Smart Cities and Municipalities Convention and Exhibition was held in Ankara on 15-16 January 2020 by the Union of Municipalities of Turkey (UMT) under the auspices of the Presidency of Turkey. The Congress, the first of which was organized this year, was attended by mayors, ambassadors, academics, senior executives of technology firms and representatives of non-governmental organizations from 41 countries. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey, Murat Kurum, Minister of Environment and Urbanization, Mustafa Varank, Minister of Industry and Technology, and Fatma Şahin, President of UMT and Mayor of Gaziantep, emphasized the home-grown technology in their opening speeches during the Congress. The Congress included 3 main sessions, 12 panels and 6 seminars.
The exhibition, which many municipalities and non-governmental organizations attended together with technology companies, continued with a very active participation for two days. Many members from UCLG-MEWA, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, Adana Metropolitan Municipality, Konya Metropolitan Municipality, Kahramanmaraş Metropolitan Municipality, Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, Çanakkale Municipality, and Sultanbeyli Municipality have taken their places in the stands and sessions. Intensive participation took place during the sessions on access to finance for local governments, innovation, local strategies, governance, mobility, environment and energy. Speaking at the “Cities Transforming with Innovation Local Policies” session, Uğur İbrahim Altay, Mayor of Konya mentioned that they are working on blockchain technology and underlined that UCLG-MEWA is the driving force for bringing these studies out to the international arena. The two-day program ended with closing speeches.