07 August Wednesday

Mayor Imamoglu Speaks to Arab Press: “IMM to Set Up a Refugee Desk”

İstanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu answered questions by the Arab press, together with Palestine's Ankara Ambassador Faed Mustafa, who visited the IMM yesterday to congratulate the Mayor for his new post.

In response to a question on whether there was any progress on the setup of the "refugee desk" he had promised prior to the election, the Mayor said: “A refugee desk is now being established. The work was already underway to broaden the scope of an existing refugee department and provide material support for refugees. It should be completed by the year's end, hopefully.”

“At first, for women and children. A refugee desk that will deal with both social problems and future-related ones. Of course, [it will be] a very active and dynamic refugee desk”, İmamoğlu said, describing plans to better administer the city’s large population of refugees amid an ongoing crisis.

The presence of large numbers of refugees is among the top issues in Turkey. There are 3.6 million registered refugees in the country, with over 500,000 Syrians officially registered in Istanbul. Mayor İmamoğlu also drew attention to the fact that the figure would reach 1 million after irregular migrants were also included.

The Mayor further explained that he had discussed the plight of the Palestinian refugees, many of whom had moved to Turkey to escape the Syrian conflict after settling in the country as refugees years before.

The mayor was also visited by H.E Mr. Angel Angelov, the Consul General of the Republic of Bulgaria to Istanbul; Ms. İpek Kıraç, Board Member of Koç Holding; H.E. Jessy Yeunju Jang, Consul General of South Korea to Ankara and Ms. Güler Sabancı, President of Sabancı Holding.

During his visit, H.E Mr. Angel Angelov presented as a gift a custom-printed book titled “Documenting Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Turkish-Bulgarian Relations” to Mayor İmamoğlu, featuring a foreword written by the late former Prime Minister of Turkey, Bülent Ecevit. He then congratulated Mayor İmamoğlu and wished him success in his new position.

The last visit of Wednesday came from Ms. İpek Kıraç, Director and Founding Member at the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation. Ms. Kıraç congratulated Mayor İmamoğlu and wished him well in his new position. Ms. Kıraç presented the Mayor a gift album containing old photos of Istanbul collected by her parents, Suna and İnan Kıraç.

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