• Civil society organizations have become active in recent years than ever and have become the focal point of many studies. How do you assess the non-governmental organizations and do you work with non-governmental organizations?
We regard all of the non-governmental organizations as our social stakeholders to keep pluralism alive, to develop it and to strengthen our democracy. Because we adopted as one of the most crucial elements for our administration mentality to have the approaches and support of non-governmental organizations for everything we do. In fact, we were not satisfied with the advice and expertise of the non-governmental organizations only within our municipality we paid effort to bring together the all non-governmental organizations operating in our country.
Our municipality has brought together the non-governmental foundations at an organisation in order to facilitate the life and enhance the experience sharing at all national and international arenas whose effects both increased significantly especially in recent years, and who contribute to our culture of democracy.
Within the scope of ‘NGOs are Meeting’ which was the first meeting in this subject, in Turkey held in the Conference Hall of Ankara University Faculty of Health Education and AKUT, TEMA, The Turkish Red Crescent, and the soldier Foundation, IHH, approximately a hundered of associations and foundations including the president and managers of non-governmental organizations attended the meeting.
Within the frame work of the meeting, which was held for non-governmental organisations to get to know each other more closely, to strengthen the communication between them and to organise infrastructure of the International Non-Governmental Organizations Symposium, 13 non-governmental organizations operating in different areas, talked about their activities. We carried out a very productive meeting. Kecioren,.
• Keçiören is like a little summary of Anatolia; therefore, the density of citizen groups is seen here. Do you work with these groups and the associations formed by them?
Of course… We have had so many co-partner activity that I do not know which one to explain. For instance; we realized a Central Anatolia festival with the organisations and federations of Ankara, Aksaray, Çankırı, Eskişehir, Karaman, Kayseri, Kırıkkale, Kırşehir, Konya, Nevşehir, Niğde, Sivas ve Yozgat. One of the most crowded and exciting days of the festival was the meal contest day. That day, all provinces made the finest meals of their cuisine and joined the contest. Their meals were served at their booths. Of course all of these kinds of activities are done to increase the unity and solidarity, but the most special activity we do with fellow unions, is the fellow nights that is done within the framework of International Ramadan Activities.
• Yes, Kecioren is the only district that celebrates Ramadan at an international level. At the same time to perform fellow nights within this scope. Could you please explain it?
We have welcome about 30 friendly and brotherly countries in Keçiören within our activities. We are building advertising homes at our square created for promotional events. Participating countries are introducing their countries, traditions and customs within our activities. We are doing these works together first with the embassies and then with the non-governmental organisations performing works about the countries. Non-governmental organizations have a chance to publicize their activities operating in the international arena, in the scope of this event.
In the second leg of the event, fellowship associations, such as Bolu, Çankırı, Kırşehir, Erzurum, Ankara, Çorum, Kırıkkale, Black Sea Culture and Solidarity Association ve working for the protection of the local culture, are introducing their regions in the houses allocated to them. Thus, as well as international different cultures, differences within our country are obtained and lived, in Keçiören. People of Keçiören find opportunities to learn food culture, handicrafts and local clothes of our own country.
Distinguished Mayor; thank you for your time and answering our questions.
I also like to thank you very much for your efforts and, I wish your journal would grow more and contribute to the strength of non-governmental initiative.