11 September Wednesday

Mayor İmamoğlu: We Must Carry Our World Heritage Cities to the Future without Harming Them

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu met with the UNESCO Palestine Delegation in a dinner event at the Küçükçamlıca BELTUR Social Facility on September 10. The delegation attended a two-and-a-half day workshop sponsored by the IMM, and thanked the Mayor for his corporate contribution to the workshop.

At the dinner event, Mayor İmamoğlu emphasized the shared history between Istanbul and Jerusalem. “A symposium that brings Istanbul together with Jerusalem and Palestine could be very valuable due to the historical fact that the two regions fell within the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire in the past. It could be valuable to send a message to the world through this connection. My wish for our world heritage cities and cultural assets is that they are carried to the future without being harmed,” İmamoğlu said.

The event was also attended by Mr. Mahir Polat, IMM Head of Cultural Assets Conservation; Dr. Hali Onur, the head of the historic areas of Istanbul; Mr. Junaid Sorosh-Wali, the Head of Culture Unit at UNESCO Office in Ramallah, Ms. Bosayna A. M. Abu Eisheh, Head of Ramallah Local Government Delegation participated in the workshop. 

Mr. Junaid Sorosh-Wali, Head of the Culture Unit at the UNESCO Office in Ramallah, thanked the Mayor and said: “Our trip here in the last two days has been very beneficial for us. This was primarily cooperation between Ramallah and Istanbul. Thank you very much for your sincere support. Hopefully, this will be the beginning of our future cooperation.” 

Addressing the meeting as the last speaker, Mayor İmamoğlu underlined the importance of the historical role played by Jerusalem as a meeting point of different faiths and religions.“With its history that spans thousands of years, Palestine has become a center for all religions. Therefore, the protection of every corner of this land and the ancient city of Jerusalem is very important for us. I do not feel this way just because both sides are Muslims. Surely, the preservation of the birthplace of Prophet Jesus is just as important to us as the preservation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. It is obvious that we have to preserve all of this history. You are always on our mind, and we are aware of the difficult conditions under which you are trying to work. The struggle in Palestine and Jerusalem will never be forgotten throughout history,” the Mayor said. 

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