The delegation of Union of Turkish World Municipalities performed Mongolian Local Governments’ Visit Program between 3 and 11 August 2015. After Information and Experience Sharing Program on “Traffic/Transportation Management and Urban Renewal Applications in Local Governments” organized for Mongolian Mayors between 11 and 17 April 2015, upon the official invitation of Healthy Cities Support Organization and TDBB Member Sainshand Municipality, the delegation of Mayor of Mersin Metropolitan Municipality Burhanettin Kocamaz, Mayor of Bolu Alaaddin Yılmaz, Mayor of Beykoz Yücel Çelikbilek, Mayor of Keçiören Mustafa Ak, Mayor of Körfez İsmail Baran, Mayor of Selçuklu Uğur İbrahim Altay, Mayor of Zeytinburnu Murat Aydın and Secretary General of TDBB Fahri Solak made an extensive visit, accompanied by Director of Healthy Cities Support Organization Tserendulam Shagdarsuren.
Visit to Ulaanbaatar Embassy
On the first day of the program, on August 4, the delegation visited T. R. Ulaanbaatar Embassy, was welcomed warmly and informed about the political and economical conditions of Mongolia, the country’s relations with Turkey and possible cooperation opportunities, by Deputy Ambassador Tuncer Kıyak, Military Attache lt.col. Hüseyin Gökhan Özbek, and Turkish Airlines Ulaanbaatar Regional Director Erdinç Çakır. Deputy Ambassador Kıyak underlined the agreement that prevented the double taxing system valid since 1996 between two countries, and pointed out the importance of increasing the investments on textile, construction, agriculture, mining and tourism, functionalizing the relations of sister cities, increasing the interest of news agencies in Turkey for Mongolia, and developing the scholarship opportunities for the improvement of dual relations. After the meeting in the Embassy, the delegation met with T.R. Ministry of Economy Under-Secretariat of Trade Oğuz Kuyumcu, TIKA Ulaanbaatar Coordinator Ekrem Kalan and Religious Affairs Coordinator of Social Relations Halil Tokul in a dinner organization, hosted by Deputy Ambassador Kıyak.
Visit to Sainshand Municipality
The next two days of the program continued in Sainshand, which became Sister Cities with Düzce Municipality in the program that TDBB organized in April for Mongolian Municipalities. On August 5, after the welcoming ceremony, the delegation met with Governor of Dornogobi Pantiin Gankhuyag. Governor Gankhuyag stated that % 70 of Mongolian export took place in Sainshand, that the region was rich for coking coal, copper, uranium, and oil reserves and that tourism size increased within years. After Secretary General of TDBB Fahri Solak briefed about the Union, Mayor of Bolu Alaaddin Yılmaz invited Governor Gankhuyag to Bolu and Düzce. Right after the meeting, the delegation accommodated in Tavan Dokhio Touristic Camp, on the eastern part of Gobi Desert, and had the chance to make investigation on the natural circumstances of the region.
On the second day in Sainshand, the delegation met with Mayor of Sainshand Batsukh Batbayar, watched the introductory movie about the city and then discussed the cooperation opportunities with Mayor Batbayar. The Mayor talked about the sports centers, modern stock farming facilities and Dinosaur Park that they planned to establish in the city. Afterwards, the delegation attended to 54th anniversary of the establishment of Sainshand City as honored guests, watched horse races, wrestling and archery competitions and regional activities within the concept of the festival, and gifts were presented to the ranking competitors.
Visits to Nalaikh Municipality and Bain Tsokto Inscriptions
On August 7, going to Nalaikh, the sister city of Zeytinburnu and Sancaktepe Municipalities, the delegation first of all met with Kazakh Muslims of the region in Konya Cultural Center, which was opened by Turkish Prime Minister of the period, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Here the delegation was informed by Chairman of People’s Union Association S. Zülfikar, about the social and cultural lives of Kazakhs in the region. Afterwards, the group visited Nalaikh Municipality and met with the Chairman Basaam Lhag-Ochir. After briefing about the city and mentioning about the new term’s plans, Lhag-Ochir stated that they wanted to name a street, which they planned to re-construct, as ‘Zeytinburnu Street’. Mayor of Zeytinburnu and also Vice-President of TDBB Murat Aydın expressed his appreciation for Zeytinburnu Street Project and added that he might send a technical team to the city in the future time. On the second half of the day, the delegation went to Bain Tsokto Inscriptions, one of the three inscriptions of Orkhon Inscriptions. They met with TIKA officials in the protected area where TIKA organized archeological excavations. Lastly, the group visited Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue, the biggest statue in the world, close to Nalaikh.
