Last week, ALDA’s Middle East & Africa Coordinator Giulia Sostero and Project Manager & Head of Strasbourg Office Apolline Bonfils had the great chance to meet with Tunç Soyer, the Mayor of İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, who is strongly engaged in local democracy. Our team was in İzmir (Türkiye) together with our partners MAD – Center for Spatial Justice for a coordination and monitoring visit of THE:PLACE programme, which aims to reinforce European Union exchange with Turkish Civil Society Organisations and cooperation between Civil Society Organisations and Local Authorities.
THE:PLACE – Türkiye Hand in hand with Europe is a Programme for Local Authorities and Civil Society Exchange which aims to build up lasting Türkiye – European Union networks of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) that work on local issues and on promoting an exchange aimed to increase their capacity to create meaningful impact in their respective areas of work. THE:PLACE programme aims to favour the empowerment of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Local Authorities (LAs) as actors of local development, through specific capacity building, peer learning and joint cooperation on co-designed common projects. The programme seeks to create quadrilateral partnerships composed of 1 Civil Society Organisation based in Türkiye associated with 1 Local Authority + 1 Civil Society Organisation based in the EU associated with 1 Local Authority.
This visit was the opportunity to meet some current beneficiaries and potential new ones, as the 2nd round of the programme will soon be launched.
Thus, the ALDA delegation met with mayor Tunç Soyer, Head of Social Affairs and International Relations Department in İzmir Metropolitan Municipality; with the vice-mayor Saadet Çağlın, Head of Citizens participation and Urban planning department in Karşıyaka Municipality; with Kaan Ediz, Head of International Relations Department in Konak Municipality; with the President and General Coordinator of BAYETAV Foundation; with the President, International Networks and Youth participation departments of Pi Youth Association.
The visit also presented the opportunity to further illustrate to the Mayor the possibilities and benefits of joining ALDA’s network and becoming a Member, for which İzmir Metropolitan Municipality will soon present its official request.
The meeting was an enriching opportunity to exchange best practices and inputs around the importance of enhancing local democracy in İzmir.
More details are coming soon!