Eurocities and member city Istanbul want to reinforce their relationship. Ekrem İmamoğlu, Mayor of Istanbul, and Dario Nardella, President of Eurocities and Mayor of Florence, agreed to tighten cooperation on culture, tourism, research and technology.
On the occasion of Nardella’s visit this week, İmamoğlu emphasised his commitment to improving the quality of life of people living in his city and his vision to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth by embracing the principles of the European Green Deal and the fight for better social inclusion. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated urban inequalities and made the need for local investment – including health, childcare, social and green infrastructure – a top priority for the city of Istanbul, said İmamoğlu.
Last year, Istanbul joined the Eurocities campaign Inclusive Cities for All making a critical commitment to the four million children living in the city: to be an inclusive and child-friendly city where all children get a fair start in life. Istanbul’s pledge aims to support children living in poverty through education, sport, and cultural activities. The city will also create urban green areas for children in each neighbourhood.
“Eurocities wants to foster partnerships, mutual exchange and learning also with European cities that are not part of the European Union,” says Silvia Ganzerla, Policy Director at Eurocities. “Cities like Istanbul are strategic partners to the success of our work.”
During his visit, Nardella also expressed his solidarity with İmamoğlu for the “unfair attacks of the last few days”. İmamoğlu has been accused by Turkish prosecutors of insulting election authorities in a speech he delivered after the cancellation of the first round of local elections in March 2019, and for which he is risking a prison sentence. İmamoğlu, from the opposition Republican People’s Party, was elected in June 2019 in a re-run vote after the first round was cancelled over allegations of fraud by Erdogan’s ruling AK Party.
Today in Istanbul I have expressed my solidarity to Mayor Ekrem #Imamoglu, in name of @EUROCITIES, for the unfair attacks of the last few days. My support on the challenges ahead in economy , employment, civil rights and environment gross to him.
— Dario Nardella (@DarioNardella) June 2, 2021