Mayor, İzmir Metropolitan Municipality; Vice President, CittaSlow International; Vice President, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities – CoE; Executive Board Member, UCLG World Council


What Turkey-EU relations are most in need of is dialogue. The most valuable contribution our cities can bring is to establish a bond between our people. We should be able to build this bond on a deeper, stronger and sustainable dialogue. Both Turkey and European societies bring together many different cultures, political and economic systems. We should be able to establish dialogues in which we will be more aware of the opportunities and challenges of the relations that these differences give way to. The administrative units that will be most effective in establishing the bond between our societies and conducting this dialogue are the municipalities. We should take advantage of the proximity of municipalities to citizens. In addition, the institutional capacities, financial and human resources, expertise and execution experiences of the municipalities make it possible to establish and maintain this dialogue.

In this context, town twinning projects encourage the citizens to get to know European values more closely and to embrace the EU and the candidacy process more. The partnerships between our cities also enhance mutual knowledge exchange, tolerance, mutual understanding and respect between our people and promote intercultural dialogue.

The dialogue between our cities and our people mutually helps us gain information about our history, social and administrative procedures, rules, and value judgments. These bonds of friendship to establish solid and sustainable relations between the EU and Turkey is an example for the future accession process by enhancing the mutual understanding. In addition, exchange of knowledge and experience regarding problems and solutions increases the capacities of local administrations, which are the administrative units closest to citizens.


Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs Directorate for EU Affairs
Mustafa Kemal Mahallesi 2082 Cad. No:5
06530 Çankaya, ANKARA / Turkey
Tel: +90 312 218 13 00

Technical Assistance Team
WYG Binası Mustafa Kemal Mahallesi 2128. Sokak No:14 
06520 Çankaya, ANKARA / Turkey
Tel: + 90 312 219 77 55


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