Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB) delegation has completed Bosnia and Herzegovina Program organized between 27 and 30 May 2016. The delegation of approximately 150 people who are İbrahim Karaosmanoglu President of TDBB and Mayor of Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality, Fahri Solak Secretary General of TDBB, members of Administrative, Supervisory and High Advisory Board of Union and member mayors from 9 different countries (Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Montenegro, Turkey and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) have attended to busy program prepared by Novi Grad Sarajevo Municipality and TDBB.

Program started with arrival of TDBB delegation to Sarajevo by the private plane chartered by Union on the evening of 27 May Friday. Ivo Komsic Mayor of Sarajevo Metropolitan Municipality and Semir Efendic Mayor of Novi Grad Sarajevo welcomed the delegation in Sarajevo International Airport.

On Saturday 28 of May, program continued with Herzegovina tour. Delegation visited the biggest city of Herzegovina Region, Mostar and saw Mostar Bridge and old city. After Mostar, delegation visited Blagay City where Tomb of Sari Saltuk and Blagay Dervish Lodge were located and behind Pocitely Town which is a typical old Ottoman settlement. Mayor of Konjic Emir Bubalo also member of TDBB, hosted the delegation for dinner. After the gift ceremony, delegation returned to Sarajevo and in Sarajevo TDBB Administrative Board Meeting was held.

On Sunday 29 of May, delegation attended to closing ceremony of 506. Ajvatovica Festival organized by Chief Mufti of Travnik and supported by TDBB. After the ceremony delegation met with Mayor of Travnik Admir Hadziemric and after lunch and gift ceremony went to Fojnica sister city of Umraniye to meet with Fojnica Mayor Sabahudin Klisura and former Mayor and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Salkan Merdzanic. Delegation also visited Culture Center in Fojnica built with support of Umraniye Municipality. After, delegation visited one of the oldest historical structures Fransisken Monastery and got information about the Monastery from High Priest Nikica Vujica.

TDBB Eurasia Local Authorities Summit

In the last day of the program, on Monday 30 of May, TDBB Eurasia Local Authorities Summit was held hosted by Novi Grad Sarajevo Municipality. Besides TDBB delegation of 150 people, Deputy President of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Melika Mahmutbegovic, Turkish Ambassador in Sarajevo Cihat Erginay, Consul General of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Istanbul Began Muhic, TIKA Coordinator of Sarajevo, Director of Yunus Emre Institute Turkish Culture Center, mayors from Hungary and Serbia and numerous officers and media representatives attended to the summit. Summit had widespread media coverage in Balkans and Bosnia and Herzegovina in consequence of important international participation from 15 countries. Opening speech of summit started in Novi Grad Sarajevo City Hall at 10.30 was maden by Member of TDBB Administrative Board and Mayor of Novi Grad Sarajevo Semir Efendic. Efendic stated that the aim of TDBB is to increase the cooperation and experience sharing between local governments and underlined that this summit is the biggest local authorities meeting over the past decade. Efendic expressed that the summit will offer chances for cooperation, bilateral discussions and concrete collaboration. After Efendic, Secretary General of TDBB Fahri Solak began his speech. In his speech, Solak mentioned about the activities of TDBB, underlined the activeness of members in Bosnia and Herzegovina and thanked to Mayor of Novi Grad Sarajevo Semir Efendic hosted the summit organized after a busy work for two months. Solak stated that the international aspect of the Union had strengthened after the General Meeting in 2015 and added that TDBB Administrative Board had members from 11 countries.

Then, President of TDBB and Mayor of Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality Ibrahim Karaosmanoglu made his speech. He said “As the population we represent, we are a huge nongovernmental organization, in fact we are a giant world municipality.” in the speech. He wished the meetings within the summit would quality results and stated that the primary aim of summit was to provide the opportunity of experience sharing between local governments. After the speech of Karaosmanoglu, Deputy President of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Melika Mahmutbegovic expressed her gladness for having such kind of an organization in Bosnia and Herzegovina and thanked to all participants.

After the opening speeches, presentations started. Council of TDBB Administrative Board Member and Mayor of Mersin Metropolitan Municipality Burhanettin Kocamaz, member of TDBB and Mayor of Olovo Djemal Memagic and Mayor Advisor of Novi Grad Sarajevo Municipality Denan Sarkinovic managed this part of the program. In this session, Mayor Odzak Hajrudin Hadzidedic, Mayor of Gorazde Muhamed Ramovic, Head of City Parlement of Doboj Esmin Mahmudovic and Mayor of Novi Grad Sarajevo Semir Efendic made presentations about their cities and gave information about cooperation fields and projects.

In the last part of summit country representatives made speeches on behalf of their delegations. Mayor of Skrapar from Albania Nesim Spahiu, Director of Local Governments Center from Azerbaijan Mehdi Selimzade, Mayor of Rozaje from Montenegro Eyup Nurkovic, Mayor of Kizilkaya from Kyrgystan Abish Khalmurzaev, Mayor of Guzelyurt from Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Mahmut Ozcinar, Head of Cabinet of Pecs Municipality from Hungary Partos Janos, Deputy Mayor of Ohrid from Macedonia Angel Janev and Mayor of Tutin from Serbia Semsudin Kucevic made their speeches. TDBB Eurasia Summit had widespread Bosnia and Herzegovina media coverage finished after the gift ceremony.

Then, TDBB delegation met with Deputy Mayor of Sarajevo Metropolitan Municipality Abdullah Skaka in Viyecnitsa (former National Library, City Hall at the present time). After the official contacts Sarajevo city tour was held. Bashcarsia, Gazi Husrev Beg Mosque and Aliya Izetbegovic Tomb and Museum and Mevlevi Tekke renovated with the supports of Selcuklu Municipality were the places visited during tour.

Last stop of the program was the gala dinner in Safet Zajko Recreational Facility built by Novi Grad Sarajevo Municipality. Bosnia and Herzegovina Minister of Civil Affairs Adil Osmanovic attended to dinner and thanked to Novi Grad Sarajevo Municipality and TDBB in his speech. The event finished after the vote of thanks speech of Efendic and gift ceremony.

Sister Cities were Visited

Member mayors of TDBB met sister cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the program. Mayor of Kecioren Mustafa Ak and Mayor Sahinbey Mehmet Tahmazoglu visited and examined their sister city Gorazde. Mayor of Sancaktepe Ismail Erdem visited his sister city Gornji Vakuf, Mayor of Beykoz Yucelcelikbilek visited his sister city Srebrenitsa, Mayor of Selcuklu Ugur Ibrahim Altay visited his sister city Stari Grad and met with mayors. Mayor of Altinova Metin Oral visited Konjic and met both sister city mayors Konjic and Bujim, there. Mayor of Kartepe Huseyin Uzulmez visited sister city Bihac and met with Emzdad Galijasevic and then visited another cooperative municipality Zenitsa to condolence form mayor Husein Smajlovic passed away last month. Mayor of Umraniye Hasan Can and mayor of his sister city Sabahudin Klisura, hosted TDBB delegation in Cultural Center built together. Besides the meetings of member mayors with their sister cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, lots of potential sister city relations among the target geography came up.

After the busy, functional and efficient program, delegation turned back to Istanbul on Monday, 30 of May 2016. The day after, program finished with visit of country delegations to TDBB Office and departure to their countries.