You are reading the edition 2018 "Citizens participation, consultation and commitment: for a living local democracy"
« Return to current edition
Turkey Turkey

12-Star City


The history of Ahmetbey dates back to the Thracians, the years between 600-700 BC. Ahmetbey, which was the host of the Thracian, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine civilizations, was in a state of condition related to the granary of the Lüleburgaz Episcopal Center in the third century AC. From the early 1800s until 1930, the Greek, Bulgarian and Turkish people lived together in the town of Ahmetbey. Ahmetbey, which has an important position in the center of the Marmara Region, is neighbouring Istanbul and is 120 kilometres away from Bulgaria and Greece, where the borders of the European Union begin. Democracy, freedom, human rights and respect for human dignity, solidarity, equal opportunities, gender equality and social justice are all our common values and we must protect these values.


"More Modern Büyükçekmece, Happier People from Büyükçekmece." Büyükçekmece is well-known on account of its agricultural and tourist potential. It developed rapidly in the 1980s and its population grew day by day. From 1994 onwards great efforts were made in terms of urban planning (sewage network, decontamination facilities, parks, monitoring of the environment, overhead energy and telecommunication networks placed underground, lighting systems etc.). Büyükçekmece has thus become a modern district. Büyükçekmece Municipality has organised dazzling cultural activities and projects in co-operation with the European Union and other institutions.

Bagcilar Municipality

Bağcılar Municipality was established in 1992 and is a local government serving a population of 748,483. Bağcılar Municipality has developed and implemented its works on methods that facilitate human life since the day it was founded. It has built, realized and organized many service buildings, projects and events for women, children and young people in the district and it is continuing to perfom such activities. Also these groups have their own councils where they can represent themselves.


Besiktas is located in the European side of the city, and geographically composed of coastal and interior settlements. Despite its small surface area and population, it is ideally located at the junction of arterial roads of Istanbul, and has a convenient location to world-class amenities. It has the access roads to the Bridges of Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet interconnecting the European and Anatolian sides of Istanbul and even two continents. While the current population is approximately 190.000, it reaches approximately 2 million people in a day.


The municipality of Edremit, in Turkey, is located on the Aegean Coast. With its 34 kms of coastline covered with beaches and crystalline waters overlooking the stunning Gulf of Edremit, this precious center is included in the metropolitan city district of Balikesir. This area is a popular tourist destination for its natural beauties (Mount Ida), archaeological sites (Antandros settlement, necropolis) and Mediterranean typical gastronomy enriched with the renowned Edremit’s olive oil, the main ingredient of the exquisite regional cuisine. The several luxury thermal spas close to Mount Ida make this resort an excellent destination for tourist.

Izmit Municipality

Izmit Municipality undertakes all local services effectively, efficiently and in harmony within its boundaries with its 980 municipality personnel. As a centre City municipality, it has several functions and responsibilities in health, Technical Affairs, Cultural and Social Affairs and environment. Izmit Municipality prepares many projects related education, culture, youth, disabled and disadvantaged people, children as a target group to ensure realization of all kinds developmental implementation. Also, it undertakes some duties and services for the investment aimed at human below: Izmit Municipality prepares many projects relating educational, cultural, woman, youth, old people, disabled and disadvantaged people, children and in sport fields and to ensure realization of all kinds developmental implementations. Izmit Municipality faciliates many decisions organs to chair their duties and services conferred with other civilian social instutions as a centre municipality. In addition, if we need to give some information about the municipality activities; Gölkaypark (Waterskii Center), EcoPark (Ecological Park), Child Rights School, Woman Social Life Center, History Hall, İzmek (Vacational Courses with 62 different branches). Izmit Municipality is the first municipality in its region, hosting and sending volunteers under European Volunteer Service Program and develops projects related to Youth Program. Izmit Municipality representatives also participated many international EU projects all around Europe and invited over 50 organizations to Izmit in several projects. We are also local relay of Eurodesk Turkey. As International Relations and EU Unit, we are organizing several conferences and trainings for young people to let them know about European opportunities. In a year app. than 2.000 young people benefit from these activities.


Kadıköy is a large, populous, and cosmopolitan district of Istanbul, Turkey on the northern shore of the Sea of Marmara, facing the historic city centre on the European side of the Bosporus. Kadıköy is also the name of the most prominent neighbourhood of the district, a residential and commercial area that, with its numerous bars, cinemas and bookshops, is the cultural centre of the Anatolian side of Istanbul.


Kahramankazan is a rapidliy growing district located 30 km from the capital Ankara covering an area of 56 thousand hectares and comprising of a treasure of history, nature and culture. Together with the employment , the district population of 100.000 is the leading district of Ankara and the 37th most developing district in Turkey. In 2004 there were small scale industrial organisations in Kazan in addition to agriculture and animal husbandry. A 50 year development plan was prepared for the district in 2004. Today the district has become globally noteworthy for its large scale private and public investments.


