continued as follows: “The encompassing structure of the Union of Turkish World Municipalities, in which local governments from 30 countries and regions are currently represented, is important. We consider this structure as a sign of the breadth of the vision of the Organization of Turkish States. Of course, we should not forget that we are talking about a power based on a common history of thousands of years, not just a few centuries. Despite all the time that has passed and many bad events before us, there is the reality of states reuniting with a common history and cultural awareness, societies meeting around the same bond of love. This picture also points out to us that a much brighter future awaits us all. No one can deprive us of reaching this bright future as long as we take care of our togetherness, brotherhood, commons, common dreams and all these.”
We Can See Eurasian Geography Become the Jewel of the World
President Erdoğan continued his speech and said: “The lessons we have learned from the events that led to our separation are the greatest guide for us in our future roadmaps. Our national poet, Mehmet Akif, says, “They describe history as repeating itself, would it repeat itself if a lesson had been taken?” We should act by taking lessons from both what we have experienced in the past and what is happening around us today. Only in this way will we be successful if we confront those who are ready to set the whole world on fire for their own safety and well-being. If we can achieve this, we can see that the Eurasian geography has become the apple of the world’s eye in the upcoming period. If we allow our differences to be turned into fault lines rather than the driving force of our unity and solidarity, we will continue to pay the price of it all together.
Pointing out that the global political and economic crises, the impact of which are increasing, make such cooperation more valuable, President Erdoğan said, “Our cooperation, embodied in the Organization of Turkish States and Union of Turkish World Municipalities, offers us all unique opportunities in terms of geographical, democratic, economic and of course political capacity. Our ancestors say ‘teamwork makes the dream work’. Based on this understanding, we should work much harder to increase the scope, impact and depth of our organization and union. Only in this way can we ensure that our countries take the place they deserve for the restructured global management system. For this, we must continue to increase the activities of our union through sharing of knowledge and experience, education, corporate communication, sister cities, social and cultural events, study visits and publications. The breadth of our geography is not an obstacle for these studies, on the contrary, it is a unique richness. Today, even ancient trade routes such as the Silk Road are tried to be revived by constructing new highway and railway lines.
I will be with you every step of the way
President Erdoğan said: “With its thousand-year existence in Anatolia, 600 centuries of world domination and its young Republic, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year, Turkey has opened its heart to you all the way. Our country is ready to use all its experience, opportunities and potential together with you. We express all this not as a political discourse, but as a feeling that comes from our hearts. I have no doubt that you also approach us with the same feelings. We carry out our work in municipalities with an understanding that development starts from local. We accept this as a platform that will enable us to move towards bigger goals and bigger visions, with unity and solidarity starting from the local and understanding. As the President of Turkey, I would like to emphasize that I will be with you in every step you take in this direction. I wish the 6th ordinary general assembly of our union to be beneficial again.”
At the end of his speech, President Altay presented President Erdoğan with a work that symbolizes the Tonyukuk Inscriptions, one of the Gokturk Inscriptions and one of the oldest written documents in Turkish history. Later, President Erdoğan had a group photo taken with the TDBB Administrative Board.
TDBB Managing Bodies Were Elected
After the opening speeches, the Council Committee was formed and the agenda items were discussed.
TDBB Founding President and Istanbul Deputy Erol Kaya was elected as the Chairman of the Council Committee, and General Manager of the Association of Albanian Municipalities Agron Haxhimali, Mayor of Bosnia and Herzegovina Novi Grad Semir Efendic, Kazakhstan Turkistan Municipality Council President Maksat Tangatarov and President of Mongolian Association of Local Authorities Batbold Sundui were elected as Members of Council Committee.
Chairman of the Council Erol Kaya said, “I wish the congress held today will be beneficial for TDBB. I congratulate the management of this magnificent union, which has 1,194 members from 30 countries.”
According to the agenda of the General Assembly, the Activity Report for the Period 2019-2022 was presented by TDBB Secretary General Fahri Solak, the Audit Report by Supervisory Board Member Metin Oral and the Financial Report by the Executive Board Member in Charge of Financial Affairs Murat Aydın, and the reports were unanimously acquitted by the members of the General Assembly.
Then the election of the Union Bodies was made. In the voting, while the Mayor of Konya Metropolitan Municipality Uğur İbrahim Altay was re-elected as TDBB Presidency, the new Administrative Board, Supervisory Board and High Advisory Board of TDBB were also elected by the members of the General Assembly.
In his speech of thanks, President of TDBB and Mayor of Konya Metropolitan Municipality Uğur İbrahim Altay said that they will make an effort for peace and tranquility to prevail all over the world. Emphasizing that local governments have an important place in the welfare of the region they serve, Altay said that they will strengthen the studies on city administrations in countries where Turkish language and dialects are spoken and in related communities.
After the election of the new Administrative Board, Supervisory and High Advisory Board Members, representatives of the participating countries took the floor and made evaluations and suggestions. Afterwards, the 6th Ordinary General Assembly Meeting was completed with the President of TDBB Uğur İbrahim Altay taking photos with all the country delegations separately.
Delegations from countries outside of Turkey went to Bursa for ‘TDBB International Conference of Local Authorities’. On the way, dinner was given to the members of the general assembly who were attending the program abroad, with the hosting of Ümraniye Municipality.
At the end of the TDBB 6th Ordinary General Assembly Meeting, the Members of the Administrative, Supervisory and High Advisory Board were formed as follows:

