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Organized in cooperation with Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB) and Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), the Information and Experience Program prepared for Romania Municipalities between 05 – 09 October 2015 in Istanbul and Ankara ended.  

After the opening ceremony held in Union Headquarters on 05 October 2015, the program continued with Istanbul Cultural Tour and within the program, the participants visited Zeytinburnu, Bağcılar and Beyoğlu Municipalities in Istanbul and Keçiören Municipality and TIKA Head Office. The program was participated by Mayor of Babadağ Caraman Georgian, Mayor of Slobozia Stoica Alexandru, Mayor of Harsova Nadrag Tudor, Deputy Mayor of Braila Ciocan Doinita, Mayor of Medgidia Iordache Marian, and Official of Medgidia Municipality Gafar Echrem. 

The New Municipal Building of Zeytinburnu Municipality and AKDEM Visits

On the second day of the program Romanian Mayors were welcomed by Mayor of Zeytinburnu Municipality, Murat Aydın. Briefing about historical and social texture of Zeytinburnu, Aydın showed the delegation the new municipal building. Mayor of Medgidia Iordache Marian said that he found a more developed and modern municipality in Zeytinburnu since he visited the place one and a half years ago, and congratulated the Mayor for his hard work. Later on the mayors visited AKDEM, Center of Family, Woman and Disabled Support. Mayor Aydın accompanied the delegation here. Deputy Mayor of Braila Ciocan Doinita stated that they saw many good samples on Social Municipalism and they had to contact for more detailed information about the practices. 

     Bağcılar Municipality’s Disabled Center and Center of Woman and Family of Visits

The delegation was welcomed by Deputy Mayor of Bağcılar Kenan Gültürk and briefed about the activities of the municipality. Gültürk stated that in the matter of social municipalism Bağcılar Municipality is a sample institution, and underlined that Disabled Center for disabled citizens and their families is a worldwide sample practice. He also mentioned that because Bağcılar Municipality is the largest district municipality of Istanbul they have tried many different projects and ideas, and he gave examples of projects like theme parks, nostalgic gardens, and volunteer’s councils. He put emphasis on the fact that these kinds of projects develop the sister city relations in sharing projects and experiences and as municipality they are ready to have sister city relations. Mayor of Bağcılar Municipality welcomed the delegation and stated his gladness for their visit and his wish to have a longer contact. After the meeting Mayor of Medgidia thanked the Mayor for their warm welcome and the information they shared. He added that as delegation they witnessed the good and beneficial activities about municipalism in Turkey. Afterwards Deputy Mayor of Braila Ciocan Doinita took the word and mentioned that they wanted to make Braila as World Cultural Center in 2021, therefore this program in Turkey was beneficial for them to apply in their own municipalities. After dual present-exchange the delegation visited Disabled Center, and Woman and Family Culture Center.

Examination of Social Market and Urban Transformation Application of Beyoğlu Municipality

 Because Mayor of Beyoğlu Municipality Ahmet Misbah Demircan was abroad, the delegation was accepted by Advisor of the Mayor Arif Köklü. Within the program Romanian Mayors went to Kasımpaşa to investigate Social Market application on site, and here talked to national/international citizens who came to ask for help in Social Market. Welcomed by Director of Social Affairs Ali Koca, the delegation visited Social Market application area and saw the storage space and the place the products were distributed. Ali Koca stated that this market was built on 3.000m2 in 2010 and it supports 5.500 families and thirty-thousand needy with 1.500 product range. He also added that with the credit system that the municipality created, the families were supported monthly for credits and shopping, according to their incomes. Later on the delegation went to Municipal Service Building to be briefed about Okmeydanı and Tarlabaşı Urban Transformation Applications. Here Advisor of Mayor Arif Köklü made a presentation to the delegation and stated that they prepared many urban transformation projects adhere to the historical texture of Istanbul and they would do a human-centered transformation.

Recreation Areas and Theme Parks of Keçiören Municipality Visits

Continuing the program in Ankara after Istanbul, Romanian Mayors visited and were informed in Botanical and Bosnia Park, Sea World, TOGEM Office, Kartaltepe Picnic Area and Keçiören Subway in Keçiören. Mayor of Keçiören Municipality Mustafa Ak welcomed the delegation in his Office and gave information about his district. He stated that Keçiören is the most thickly populated District Municipality of 51 quarters and Nine-Hundered and Thousand population. He put emphasis on that these kinds of visits are always beneficial and added, “Every Mayor has something to learn from another Mayor. This cooperation provides experience sharing and the relations become borderless.”

At the end of the visit the delegation gave the informative books and flags of their municipal territories and Mayor Ak presented the guests “Keçiören History and Culture Atlas”.

TIKA Head Office Visit

As in the program, the delegation visited TIKA Head Office and was briefed about the restoration activities and other on-going works. Mayors stated that they are ready for every kind of support and cooperation for the restoration and other projects of the historical buildings in their regions in Romania, in the aim of protecting historical and cultural texture. Besides the delegation thanked TIKA and TDBB for the organization of such a beneficial program.

The Participation Certificates were presented in TDBB Headquarters

On the last day of the program in the closing ceremony held in TDBB Headquarters in Istanbul, the participant mayors evaluated the one-week program and the Participation Certificates were presented by Secretary General of TDBB Fahri Solak. After the dual gift presentation, the Mayors Delegation was seen off to airport.