Online Turkey-Germany Sister Cities Conference, Metropolitan Municipality Mayors Roundtable meeting was held with moderation of Union of Municipalities of Turkey. Speaking in the meeting, İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer said “City diplomacy is becoming prominent along with international diplomacy.”
Planned to be held in İstanbul but changed into online format due to global pandemic, the meeting held with moderation of Union of Municipalities of Turkey was attended by metropolitan municipality mayors from both countries. Agenda of the meeting included reinforcing relation between Turkey and Germany and common problems and goals of local administrations. Speaking in the meeting, Mayor Tunç Soyer said that the life flows at local level and it is foreseen that the future world will be a world of cities and added, “Cities became institutions that create more solutions, contact citizens easier and exhibit the ability to act together as the public bodies closest to the citizens. Although international relations or conjuncture may keep cities apart, rarely cities have been enemies and have severed relations with each other.”
Expressing that cities generally build fraternity relations and this had benefited both cities and people of these communities, Mayor Soyer said “especially pandemic showed us that running international relations on city levels create more beneficial and efficient results. Therefore we are ready to spread our efforts to reinforce our relations with sister cities and continue with cooperation in various areas. And I’d like to express that we will do this with great joy.” Stating that this cooperation will not be limited to mutual visits of delegations, Mayor Soyer concluded “Topics may include cooperation in any area such as social, commercial, touristic, cultural and all that will enrich cooperation and benefit people of both cities.
Participants of the meeting included Bergkamen Mayor Roland Schäfer, Berlin Mayor Michael Müller, Bremen Mayor Andreas Bovenschulte, Castrop-Rauxel Mayor Rajko Kravanja, Essen Mayor Thomas Kufen, Frankfurt Mayor Peter Feldmann, Hannover Mayor Belit Onay, Karlsruhe Mayor Dr. Frank Mentrup, Mannheim Mayor Dr. Peter Kurz, Potsdam Mayor Mike Schubert, and İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer along with Antalya Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Muhittin Böcek, Balıkesir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Yücel Yılmaz, Bursa Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Alinur Aktaş, Eskişehir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Yılmaz Büyükerşen, Head of Union of Municipalities of Turkey and Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Fatma Şahin, Hatay Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Lütfü Savaş, İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Memduh Büyükkılıç, Konya Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Uğur İbrahim Altay, Ordu Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Mehmet Hilmi Güler and Samsun Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Mustafa Demir.