Ali Yerlikaya, Governor of Istanbul, attended the event "Turkey, the Meeting Point of Cultures", hosted by Istanbul Governor's Office due to the International Migrants Day. Governor Yerlikaya, who made a speech during the event said, "371 thousand Syrians, including 50 thousand from Istanbul, voluntarily returned back to the regions physically secured and cleared of terrorist elements with the Euphrates Shield, Olive Branch and Peace Spring Operations".
In the activity organized at Zeytinburnu Culture Center, stands containing objects that reflect the cultures of several countries were set up. Governor Yerlikaya visited the stands and examined the products. Music concerts were performed by Anadolusia Trio Music Band, Zeytinburnu Şehit Ömer Cankatar Primary School Chorus and Zeytinburnu AKDEM Migrant Children's Chorus.
Ali Yerlikaya, Governor of Istanbul, Dr. Emad Mirghani Abdelhamid Altohamy, Consul General of Sudan Mounir Anouti, Counsul General of Lebanon, M. İbrahim Shinwari, Afghanistan Deputy Minister of Education, Dr. Yaşar Aksanyar and Dr. Hasan Hüseyin Can, Deputy Governors, Mehmet Makas, District Governor of Zeytinburnu, Ömer Arısoy, Mayor of Zeytingburnu, Recept Batu, Provincial Director of Immigration Administration and many students attended the event.
The program was started with a video presentation, "Büyüksün Türkiye / You are Great Turkey". Governor Yerlikaya who addressed a speech to the participants in the program said "All our guests and immigrants who live together with us in Turkey and Istanbul and anyone who chooses to live in this land will have the opportunity to introduce and share their culture with us."
Governor Yerlikaya said Anatolia opened her gates unhesitatingly to anyone who fled war, tyranny, oppression throughout the ages, or who wished to live in better conditions, said Governor Yerlikaya, and “It was this variety that made Anatolia the most magnificent civilization in the world. We consider this diversity which we witness in every corner, every street and every avenue of our country, as a great wealth. We see all the differences as colorful blossoms, and we regard Istanbul as the most glorious heritage”, he added.
Governor Yerlikaya pointed out that, according to United Nations data, there are 258 million migrants in the world and Turkey is the country which is most heavily affected from migration in the world. "Our country is home to nearly 5 million displaced people, 3.7 million of whom are Syrians. There are 1 million 112 thousand 193 foreign migrants living in Istanbul, 557 thousand of whom have a residence permit and 555 thousand of them are Syrians under Temporary Protection. For the establishment of permanent stability and normalization in Syria we consider repatriations as important as the fight against terrorism. 371 thousand Syrians, including 50 thousand from Istanbul, voluntarily returned back to the regions physically secured and cleared of terrorist elements with the Euphrates Shield, Olive Branch and Peace Spring Operations", Governor Yerlikaya said.
Governor Yerlikaya, who stated that the efforts to increase and strengthen the harmony with foreigners and immigrants in Istanbul continued, said "We have a noble State and great-hearted nation that hosts such a large number of migrants in our territory This event has been a very helpful and efficient start. I hope more will come”.
Governor Yerlikaya ended his speech saying, “Our doors and hearts are open to all migrants and all people suffering. As I said, this country is the land of good people. So long as you live in Turkey, the Meeting Point of Cultures and in Istanbul, the capital of our civilization, this country will be your land and Istanbul will be your city".
"Happy World Migrants Day"
Recep Batu, Provincial Director of Migration Administration also made a speech in the programme and celebrated the World Migrants Day.
Ömer Arısoy, Mayor of Zeytinburnu who made a speech, said, “Zeytinburnu is a district established by migration. You can see the people of the entire Turkish world in the territory of Zeytinburnu since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Zeytinburnu took this opportunity to turn it into a wealth and melt it in a new pot, and led to the formation of a unique culture of its own. In our Municipality we have been using our best efforts for 20 years to turn this harmony, this new culture and new alchemy into something pleasant for everyone. We are pleased that the World Migrants Day programme is being organised in Zeytinburnu”.
After the opening speeches, the program was completed with stage shows.