Johannesburg, Istanbul mull 'twin city' arrangement

Mayor, ambassador discuss proposals for linking South Africa's, Turkey's largest metropolises

Johannesburg, Istanbul mull 'twin city' arrangement

World Bulletin / News Desk

The mayor of Johannesburg this week met with Turkey’s ambassador to South Africa to discuss proposals for making Johannesburg and Istanbul “twin cities”.

“We had very fruitful discussions with the ambassador regarding the possibility of linking the two cities,” Mayor Parks Tau told Anadolu Agency shortly after he met with Turkish Ambassador Kaan Esener.

Tau said they had agreed to hold follow-up discussions between officials of the two cities, including a meeting with Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas.

“I have met with Mayor Topbas on a number of previous occasions to discuss various issues,” Tau said. “This time, we will hopefully discuss how we can establish further cooperation.”

The mayor went on to voice hope that future cooperation would be of benefit to the residents – and business communities – of both cities.

Asked by Anadolu Agency how the people of Johannesburg would benefit from making the two metropolises “twin cities,” he said: “Ultimately, our criteria for this is based on the potential for building mutual relationships that would benefit both governments and peoples.”

The mayor noted that such cooperation should also be of benefit to institutions through the sharing of knowledge and student exchanges between universities based in the respective cities.

Such cooperation, he stressed, would also help establish relations between the two cities’ respective business communities, thus enabling South African businesspeople to invest in Turkey and vice versa.

Ambassador Esener, for his part, asserted: “Such a relationship would provide a platform for Turkish people when they come to Johannesburg and, similarly, for South Africans visiting Istanbul.”

Esener pointed out that there was already considerable trade between South Africa and Turkey, going on to express hope that a “twin city” arrangement between Johannesburg and Istanbul would serve to increase trade volumes even further.

Johannesburg is South Africa’s largest city and an important economic hub, boasting a population of over 10 million.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Ağustos 2015, 12:16