1) Uğur İbrahim ALTAY President of TDBB & Mayor of Konya Metrop. Municipality
2) Yücel YILMAZ Mayor of Balıkesir Metropolitan Municipality
3) Osman ZOLAN Mayor of Denizli Metropolitan Municipality
4) Selahattin GÜRKAN Mayor of Malatya Metropolitan Municipality
5) Ekrem YÜCE Mayor of Sakarya Metropolitan Municipality
6) Servet RAMAZAN Mayor of Kilis
7) Rahmi METİN Mayor of Rize
8) Agron HAXHIMALI General Director of Association of Albanian Municipalities
9) Tamraz TAGIYEV President of Union of Azerbaijan Municipalities
10) Semir EFENDIC Mayor of Bosnia and Herzegovina Novi Grad
11) Nurbol TURAŞBEKOV Mayor of Kazakhstan Turkistan
12) Bektur OROZBAEV General Director of Kyrgyzstan Union of Local Authorities
13) Mahmut ÖZÇINAR President of Union of Cyprus Turkish Municipalities
14) Bilall Kasami Mayor of North Macedonia Tetovo
15) Muhammed SADIEH President of Union of Lebanon Dannieh Municipalities
16) Batbold SUNDUI President of Union of Mongolian Assoc. of Local Authorities
17) İrina VLAH President of Moldova Gagauz Autonomous Region
18) Maruf USMANOV Mayor of Uzbekistan Kokand
19) Ekzam GUBAYDULLİN President of Union of Tatarstan Municipalities
20) Doç. Dr. Asım BALCI Mayor of Altındağ (Ankara)
21) Dr. Metin ORAL Mayor of Altınova (Yalova)
22) Abdullah ÖZDEMİR Mayor of Bağcılar (Istanbul)
23) Mehmet Yasin ÖZLÜ Mayor of Başiskele (Kocaeli)
24) Atila AYDINER Mayor of Bayrampaşa (Istanbul)
25) Murat AYDIN Mayor of Beykoz (Istanbul)
26) Deniz KÖKEN Mayor of Eyüpsultan (Istanbul)
27) Hasan KILCA Mayor of Karatay (Konya)
28) Mustafa DÜNDAR Mayor of Osmangazi (Bursa)
29) Ahmet CİN Mayor of Pendik (Istanbul)
30) Şeyma DÖĞÜCÜ Mayor of Sancaktepe (Istanbul)
31) Şükrü GENÇ Mayor of Sarıyer (Istanbul)
32) Ahmet PEKYATIRMACI Mayor of Selçuklu (Konya)
33) Volkan YILMAZ Mayor of Silivri (Istanbul)
34) Mehmet İ. TAHMAZOĞLU Mayor of Şahinbey (Gaziantep)
35) Ömer Faruk ÇELİK Mayor of Şehzadeler (Manisa)
36) Mustafa GÜLER Mayor of Tavşanlı (Kütahya)
37) İsmet YILDIRIM Mayor of Ümraniye (Istanbul)
38) Ömer ARISOY Mayor of Zeytinburnu (Istanbul)

1) Mustafa KAVUŞ Mayor of Meram (Konya)
2) Adnan TURAN Mayor of Kandıra (Kocaeli)
3) Ahmet POYRAZ Mayor of Çekmeköy (Istanbul)

1) Erol KAYA Istanbul PM – TDBB Founding President
2) Nihat ZEYBEKCİ T.R. Former Minister of Economy- TDBB 2. Term President
3) İbrahim KARAOSMANOĞLU TDBB 3. Term President
4) Hüseyin BÜRGE Istanbul PM on 24-26. Terms – TDBB Founding Member
5) Dr. Özgen KESKİN Lecturer- Author
6) Prof. Dr. Adem ESEN Academic Member in Istanbul University
7) Prof. Dr. Osman HORATA Academic Member in Hacettepe University
8) Prof. Dr. R. Deniz ÖZBAY Academic Member in Marmara University