LOCALINTERNational 2022 Program Was Held
The LOCALINTERNational 2022 program, traditionally organized by the Union of Municipalities of Türkiye (UMT) every year since 2012, was completed with the participation of 21 students from 17 different countries. Visits were made to Ankara, Balıkesir, Çanakkale and Istanbul within the scope of the program held between 21-27 August.
The opening was held at the UMT headquarters in Ankara, as it is every year. Deputy Chairman of the Presidency Local Government Policies Board Prof. Dr. Şükrü Karatepe, UMT Secretary General Dr. Hayri Baraçlı, UMT Deputy Secretary Generals Kayhan Özüm, Dr. Ahmet Kazan, Dr. Ramazan Özcan Yıldırım and Halil İbrahim Azak attended. In his opening speech, UMT Secretary General Baraçlı talked about the history of the LOCALINTERNational program, and the projects carried out by the UMT. Also in his opening speech, Prof. Dr. Karatepe briefly talked about the local government system in Türkiye. After the question-and-answer session, the opening program ended with the traditional group photo taken.
After the opening, the first day continued with presentations and lectures. UMT's Atty. Yasemin Sezgin talked about "Basic Municipality and Municipal Services", Yunus Biçer "Sister City Relations" and Çağatay Emre Kılınç "Sustainable Development Goals". Hayriye Simay Tunçkılıç, Youth Delegate to Türkiye from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, made a presentation on “Rejuvenating Politics in a Local and Regional Context” via remote connection. The first day program ended with the visit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Secretary General of the UMT Kayhan Özüm was also present. During this visit, Deputy Director General of Cultural Diplomacy of Turkish MFA Osman İlhan Şener conveyed to the participants the diplomatic activities carried out by Türkiye in the field of culture.
The second day started with the career training given by UMT’s Cemal Baş. Then, a field visit was made to Altındağ Municipality. Here, the "Zero Waste School", which received an award in the idea and project competitions run by UMT, was visited. Afterwards, Altındağ Deputy Mayor Abdurrahman Karabudak made a presentation about the history and services of the municipality. In the afternoon, the institutions of Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) and Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) were visited. Participants were informed about the work of these institutions by experts in their fields. Ankara program was completed the with a city tour.
In the next stop, Balıkesir, LOCALINTERNational participants had the opportunity to see the facilities opened by Balıkesir Metropolitan Municipality for young people. In this context, Balıkesir Ahmet Kot Library and Digital Youth Center were visited. Then, the participants moved to Çanakkale to visit Çanakkale Martyrs' Memorial and the municipality. The activities of the municipality for the youth were explained to the participants hosted by Deputy Mayor Mehmet İrfan Mutluay.
In Istanbul, the last stop of the program, a visit was organized to Ümraniye Municipality on the first day. The participants, hosted by the Mayor İsmet Yıldırım, also toured the Ümraniye People's Garden. On the same day, the Mayor of Sancaktepe Şeyma Döğücü received the participants. Afterwards, the municipality's sports, scientific and cultural facilities and how young people benefit from these services were seen on site.
The last day was completed with an Istanbul city tour and a traditional gala dinner. Blue Mosque and Square, Hagia Sophia and Topkapı Palace on the historical peninsula were introduced. The closing of the program was made with a gala dinner organized together with the Bosphorus tour. Certificates were presented to the participants and LOCALINTERNational 2022 came to an end with closing speeches.