“Kosovo Municipalities Information and Experience Sharing Program” organized by Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB) in association with Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Zeytinburnu Municipality and Bagcilar Municipality for Mayors from Kosovo was held between 19 and 21 February 2017 in Istanbul.

Delegation under the presidency of President of Union of Kosovo Municipalities and Mayor of Shtime Naim Ismajli was consisted of Mayor of Vushtrri Bajram Mulaku, Mayor of Junik Agron Kuci, Mayor of Peja Gazmend Muhaxheri, Mayor of Rahovec Idriz Vehapi, Mayor of Therande Sali Asllanaj, Mayor of Dragash Salim Jenuzi, Mayor of Drenas Ramiz Lladrovci, Mayor of Obiliq Xhafer Gashi, Mayor of Hani I Elezit Rufki Suma, Mayor of Mamushe Arif Bytyq and Director of Union of Kosovo Municipalities Sazan Ibrahimi.

Delegation visited Mayor of Zeytinburnu Municipality Murat Aydın

In the first day of program, delegation visited Mayor of Zeytinburnu Murat Aydin. In the meeting Murat Aydin gave information on the local governments system in Turkey. Mayor Aydin showed departments of Zeytinburnu municipality and gave information. Zeytinburnu Municipality visit of the delegation finished after the lunch in Belgradkapi Social Facilities.

TDBB Visit

Then, delegation visited TDBB and met with Secretary General of TDBB in headquarter and was informed on TDBB works and activities. Solak congratulated Independence Day of Kosovo and remarked that TDBB would like to work close with Kosovo Municipalities and contented about hosting Kosovo Mayors in this concept. Solak said “We have only 4 members from Kosovo, I believe that we will increase this number by your participation. I would like to thank Union of Kosovo Municipalities for its close cooperation on this program. The goal of TDBB is improving the relations with friend nations. We are ready to solidarity and cooperation.”

President of Union of Kosovo Municipalities and Mayor of Shtime Naim Ismajli said “I would like to thank you for giving this opportunity. We want to take advantage from the experiences of Turkey on local government and municipal area. Our meeting with Mayor of Zeytinburnu Murat Aydin was very helpful. He gave us detailed information about the municipality, he made a presentation and responded all our questions. All the mayors in the delegation found the program so useful. As Union of Kosovo Municipalities we aimed to build brotherhood bridges with friend nations like Turkey and take advantage from their experiences. Our relations with TDBB are improving day by day. Therefore, on behalf of our Union I would like to thank Turkey and TDBB.

Delegation was Welcomed by Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Kadir Topbas

Then, delegation met with Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) Kadir Topbas in IBB Information Centre in Sutluce. The meeting was attended by Secretary General of TDBB Fahri Solak, Mayor Advisor and Member of Municipal Council Ismail Hakki Turunc, Deputy Secretary General of IBB Huseyin Eren. Mayor Topbas explained the investments and future plans and expressed that they had close relations with local governments in the world. Mayor Topbas remarked that they are one of the best municipalities using technology and said “We put into practice whatever useful for Istanbul. We follow technology to catch the era. We believe that information and experience sharing is very important for future of humanity. Therefore we send our technical teams in every field and make training programs from several parts of the world.” Topbaş said “We have close friendships with Kosovo. We are ready to share our accumulations and achievements with our friends. We have common areas with you. Hereby I would like to celebrate the Independence Day of Kosovo and thank you all.”

President of Union of Kosovo Municipalities Naim Ismajli thanked to Mayor Topbaş for allowing time. Ismajli said “I would like to thank to TDBB for preparing such a good program. Turkey is one of the first countries who recognized independence of Kosovo. Besides, Turkey is supporting us in so many fields like health, education, military etc. As Kosovo people we are grateful to Turkey.”

Then Mayor Topbas visited IBB Presentation Department with guest mayors and gave information about investments of IBB.

Sister City Protocol Signed Between Bagcilar and Peja Municipalities

Second day of program continued with visit to Bagcilar Municipality. Mayor of Bagcilar Lokman Cagrici informed his colleagues about activities and works of Bagcilar Municipality. During the meeting sister city protocol between Peja where was Mehmet Akif Ersoy was born and Bagcilar Municipality was signed. Mayor Cagrici expressed that they were very happy to sustain the strong historical relations between Turkey and Kosovo besides he underlined as Bagcilar Municipality they work to improve the deep relations with friend nations.

After the signature ceremony, delegation visited the Ottoman Mansion, Mehmet Akif Ersoy Cultural Center and Museum, Canakkale Martyr Park and Museum. Program completed after the presentation on “Finance Management in Municipalities” made by Financial Services and Strategic Planning Directorate of Bagcilar Municipality.

Delegation members turned back to their country after the historical and cultural visit in Istanbul.