Karşıyaka is a district of İzmir Province in Turkey. It is part of the Greater Metropolitan Area of İzmir, the second largest after Konak in terms of population, and is almost entirely urbanised at a rate of 99.9 per cent, with corresponding high levels of development in terms of lifestyle and services. Karşıyaka extends for twelve kilometres along the northern and eastern coastline of the tip of the Gulf of İzmir. Karşıyaka's overall level of education is recognised as being of the highest in Turkey Karşıyaka also boasts an advanced urban culture of its own, centred on the cherished Karşıyaka SK football team.

Keçiören Municipality

Keçiören is not only one of the largest municipal districts in Turkey, but it is also a leading municipality in terms of development, innovation and progress. Our goal is to offer the best quality and up-to-date services to our residents. Administratively, we are on our residents’ needs. Keçiören Municipality manages its challenges in a timely fashion, generating effective and creative solutions with forward movement and an eye on the future, and delivering its services to everyone equally and honestly. With its location, dedicated green spaces, and many structures that are a focus of interest, Keçiören is a town that possesses numerous areas of interest that will attract anyone’s attention. Our greatest dream is to make Keçiören a capital of culture where future scholars, thinkers, artists, and collective hope for a better tomorrow will be nurtured. We carry a dream of a prosperous Keçiören for our youth and children as well. The first steps towards making our dream come true for all of our residents have already been taken: we have multiple cultural and educational centers which serve both children and adults, sports venues and facilities, parks and other green areas, environmental and infrastructural planning, schools, hospitals, and numerous other inventive projects. These tangible resources together with a culture of innovative leadership reassure us that Keçiören is already becoming a city of tomorrow.


The total population of Lüleburgaz is based on the exact population determination results of 2018 (147,325). This (115.000) is in the district center and (31.660) is in the towns and villages. This population (51%) is females (49%). The population growth rate is well above the country average and the increase is mainly due to intensive migration from other regions and from the villages.

Maltepe Municipality

« Maltepe Municipality » takes part in the European Local Democracy Week - a paneuropean event coordinated by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe - as « 12-Star City » Maltepe is located in the Eastern part of Istanbul with a long shoreline near the Sea of Marmara. The city’s known history is dated back to the Byzantine Empire, according to historical sources, Maltepe region was known as “Bryas” or the Latin name “Urias” and “Pelekanon”. Today, the oldest settlement known in the city is Bryas. In past, Maltepe was famous for its coastline, nearby a beach located named as Süreyyapaşa, and the Temple of Sybil within the sea is still the landmark of the city. With a great city park along the shore and excellent view of the Princes’ Islands, today Maltepe is also attractive place for domestic and foreign visitors. One of the largest Mosque, built according to the traditional standard shape of a Turkish Mosque, the Beşçeşmeler Neighborhood and Bryas Palace are other historical places to see in Maltepe.

Municipality of Kırklareli

Kırklareli, which have a strategic location in transition from Anatolia to Balkans for centuries, have hosted major civilizations throughout history. The transition from Hunter –Gatherers (Neolithic) period to sedentary is observed for the first time in Kırklareli all through the Europe. Today, Kırklareli, have traces extending from Helen, Rome, Byzantine and Turkish – Islamic period to present. It is not clearly known when the city was founded, nor under what name. The Byzantine Greeks called it “Saranta Ekklisies” – (meaning Forty Churches). In the 14th century this was translated to Turkish and called “Kırk Kilise”. Following the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923, sanjaks became cities and on 20 December 1924, Kırk Kilise’s name was changed to Kırklareli, meaning The Place of the Forties. The Bulgarian name of the town is Lozengrad (which means vineyard town). The road takes you to Yayla square if you track the main street ranging to upward from Hızırbey mosque which may be deemed as the city center of Kırklareli. Kırklareli houses, the witnesses of the time that you can see the most distinct traces of the past by being the oldest settlement of Kırklareli, show up. In the Yayla neighborhood are 18 examples of listed civil architecture buildings, one of them is the Ali Rıza Efendi Culture House, opened to the public on 20 December 2017. Greek, Bulgarian, Turkish and Jewish communities lived in Yayla neighborhood for years. Therefore, was agreed with Greece, Bulgaria and Montenegro states and organized a room to reflect their cultures. In order to reflect the common culture in the Ali Riza Efendi Culture House; it has a Greek room, a Bulgarian room and a Montenegrin room. Also in Yayla neighborhood; the Kırklareli Atatürk House, opened to the public on 17 January 2018. Kırklareli Atatürk House was built by the Municipality of Kırklareli, under the direction of the Mayor of Kırklareli Mehmet Siyam KESİMOĞLU and with support of the charitable citizens of Kırklareli whose hearts Mustafa Kemal Atatürk beats. Kırklareli Atatürk House has the same architectural plan of the Atatürk House in Thessaloniki, also in design of the rooms attention was paid to the finest details. Kırklareli Atatürk House and Kırklareli citizens will be happy and proud to welcome their guests in the future as they did in the past. Kırklareli is the shining star of Turkey with historical and cultural richness, intellectuals and contemporary living. Kırklareli contains all colors into with the motto “The City of Happy People” will continue to be one of the exclusive and distinctive cities of Marmara Region in the future as it was did in the past.


