Fatih Ünsal, Secretary General of Tekirdağ Metropolitan Municipality, Attended the ‘B40 Balkan Summit’

Tekirdag Metropolitan Municipality Secretary General Fatih Unsalto the ‘B40 Balkan Cities Network’ meeting held in Athens Kadir Albayrak joined on his behalf. At the meeting, the Director of the Union of Thrace Municipalities and Sarkoy Deputy Mayor Ogün Kürümoğlu also took part.

On behalf of the Tekirdağ Metropolitan Municipality, Secretary General Fatih Ünsal attended the meeting of the ‘B40 Balkan Cities Network’, which was established in 2021 to cooperate in areas such as crisis management, tourism, economy and culture and to develop the concept of city diplomacy. Ogün Kürümoğlu, Director of the Union of Thrace Municipalities and Deputy Mayor of Şarköy, also attended the meeting.

‘B40 Balkan Summit’ İstanbulAthens, BelgradeBijeljina, Burgaz, CanakkaleDıraç, Dimitrovgrad, EdirnePlovdiv, Carnaboat, Kardzhali, KirklareliLaktashi, Lefkada, Pony, PatrasPodgorica, Pula, Sarajevo, ThessalonikiSofia, Split, Stara, Tekirdag, Tirana, Troyan, SkopjeVeliko, Zenica, Kotor, Niksiç, Zagreb, Pire, Trikala, Nea Smyrni, KumanovoPilea-Hortiatis, Veria, Korint, Karditsa, Orta Corfu and the mayors of the Diapontian Islands, Ayios Dimitrios, Halkida, Zografu, Kalamata, Paleo Faliro, Pallini, Argos-Mikines and Avlona. European Committee of the Regions President Vasco Alves Cordeiro, Eurocities President and Mayor of Florence Dario Nardella and Eurocities Secretary General Andre Sobczak also followed the summit as representatives of international organizations.

Taking the floor at the meeting, Ünsal talked about the projects of the Metropolitan Municipality. Unsal said:


“I attend this important summit on behalf of our Tekirdag Metropolitan Municipality Mayor, Mr. Kadir Albayrak. I bring you greetings from our beautiful Tekirdag. We live in an era where communication opportunities have improved and interaction has increased in all areas around the world. As the Balkan countries, we have geographical, historical, cultural, social and economic ties. Our common values ​​offer us rich opportunities to develop and strengthen our cooperation. The contributions of the Balkan cities will be a driving force in the studies to be carried out in the international arena. TurkeyIt is a metropolitan city located in the center of Eastern Thrace, which is the territory of the European continent. Its strategic location, proximity to Istanbul, developed road, airline and railway network, large ports, strong industry and trade centers have made Tekirdağ Turkey’s gateway to Europe. More importantly, its 6,000-year history, rich civilization heritage, cultural, social, economic and touristic relations highlight Tekirdağ’s feature of being a ‘European city’. brought it even closer. As Tekirdağ Metropolitan Municipality, we act with this awareness. We have sister cities in neighboring Balkan countries. We hosted the ‘Balkan Countries Local Authorities Cooperation Workshop’ on 19 March 2021. We recently established Balkan Turks We aim to take our ongoing cooperation with the Balkan cities to a higher level with the activities we will carry out within the body of our Department of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Relations. As Balkan cities, an important pillar of our cooperation will be the sharing of knowledge and experience. I would like to take this opportunity to share some of the work we have done in 2022. Our services in 2022 have intensified in the categories of ‘social services’, ‘agriculture and livestock projects’, ‘urban projects’ and ‘corporate excellence’.

In his speech, Ünsal also mentioned the work of the Metropolitan Municipality in the field of social municipality services, agriculture and animal husbandry, modern urbanism projects and competence in institutional excellence, and continued his words as follows:


“With the COVID-19 epidemic, which has affected the whole world, we accelerated our social municipality services. In this context, we provided cash aid, food aid, medical equipment support and stationery support. We provided temporary accommodation services for university students. Tools, equipment, materials, clothing for disaster areas. Within the scope of our Home Cleaning Service project, we clean the homes and belongings of our disabled and elderly citizens who cannot meet their own needs, live alone, are homeless, in need of care, with insufficient economic and physical strength. We provide service with two Disabled and Elderly Service Vehicles in order to increase the Cerkezkoy, Corlu We provide free consultancy services to our citizens through our psychologists and social service specialists at our Women’s Counseling Centers operating in the districts of Istanbul and Süleymanpaşa. We also organize workshops on women’s studies, children’s activities, women’s talks, women’s rights events, in-service training activities. With our agriculture and livestock projects, we improve the pastures, expand the cultivation areas of forage crops, support sheep-buffalo and poultry activities, and provide fertilizer, seeds, seedlings, vehicles and equipment support to our farmers. As a result of the studies we have carried out since 2014, great progress has been made in increasing efficiency and profitability. While transforming the experience we have gained in our service processes into quality, we implement our modern urban planning projects. In order to serve our citizens in better conditions, we brought our big and modern service building to our city. We carry out our terminal services in modern conditions at our new Süleymanpaşa Bus Terminal, which we have brought to our city. malkara Our Multi-Purpose Hall has met an important cultural need. Cultural facility, Sport with fields and swimming pool Hayrabolu Our Recreational, Social and Sporting Facility has added value to city life. We put our 3rd Djemevi project, Ergene Socio-Cultural Facility Djemevi and Soup Kitchen, into the service of our Alevi and Bektashi souls. In order to enable our disabled individuals in need of care to continue their lives in better conditions, we brought our Social Services and Barrier-Free Life Center to our city. Muratli We realized our Muratlı Park Area and Sports Facility project in the campus where our Semi-Olympic Swimming Pool is located. Based on the fact that there is no upper limit to perfection, we increase our corporate service standards every year. Our corporate service standard has been registered with the ‘Competence in Corporate Excellence 5 Star’ certificate according to the EFQM Model of the European Quality Foundation. Distinguished participants, as I conclude my words, I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the organization of the ‘Balkan Cities Network Summit’, and wish that our cooperation will continue by getting stronger.”


At the meeting, the term presidency of the ‘B40 Network’ was held by the Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM). Ekrem ImamogluKostas Bakoyannis, the Mayor of Athens, who took over from Istanbul, emphasized the importance of the Balkan cities, which have different ethnic structures and religions, to act together against the attacks against them, and said that a ‘balkanization’ movement is needed in this context. The achievements of European countries, which determined their borders by fighting each other in the historical process, European Union Bakoyannis stated that the structuring of the organization will set an example for this movement, “No child in the world is born with grudge and hatred against an ethnic group or different beliefs. Our ‘Balkanization’ process will be our bridge of solidarity and communication. Our vision will be peace, prosperity and stability to the Balkans. “Our goal is to bring local communities to the fore. Every member who joins our network will solidify this foundation.”

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