‘Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB) Bosnia and Herzegovina Local Governments Meeting’ and dual contacts of TDBB were made between 9 and 10 April 2015.

On 10 April 2015, “TDBB Bosnia and Herzegovina Local Governments Meeting” took place with the hosting of Travnik Municipality. The meeting was attended by 10 TDBB members from different regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Doboj, Doboj-Istok, Gorazde, Ilijas, Konjic, Novi-Grad Sarajevo, Olovo, Travnik, Visoko, Vukosavlje) and 8 non-members (Bugojno, Doboj-Jug, Donji Vakuf, Gornji Vakuf, Jajce, Novi Travnik, Tesanj, Vitez), in addition to Secretary General of TDBB Fahri Solak and Director of Association of Municipalities and Cities of the FBIH, Vesna Travlijanin.

After the opening speech of hosting Mayor of Travnik Admir Hadziemric, the meeting continued with Bosnian presentation on TDBB and its activities. As the presentation ended, Secretary General of TDBB answered the questions of participant mayors about TDBB and its projects. In the meeting the outcomes of Balkan Municipalities Experience Sharing Program, which was held in Istanbul and Konya in February, were discussed and opinion exchange was made about the possible future projects. At the end of the meeting, which took the great interest of both Turkish and Bosnian national presses, Mayor of Travnik Admir Hadziemric, Director of Association of Municipalities and Cities of the FBIH Vesna Travlijanin, Secretary General of TDBB Fahri Solak and Mayor of Doboj from Bosnia and Herzegovina Republic of Srpska Entity Obren Petroviç issued a press statement. The participants attended Travnik City Tour after lunch.

Within the framework of Bosnia and Herzegovina Visit, various meetings and contacts took place. In this scope the first visit was made to Association of Municipalities and Cities of the FBIH. In the meeting Secretary General of TDBB Fahri Solak talked with Vesna Travlijanin, Director of Association of Municipalities and Cities of the FBIH, about the activities of TDBB, membership procedures, cooperation potentials and possible joint projects. He also stated that TDBB has close relations with 15 municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Union wanted to increase the number by working together with Association of Municipalities and Cities of the FBIH. In this fruitful meeting Travlijanin pointed out that international cooperation is also important for the Association and she added that she would bring the cooperation issue with TDBB to their Administrative Board and would invite TDBB to General Meeting in May 2015.

Secondly, a courtesy visit was made to Sarajevo Metropolitan Municipality. Secretary General of TDBB met with the mayor of Sarajevo Metropolitan Municipality Prof. Ivo Komsic, gave information about TDBB and its projects and underlined the importance of working with Capital Cities and Metropolitans. On the other hand Mayor of Sarajevo Metropolitan Municipality Komsic stated that international cooperation is very important in local governments, that Sarajevo has close relations with its sister cities Ankara, Bursa, Istanbul and Konya in Turkey, and that many municipalities in Turkey had involved closely in the flood disaster in Bosnia and Herzegovina last year. Besides Komsic pointed out that he cared about municipalism and autonomies of the local governments, that the local governments in Turkey have gained strength lately, and that he supported membership activities of TDBB but the name of the Union could cause controversy in various social environment.

The next visit was to Yunus Emre Institute Sarajevo Turkish Cultural Center. Here Solak met with Mehmet Akif Yaman, the Director of the Center; he was briefed about the activities of the Institute on Bosnia and Herzegovina and they exchanged opinions about the TDBB supported projects “Turkish Reading Set” and “Repairment of Elective Turkish Classes”.

At the same day central district of Sarajevo, Novi-Grad Municipality was visited. In the meeting by the invitation of Mayor Semir Efendic, who is also a member of European Local Governments Council, the mayor stated that he had good relations with the Turkish members in the Council and as a municipality he had great interest in TDBB’s activities. He also mentioned that he had attended to the Balkan Mayors Program of TDBB in February and had benefited extremely from the organization. He was also informed about TDBB Practicum and Vocational Courses.

The fifth visit of the program was Republic of Turkey Bosnia and Herzegovina Embassy. Here Solak met with Ambassador Cihad Erginay, briefed about TDBB and was informed about the dynamics of the country and possible future projects by Erginay. Ambassador Erginay stated that February program took place in national press broadly and he also underlined the importance of developing the relations with concrete projects.

The last visit of the first day was made to BIGMEV (Center for the Development of Relations with BIH) Sarajevo Headquarters. Here in the warm meeting made with Muzaffer Çelik, the advisor of Bakir Izetbegoviç-Bosnian member of Bosnia and Herzegovina Council, Consular Agent of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bursa and also Chairman of BIGMEV, the cooperation potentials between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Turkey and possible joint projects were discussed.