From 1924 onwards, Rize has been a province of the Republic of Turkey.Rize province is a province of north-east Turkey,on the eastern Black Sea Region Rize which lies on the northern side of the Black Sea mountain ranges has uneven and mountainous terrain. It has got a very narrow coastal strip, alluvial plains, and landfills, which has a significant place in Rize’s topography.The Population of Rize is 331.048 The economic structure of Rize is agriculturally based on tea production and tea industry.Fishery and forestry products also contribute to its ecomomy. Rize is famous for anchovy, Tea and Rize fabric which is made of linseed (flax).

Zeytinburnu Municipality

Zeytinburnu Municipality which sets target as integrated to history, culture and economy of Istanbul; people are happy to live there, regenerative and renewed district is a municipality which prioritizes global values as politics, such as transparency, accountability, deliberative democracy, justice, equality in service, efficiency and impact; which are also accepted principles as globally exist or must exist in local governments. Zeytinburnu Municipality is going on her own works by prioritizing labors, unemployed people, tradesmen, women, children, young people, handicapped people and issues coming with migration; in this scope putting humanity to center of her operations; by adopting as principles deliberative democracy, respect to labor and social justice, living in peace and solidarity and equality in services. For this purpose city council works actively to ensure democratic participation.

Partner cities

Sariyer City Council

Sarıyer is one of the most important districts of Istanbul, with its physical location,an environmental, historical and cultural richness.It is one of the districts that includes one of the largest forestlands in Istanbul. Sariyer spans an area of 151 km2 on the European side of Bosphorus. Sariyer, located in the north east of the European side along the Istanbul Strait. It remains between the Bosporus and Black Sea.The limit on the coast starts from Aşiyan and continues until the Black Sea shore. Even though Sarıyer is the centre, Emirgan, İstinye, Yeniköy, Tarabya and Büyükdere, which are along the Bosphorus from Rumelihisarı, are among important districts.In old ages, Sariyer had many empty lands and hills, and was not among the main settlement areas in the Antiquity and Byzantium age.There was small settlement in the shores in the Byzantium Empire times. The development of the small villages at the Bosporus shores started in the 16th and 17th centuries when the migrants from the Anatolia and Princes Islands moved there. The villagers mostly lived on fishing. The District consisted of Urban (30 neighbourhoods) and Rural (8 villages) areas.Sariyer has the potential to become the education and training centre of Istanbul with the Universities; such as, ITU, Boğaziçi, Koç Universities…There are strong multicultural communities in Sariyer. For centuries, Turks, Armenians, Greeks, Jewish and Romans have lived together in harmony. Sariyer has a big potential in sports especially in football, horse-riding and sea sports.Sarıyer is a district that could not reach to a sufficient level of development in terms of industry. Its general economic structure is comprised of tourism, service, agriculture and fishery sectors. Maslak district is one of the vital financial center of Istanbul where is connected to Sarıyer, makes the service sector of Sarıyer get developed. Sariyer has a great potential in all kinds of tourism. In addition to its natural, historical and cultural values, it is one of the most important destination for sea tourism. The City council seeks to realize the development of a city vision and responsible citizenship , preservation of urban rights and the rule of law, sustainable development, responsiveness to environment,mutual social assistance and solidarity,transparency,accountability, participation and subsidiarity in urban life. The recommendations developed in the City Council shall be included in the agenda of, and be evaluated in the subsequent meeting of the municipal assembly. The procedures and bases for the operation of the City Council shall be determined by the By-laws to be prepared by the Ministry of Interior.(Law on Municipalities No:5393 ) Sarıyer City Council is composed of representatives of non- governmental organizations, academicians, local administrators, cooperatives, foundations and associations in Sarıyer to produce solution-oriented projects for the Sarıyer City Council. There are 81 members in the executive board and also the Mayor of Sariyer Municipality was elected the president of the Sariyer City Council by these representatives. Add to that there are 13 working groups under the Sarıyer City Council. Transportation, fishing, agriculture, local development, culture-arts,environment, health, animal rights and education are some of the working group topics.

Partner associations