Sunday 08 December 2019


AMF Secretariat, Turkey's Gaziantep Municipality Sign MoU
ایجاد شده توسط : Admin5ir19 در 11/4/2018 9:49:47 AM

An executive memorandum of understanding on the establishment of the General Assembly of the fifth Asian Mayors Forum (AMF) and the sixth Executive Board Meeting of the organization has been signed between Dr. Goshtasb Mozafari, acting Secretary General of the assembly, and Deniz Köken, Secretary General of the Gaziantep Municipality.

The AMF has so far held four annual General Assemblies and five Executive Board meetings in Tehran, Istanbul, Bangkok, and Haikou.

The first General Assembly was held in Tehran in 2008 at the time of the founding of the continental cooperation organization with the slogan of "Asia for Citizens: Integration for a Better Life". The second edition was held in 2010 in Istanbul with “Impacts of the Global Financial Crisis on the Economies of Asian Cities” as the main subject while the third edition was organized in Bangkok in 2012, focusing on "Local Governance, Urban Measures for Advancement and Justice". In 2014, China's Haikou hosted the fourth General Assembly revolving around "Innovative Economies: Role of Local Asian Cities and Governments". Based on the final declaration of the Haikou assembly, the historic and cultural metropolis of Gaziantep in Turkey will host the next General Assembly from Oct. 8-11, during which the periodic chairmanship of the international entity will be entrusted to the city's mayor for three years.

In this vein, acting AMF Secretary General Mozafari travelled to Gaziantep and held meetings with senior municipality officials of the city in order to observe the facilities and capacities of the host city for the next General Assembly and to visit designated venues. During the trip, he outlined the expectations of the General Assembly from the host city and elaborated on the executive frameworks of the assembly for the three years Gaziantep will be in charge of the periodic chairmanship.

The next edition of the AMF General Assembly will be held in Gaziantep with the slogan of “Smart, Resilient and Livable Asian Cities”. Simultaneously, urban executives and experts from Asian countries will discuss and exchange information and experiences with the aim of achieving effective solutions in areas of public transportation, smart cities, livable cities and resilient cities.

The AMF General Assembly, whose permanent secretariat is located in Tehran, was founded in 2008 at the initiative of the Tehran Municipality. At the moment, about 60 Asian cities and a number of international expert organizations and assemblies are its members.

Center of an eponymous province, Gaziantep is Turkey's sixth largest city and the largest located in the Southeastern Anatolia Region. The metropolis' university is among Turkey's top. Based on information received from Gaziantep city officials, the city has a population of close to 2.5 million at the moment, about 500,000 of whom are Syrian refugees and asylum-seekers. The city is also a major economic hub and the country's main producer of pistachios.

The city has an area of 7,642 square kilometers and a height of 859 meters from sea level. Gaziantep is located on a main road that also goes through Iran and Syria. Kermanshah, located in western Iran, is the sister city of Gaziantep. The Turkish city has two major urban districts under its administration, Şahinbey and Şehitkamil. Its Zeugma Mosaic Museum is the largest mosaic museum in the world and its other attractions include an ancient Roman castle, an archaeology museum, the historical city of Zeugma, historical mosques and churches, old caravanserai and homes, a traditional bazaar, and Turkish bathhouses. A piece of discovered mosaic famed as the Gipsy Girl has become the symbol and brand of this historical city and one of the most famous prized possessions of its mosaic museum whose picture is seen in every corner of the city.

Gaziantep is among the oldest cities of the region, dating back to the time of the Hittite Empire. During the time of the Achaemenid and Sasanian empires, the region was mostly under the rule and influence of Iranians with a number of wars between Iran, Greece and Rome taking place there.

After Islam emerged and grew, the region fell under rule of Islamic leaders. In early seventh century A.D. when Abu Bakr was in charge, Damascus and regions surrounding it were conquered by Muawiyah's older brother Yazid. After Yazid died and Imam Ali was martyred, Muawiyah started the Umayyad Caliphate, choosing Damascus as its center, meaning that the region, including early Gaziantep, was ruled by the Islamic Caliphate from the beginning.

From 661 A.D. onwards, Umayyad caliphates ruled the region. They were replaced by the Abbasid caliphates from 750 A.D. During the reigns of Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates, a number of battles took place between them and the Byzantine Empire. After the Abbasid dynasty collapsed, the region was conquered by a host of different groups. In 962 A.D., the Byzantine Empire conquered the region and its rule persevered until 1067 A.D., after which the Seljuq dynasty took over. As the Ottoman Empire developed and became dominant, early Gaziantep was also among regions that fell under its rule in 1516 A.D. From that date forward, Ottoman Turks and then the Turkish Republic have had control over the region.

Gaziantep has been inscribed as the City of Gastronomy in UNESCO's Creative Cities Network and is striving to become one of the main gastronomy destinations in the region, even as Turkey at large has succeeded in this regard. Through holding various festivals and events, the city is trying to utilize its potentials to create a distinctive brand.