The 8th Meeting of City Councils of Turkey took place in Gaziantep.  The Union of City Councils of Turkey Term Presidency Handover Ceremony was held and the issue of localization of Sustainable Development Goals was  addressed during the event.

Fatma Şahin, Mayor of Gaziantep and UCLG-MEWA President, Ali Yerlikaya, Governor of Gaziantep, and many representatives of city councils throughout Turkey participated in the meeting.

“Let’s Do This Together”

During her keynote speech in the meeting, Mayor Şahin said: “When I was elected as the Mayor of Gaziantep 3 years ago, it was very important to gather people who have different opinions but say “I have things to say” in a place where everybody is present, regardless of the difference in their opinions. It was necessary to form a mechanism for this city, this country, for our children and the youth. We had to build an understanding of “Let’s do this together”, instead of “I did it by myself” in people’s minds. In this regard, we wanted to establish a city council and unite our forces. Therefore I attribute a great importance to this union and express my gratitudes to all those contributed until now.”

After Ms. Şahin; Ali Yerlikaya, Governor of Gaziantep, as the representative of central government in Gaziantep, underscored that Gaziantep City Council is tackling all the issues in the city and that the representatives in charge are taking a joint action.

“Let’s Proceed from Where We Left”

Remarking that city councils are an important part of local governance in Turkey, Mehmet Duman, UCLG-MEWA Secretary General, said “As per our endeavors for the localization of Sustainable Development Goals that call for leaving no one behind, relevant agencies of the central government, local governments and city councils, as networks of local governance; we would like to express our determination and will to continue our works with City Councils.”

After Mr. Duman; Mehmet Aslan, the President of Gaziantep City Council, highlighted the significance of city councils and pointed out the importance of including people from all walks of life to city councils for ensuring pluralism.

Necati Binici Has Become the New Term President of Union of City Councils of Turkey

After the keynote speeches, the event continued with the Presidency Handover Ceremony.  During the ceremony, Gülay Sarışen, the 7th Term President of Union of City Councils of Turkey and President of Çanakkale City Council, transferred the Presidency to Necati Binici, Member of Gaziantep City Council Executive Board.

UCLG-MEWA and City Councils Discussed the Sustainable Development Goals

After the  Presidency Handover Ceremony, Dr. Leyla Şen, UCLG-MEWA General Coordinator, made a presentation on the significance and localization of the UN Sustainable Development Goals during the session titled Corporate Promotion of Sustainable Development Goals, moderated by Hasan Soygüzel, Member of Union of City Councils of Turkey Executive Council.

During the second session, titled the Role of City Councils and Local Governments in the Localization of Sustainable Development Goals, UCLG-MEWA Project Officers Melis Şahin, Rüya Kebapçıoğlu and E.Gökçe Yanık made presentations on the indicators of the goals.  The program ended with workshops for discussions on the potential roles to be played by city councils in the light of indicators.

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