18 January Friday

Kadir TOPBAS returned from Madrid

<span lang=EN-US>Kadir Topbas – Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality- returned from his Madrid trip on the occasion of his participation in the 1st Alliance of Civilizations Forum</span>

Speaking in the “1st Alliance of Civilizations Forum” in Madrid, Kadir Topbas – Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality- said “Istanbul is the trousseau of the civilizations and a sample city that will play very significant role in the realization of the alliance of civilizations”.

Kadir Topbas – Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality – moderated the 3rd session of the Alliance of Civilizations Forum, titled “Local Action in Global Debate” that took place in the Meeting Center of Madrid Municipality of Spain, and spoke in the very same session.

The meeting was attended by Bertrant Delaone – Mayor of Paris Metropolitan Municipality -, Alberto Louis – Mayor of Madrid Metropolitan Municipality -, Rosa Aguilar – Mayor of Cordoba Municipality -, Paulo Chelho – worldly renown writer -, Abdel Azim Wazir – Mayor of Cairo Metropolitan Municipality -,  Jordi Heren – Mayor of Barcelona Municipality -, Frederico Mayor Zaragoza - President of Peace and Culture Endowment-, Tery David – Member of British Parliament- and several other invitees.

Stating in his speech that inclusion of Istanbul in that meeting was very meaningful from the perspective of alliance of civilizations, Mayor Topbas said “Istanbul is the trousseau of the civilizations and a sample city that will play very significant role in the realization of the alliance of civilizations”.

Mayor Topbas stated his belief that the effort of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Zapatero – Premier of Spain – as the co-chairpersons of alliance of civilizations would transform the world into more peaceful place.

21. Expressing that the world had great contradictions at the beginning of 21st century, Kadir Topbas said that the dominant culture and belief systems were encountering each other instead of gathering around common humanitarian values and that they should focus on the roots of the problem in order to eradicate this encounter and to provide an alliance among the civilizations. Topbas said “When we focus on the roots of the problem, we shall realize that the clashes were not because of cultural or religious differences, but because of the inequalities and unjust income distribution in the world”.

Stressing that this situation made the realization of social policies in the cities more important, Mayor Topbas said that with the increase in the population of the cities, the responsibilities of the local authorities increased. Emphasizing that realization of alliance of civilization would not be possible without improving current problems with a system whereby local authorities had more responsibilities. 

Istanbul is fulfilling its responsibilities

Explaining that they were applying a series of social support programs in Istanbul to fight inequality and unjust income distribution, Kadir Topbas said that they had supported organic agriculture in Anatolia to release the immigration pressure on Istanbul.

Elaborating on how they signified the vocational training courses and the support program for the poor, Mayor Topbas expressed that they considered a regional scale in the city planning and built social residential buildings without down payment and with low-interest-rates for lower income groups.

Topbas recorded that free health services were spread all over the city along with other educational and cultural activities.

They had also highly considered hosting international cultural organization in Istanbul, said Kadir Topbas and added:

“With that, we provide the convenient environment for different cultures to come together in a city that is the trousseau of the civilizations . In this respect, we hosted activities like Eurovision Song Contest and International Mevlana Symposium. And, we will host the 3rd Universal Cultures Forum in 2011.

Contribution of bringing people of different cultures in Istanbul which has a position of being a natural bridge, which connects cultures for ages, for the realization of the alliance of civilizations is obvious”.

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