15 November Friday

İmamoğlu to investors in London: “For Europe to be alright, Istanbul must be alright”

Following a series of meetings with investors, financial institutions and Mr. Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu met with London’s Turkish community on November 14.

Speaking to a packed hall, İmamoğlu explained the reason for his visit to London: “I told the officials I met in London: ‘Just like you see London as the most important hub in the west of Europe, Istanbul happens be the most important hub in the east of Europe. To be sure, both Istanbul and Turkey are a part of Europe. But Europe is also a part of Turkey. If we achieve good things in Istanbul, these will resonate not only in Turkey’s immediate neighbourhood, but also in Europe. For that reason, if Europe wants to be alright, Turkey needs to be alright, and Istanbul needs to be alright. Keep that in mind. We have to stand hand in hand to achieve this’.”

In between his meetings in London, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu took the stage at the Dominion Centre on Wood Green High Road, in the heart of London’s Turkish community. Nearly 500 people filled the hall and welcomed İmamoğlu with cheers and applause, chanting “Mayor Ekrem!”. The first speech of the event was delivered by the president of the London Union of Republican People’s Party (CHP) Mr. Kazım Gül. After his speech, Gül invited the board members of the Union to the stage, where a group photo was taken with Mayor İmamoğlu.

In his speech on the stage, Mayor İmamoğlu explained the purpose of his recent visits to Paris, Copenhagen, Strasbourg, Berlin and London. “By creating a ‘role model city’ out of Istanbul, we will show the whole world how strong an adminstration we are, and how strong our democratic values are. After Istanbul improves, you will see that the same will happen in Turkey. If lawlessness and corruption reigns, if our people are unhappy and the economy is broken; if we are witnessing the highest unemployment rates of the last 30-40 years, and the people are in economic trouble, ending their own lives for unknown reasons, it means that Istanbul has so far failed to fulfill its duties. Istanbul is Turkey's economic capital – if Istanbul is doing well, then Turkey is doing well,” the Mayor said.

Referring to criticisms about his visits abroad, Mayor İmamoğlu said: “No one is ‘behind’ us, unlike some others who have big brothers watching out for them. Our only resource is 16 million Istanbulites. In other words, every one of you, my friends. A total of 16 million patriotic citizens of the Republic of Turkey are behind us. That is why we are confident that we will achieve each and every one of our goals. In order to achieve these goals in Istanbul, we must be in a good dialogue with the rest of the world.”

The Mayor ended his speech by giving advice to Turkish students in London and said, “I want our students who are studying and preparing for life here in this city to be sensitive, and think of developing Turkey-oriented projects. Therefore, whoever has ears, let them hear. On behalf of Istanbul, I express my sincere thanks, love and respect to all of them and wish them success in their studies.”

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