Secretary General of the Turkic Council Baghdad Amreyev addressed at the 13th Silk Road Mayors Forum.

Secretary General of the Turkic Council Baghdad Amreyev attended the 13th Silk Road Mayors Forum held on 21-22 October 2018 in Antalya organized by the World Citizens Organization (WCO) and Antalya Metropolitan Municipality. 44 Mayors and Governors from 60 cities of 30 country across the historical Silk Road, including those of Turkic Council member countries, participated in the Forum.

Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Minister of Urban Development and Housing of the Islamic Republic of Afganistan, Governer of Antalya Münir Karaloğlu, Mayor of Antalya Metropolitan Municipality Menderes Türel, President of Union of Municipalities of Turkey UCLG/MEWA and Mayor of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Fatma Şahin, Executive Chairman of China Chamber of Tourism Peter Wong, and President of WCO Dr. Young Hoon Kwak were present at the opening ceremony.

In his address at the opening ceremony, Secretary General Amreyev emphasized the Silk Road as a promising international tourism cooperation platform with diversified tourism products and alternative options for modern travelers. He also stressed the huge potential of the Turkic Council Member States located along the Silk Road in the field of tourism with their unique historical and cultural heritage, landscape and nature, which respond to the new trends in world tourism.

Subsequently, Secretary General provided detailed information about the Turkic Council “Modern Silk Road Joint Tour Package” project and its official cooperation with leading international organizations such as UNWTO and UNOSSC in the field of tourism. Referring to the remarks of the Presidents at the 6th Turkic Council Summit, Secretary General informed that Presidents instructed involved authorities of the Member States to take necessary actions to render the Joint Tour Package more competitive. He also expressed Presidents’ view that the Modern Silk Road Joint Tour Package will become more attractive with the participation of the historical cities from Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

At the end of his speech, Secretary General underlined Turkic Council’s desire to develop partnership with all stakeholders in tourism in local, national, and international level to further expand international recognition of the Modern Silk Road Tour Package.

Summarizing the Silk Road Mayors Forum’s 12 year evolution, President of WCO Dr. Young Hoon Kwak expressed that Forum has created a chain of interconnected cities along the historical Silk Road. Dr. Kwak stated that the more the world has become globalized, the more local cultures, values and administrations has gained importance and the more “inter-city diplomacy” has rendered new mode of interaction among societies. Calling this new trend as “Glocalization” Dr. Kwak emphasized that local administrations are quite effective in generating 6E (Economy, Education, Environment, Ethics, Engineering ve Enjoyment) solutions in todays world with a bottom-up approach. 

Executive Chairman of China Chamber of Tourism Peter Wong said that more and more cities are willing to join the Silk Road partnership today. Referring to the huge economic potential of the tourism sector, he mentioned the growing inter-connectedness across the Silk Road due to colossal Belt and Road initiative of China and similar infrastructural developments in enroute countries that would tie the Silk Road cities to one another with stronger bonds.

After the opening ceremony, Secretary General Amreyev held a meeting with the President of Union of Municipalities of Turkey UCLG/MEWA and Mayor of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Fatma Şahin. Parties agreed to cooperate on several initiatives comprising the Turkic speaking countries. Mayor of Gaziantep Fatma Şahin also invited the Secretary General to the Asian Mayors Forum to be organized in Gaziantep on 29 November -2 December.