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Avcılar Mayor Turan Hançerli spoke at the United Nations.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022 - Read: 360
Avcılar Mayor Turan Hançerli spoke at the United Nation

 Avcılar Mayor and Marmara Group Foundation Board of Trustees Member Atty. Turan Hançerli spoke about the "Sustainable Development Goals Summit" at the United Nations.

You will find below the text of the speech of Av.Turan Hançerli, who spoke at the United Nations representing Turkish Municipalities:

"Madam Moderator,

Esteemed Colleagues,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is truly an honor for me to be participating in this Conference.

I am humbled to address this amazing audience on issues of sustainability and on our common vision for a better and more prosperous future for all of our citizens around the globe.

I was elected as the Mayor of Avcılar in 2019.  Avcılar’s SDG adventure has started since then. Our city has a population of about half a million people and it is located in the European side of İstanbul.

The biggest danger that Avcılar faces is a possible earthquake, which is much more than a physical threat. Avcılar also faces problems of migration, low economic and social welfare including healthcare issues. Hence, we embarked on a comprehensive and ambitious action plan to make Avcılar a resilient city right after I took office.

Our program rests on 6 main pillars; 

1- Urban Regeneration, 

2- Urban Heritage, 

3- Protection of and Harmony with the Environment,

4- Inclusiveness in Social and Economic Initiatives 

5- Innovation and Focus on high-value added sectors in public investments

6- Providing accountable and participatory municipal services

We think these principles, "Avcılar Model," reflect a holistic approach that captures a sound, adaptive and transferable model in local government actions, “offering real solutions for real problems” as expressed by Senator Bernie Sanders.

"Avcılar Model" is also closely intertwined with the UN-SDGs, demonstrating our determination to find "local solutions to global problems" and share our experiences with the world as evidenced in our VLR.

Dear Guests, Friends,

Covid-19 crisis has taught us many lessons.  

When the national governments and supranational organizations were still struggling on deciding what to do in the beginning of the crisis, life at the local level had quickly adjusted to the crisis.  This adjustment came about through re-organization and strengthening of the local networks of solidarity, reinforcing new modes of social and economic cooperation in our communities.

Local governments played a critical role, here, in leading, mobilizing and supporting the local capacities and capabilities to withstand and mitigate the effects of the pandemic while providing logistical and material support also to the central authorities.

Dear Participants, Friends,

Covid is just one example of these hardships. Another example to these global problems is migration-related issues.

Operations conducted in this area that focus mainly on the differences of migrating and local peoples accentuate the separation between communities which institutionalize the related discrepancies. Instead, these services must focus on common dreams of the people that would achieve synergy and integration.

Our fight against problems like this points to the creative, guiding and transformative powers of local communities and us, their democratically mandated administrators.  For us, at Avcılar, our main task is to support this view of life as the prevailing social, economic and cultural orientation of our district.  

This being the case, we must demand that central authorities channel increased financial and other material assistance through local governments that are closer to the problems, the stakeholders and the most direct solutions.

They must allocate direct resources to meet the needs of the under-privileged segments of the society at the local level to provide them a decent life with basic human dignity.

Notwithstanding what is going on in the world today, we believe in a bright and prosperous future, sustainable and equitable for all.

This future is already embedded in our local communities and, eventually, we will see it spring out of the very hearts and minds of our people.

Dear Friends,

It is with these thoughts, please allow me, once again, to warmly greet you and extend my thanks to the contributors of this Conference.  I wish all the success to this event and I would hope to come together with you again in another part of our small planet to discuss these issues in depth; perhaps in Avcılar where you would be most welcomed.  Why not?

Thank you."