Visits to Darkhan and Sharin-Gol
On the 5th day of the visit on August 8, the delegation went to Darkhan-Uul Province and met with Governor of Darkhan-Uul, Sunduijav Nasanbat. Afterwards they went to Shariin-Gol city, where Kazakh Muslims live densely and where the most important coal mines are located; welcomed here warmly and met with Mayor Amarsaana Baldan. The Mayor briefed about the city and stated that they would like to have a sister city from Turkey via TDBB, that they would give the name of this city to one of their streets and that they would like to develop cooperation with TDBB on health and education subjects.
Visit to Orkhon Inscriptions
On August 9, the visiting point was Orkhon Inscriptions, which is very important for Turkish history and culture. The delegation visited Orkhon Inscriptions, which are located almost 400 km from Ulaanbaatar in Karakorum, the sister city of Bolu Municipality and whose environmental planning was made by TIKA, and also Bilge Khagan Museum; here they met with Mayor of Karakorum Lamzav Enkhbat in a lunch organization. Mayor of Bolu Alaaddin Yılmaz and Mayor of Karakorum Enkhbat exchanged opinions about possible cooperation areas between two cities.
Visits to Ulaanbaatar Metropolitan and Chingeltei Municipalities, and also Ministry of Urban Development and Construction
On the last day of the program visits were made in capital city, Ulaanbaatar. First of all, the delegation visited Chingeltei Municipality, one of the district municipalities of Ulaanbaatar and also sister city of Sincan and Pendik Municipalities, and met with Secretary General of the Municipality, Erdenebat Jamsran. Jamsran expressed that Chingeltei stood out in green municipalism and mentioned about Ankara Street within the borders of the Municipality; he said that he would like to create more cooperative work with their sister cities. Secondly, the group met with Ravjikh Erdeneburen, Undersecretary of Mongolia Ministry of Urban Development and Construction who was charged as the president of Mongolian-Turkish Friendship Group in Mongolian Parliamentary between 2004 and 2008, and who was graduated from Ankara University School of Law, and was informed about the general development progress of the country. Undersecretary Erdeneburen underlined that the interest of Turkish businessmen in the area has increased in recent years and that TDBB had a key role in future projects between Mongolia and Turkey; he also mentioned about the ‘Model Village Pilot Project’ that they constructed as a sample for the villages in Mongolia and expressed the areas that Turkey might contribute to it. TDBB delegation showed great interest to the project and was informed in detail; it was declared that the subject would be handled in the future meetings of the Union. Afterwards, the delegation visited Ulaanbaatar Metropolitan Municipality, the sister city of Ankara and Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipalities, and met with Deputy Mayor Tseyen Enkhtsengel. In the meeting TDBB Administrative Board Member and also Mayor of Beykoz Yücel Çelikbilek invited Ulaanbaatar Metropolitan Municipality for TDBB Membership. Lastly, the group visited TIKA Ulaanbaatar Office and met with TIKA Ulaanbaatar Coordinator Ekrem Kalan.
TDBB Member Municipalities Closing Dinner
‘Member Municipalities Dinner’ was held after the official visits and Ulaanbaatar sightseeing, following the visits. In the organization, TDBB Delegation came together with Mayor of Shariin-Gol Amarsaana Baldan and Mayor of Mandalgobi Manidaa Bayansan, Ministry of Development and Urbanization Urban Planning Director Batbayar, Director of Ulaanbaatar Land Registry and Cadastre Department Khadbaatar, Chingeltei Municipality’s Director of Financial Affairs Department Orkhonbayar and Director of Family and Social Affairs Department Orlomsuren, Director of Citizen Representation of Nalaikh Municipality Enkhjargal, local authorities and TIKA Ulaanbaatar Coordinator Ekrem Kalan. The program started with the speech of the authority of Ministry of Development and Urbanization, and continued with the speech of Director of HCSO Tserendulam Shagdarsuren, which summarized the program and thanked TDBB guests. Shagdarsuren stated that the program organized by TDBB for Mongolian Mayors in April was very beneficial and shared the news with the guests that Choibalsan Municipality officials started a new park project in their city after visiting Keçiören Municipality.
Furthermore Secretary General of TDBB Fahri Solak made a speech that evaluated TDBB’s Mongolian visit and that pointed out a new period in dual relations. TDBB Executive Board Member and also Mayor of Mersin Metropolitan Municipality Burhanettin Kocamaz expressed that the delegation was welcomed warmly in every place they visited and that they were very impressed about the life and cultural heritage of our ancestors’ land, and underlined that the relations between cities should turn into concrete projects from formal level and be carried to next generations. Mayor of Shariin-Gol Baldan said that they were very impressed by the program of TDBB organized in April and that it was very important to develop the relations among youth.
Mayor of Mandalgobi Bayansan, who participated in the Closing Ceremony from Dundgobi Province 380 km far from Ulaanbaatar, made a thanking speech and invited TDBB delegation to his city.
After Tengrin Temdeg Child Group’s folklore show, who came from Mandalgobi and also attended to Children’s Fest in Kocaeli before, and the present-giving ceremony, the busy and beneficial TDBB Mongolia Business Visit Program ended.