Mersin Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Vahap Seçer attended the "Turkey in the Focus of Global Transformation" conference organized within the scope of the 9th International Relations Studies and Education Congress in cooperation with Mersin Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MTSO) and International Relations Council. At the meeting, which was attended by academics, business people and representatives of institutions, important ideas about the global world were put forward. Evaluating the reflection of the global world in Mersin, President Seçer said, “Mersin is the most strategic region of Turkey at the moment.”
President Seçer stated that they would like to hold more such meetings in Mersin and said, “We want to see these valuable people in our city and this meeting will perhaps be a preliminary preparation and an exemplary study. As you know, we have experienced a pandemic process. Like the whole world, Turkey and Mersin were also affected. Such events and meetings failed. But now life has become normal. We will keep up with this normalizing life, just like the transforming global world,” he said.
“We will think about the international economy and the reflections of the transformation on Mersin and Turkey”
Stating that as mayors, they must fulfill the demands and expectations of local citizens within their scope of duty and responsibility, Mayor Seçer also said the following about general political developments:
“We, too, are aware of the developments in Turkey and around the world, and we have something to say about them. We are elected to these positions under the roof of a political party, and like every political party, my party has a worldview and ideas about Turkey. They have determinations on problem areas, projects to be put forward and discourses about them. While listening to the speakers in general, a voice from behind said, 'Democracy first, the rule of law'. I've heard that too. First democracy, rule of law, then the rest. Here, we will consider the international economy and the reflections of the transformation on Mersin and Turkey. Well, there are so many business people. Do you foresee that the economy will grow in a place where there is no guarantee of life, property and investment? If I were a business person, what would I look for first if I were to invest in a place? How are things going there? How are the laws? Is it a state of law? Do I have any doubts or concerns about the future of my investments there? You look at these. For this reason, let there be democracy, the rule of law, a free society, so that a free market economy can be formed. Let the capital come and make its investments freely.”
“Mersin is the most strategic region of Turkey right now”
President Seçer stated that Mersin is the most strategic region of Turkey in every aspect and continued as follows:
“Our intent in global transformation is clear; economic developments, wars, pandemic, mass migrations. Mersin is one of the provinces most affected by the global transformation. The pandemic was affected, but it was least affected. It created an opportunity for Mersin. Tax revenues fell in all provinces in Turkey, but in Mersin, tax revenues fell relatively less than in other provinces due to its sectoral wealth. Because it is alive in the food sector, agriculture. Agriculture is also very important right now because there is war. Agriculture and food were also important in the pandemic. It also happened in the Ukraine-Russia war. Because the supply chain experienced a problem during the pandemic or where we import a significant amount of products such as grains and oil seeds, which have a significant share in Turkey's external agricultural inputs from those regions. What stood out here? Mersin Port.”
“Mersin is the 6th largest city in Turkey in terms of Syrian developments and has received the largest number of immigrants”
Evaluating the issue of Syrian refugees in Mersin, President Seçer said, “Mersin is the 6th city in Turkey that has received the largest number of immigrants in Syrian developments. The indigenous population of Mersin is 1.9 million. Currently, we have 250 thousand registered Syrian guests under temporary protection. There are also 150 unregistered refugees. As Mersin Metropolitan Municipality Mayor, I am obliged to spend the 1,9 million population, for which I am legally responsible, for the welfare, comfortable life and civil life of 2 million 300 thousand people. Means; Mersin is affected by everything. A city with a strategic future. It is a multi-sectoral city. I think it will become a city whose importance is increasing day by day not only in Turkey but also in the region and the world.”
“What is happening in Turkey today is not the problem of 84 million”
Expressing his views on the current problems in Turkey, President Seçer said, “One of the most talked about topics in recent days is 'Syria, its reflections on Turkey after Syria, what will happen next'. This is the issue that people are wondering about. Many people, especially politicians, think and talk about this issue to see if I can be misunderstood. I do like that too. Because the words are taken and moved to other channels. I'm human, I know how to empathize. I am the mayor. I am the brother of this city, I am the brother, whoever wants to see it. Everyone living in this city should feel good and be in our security. We don't have a word for him. May our Syrian brothers rest in peace, I embrace everyone, but we should not leave our city, country and future in the arms of different problems by covering up this problem, burying our heads in the sand and ignoring what will happen to us in the future.
Expressing that what is happening in Turkey today is not the problem of only 84 million, President Seçer said that this is not a problem for the people living in Syria and Turkey either. Noting that the problem is purely political, Seçer said, “Of course, the problem has international dimensions and border security dimensions. There is a terrorist dimension that Turkey is under threat. But if the situation has reached this point, it is the result of political will and what will solve it is the political will of Turkey and Syria. It is not an insoluble problem. I hope; May peace prevail both in my country, in the region and in the world. Let the brotherhood of people prevail. May the days to come be much better than the present," he said.
Kızıltan: “We are planning a worldwide event in Mersin”
Mersin Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MTSO) President Ayhan Kızıltan stated that Mersin is a free city and said, “We speak freely in Mersin. We hope you can speak freely too. Because if we don't talk, if we don't put forward ideas coming from the grassroots and the world of science and academia, those who govern us cannot find the truth. "What we say is never political," he said. Expressing his thoughts on economic policies and investments in Turkey, Kızıltan said, “We have been talking with our Metropolitan Municipality Mayor and the Metropolitan Municipality team for a long time. This conference will be a training session for us. We are planning a permanent, worldwide Davos-like event in Mersin. You will make a great contribution to us. We are planning to hold this Davos-like event in a short time," he said.
Chairman of the International Relations Council, Prof. Dr. Stating that they had to postpone such meetings due to the pandemic, Mustafa Aydın said, “This is a reunion at the same time. For the first time in 2,5 years, we are bringing together the Turkish international relations community and academics face-to-face.” Aydın gave information about the International Relations Council in the continuation of his speech.