Parallel Session 1.2 - Cities as safe havens: Municipalities ensuring safe and protective environments
Municipalities are first-line responders in the provision of safe space and social protection, including welfare support and safe housing, to displaced people.
This session focuses on how municipalities have managed to provide new population with protection and social services (e.g. adapting existing services to specific needs of migrants and refugees).
This session is structured around the following questions: How can local authorities sustainably integrate migrants and refugees into municipal social protection schemes? How do they manage to avoid tensions with host communities and what can be done to showcase positive contributions of displaced communities to the local environment?
Hülya Alper was born in 1966 in Amasya. She graduated from İstanbul University Faculty of Communication, Department of Communication and Advertisement in 1999. She completed her master’s at Yeditepe University, Institute of Social Sciences in 2003. She was awarded Honorary Doctorate by Azerbaijan Baku University for her contributions to the participation of youth to education. Between 1997 and 2000, Ms. Alper worked in TRT and NTV news agencies. Ms. Alper who worked in several projects as Communication and Advertisement Coordination at Yeditepe University also worked as academic in the area of International Marketing. Between 2007 and 2010, She was the Director of Corporate Marketing and Communication in Medical Park Health Group. In 2001, she worked as Corporate Communication Advisor at Beykent University and took various roles in both management and social responsibility projects. Ms. Alper is recently working as Academy Director at WALD and carrying out several projects.
Chief Executive Officer, Knox City Council, Australia
Tony is an innovative senior executive with a background that includes executive leadership roles with one of Australia’s largest financial services companies, working in Australia and the United Kingdom, and more recently in Local Government. His finance experience has seen him work in partnership with large corporate businesses through to small enterprises, developing deep commercial acumen. This, overlaid with a strong commitment to community development, has meant his impact in Local Government has been significant, including developing community programs that not only transform community engagement and wellbeing, but also create economic security. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Economics and an MBA. A particular strength, skill and passion is building safe, engaging, inclusive and sustainable communities. A dedicated advocate for refugees and the benefits of immigration.
Deputy Mayor of Bağcılar Municipality, İstanbul, Turkey
Kenan Gültürk is a counselor of Bağcılar Municipality Mayor who was born in Sivas, in 1964. After completing secondery and high school in Istanbul, Mr.Gültürk graduated from Faculty of Theology and had a Master Degree on “ Educational Sociology” from Sakarya University Institute of Social Sciences. After working as a manager in private sector, Mr.Gültürk started to work as a teacher in the Ministry of National Education and worked in Trabzon and Sakarya provincial centers. In the beginning of 1997, he became a Deputy Manager in Istanbul Municipality in Provincial Directorate for National Education. In 25th October,1998, he was assigned to Directorate of Archives and in 3th October 1999, he assigned to the Directorate of Social and Touristic Facilities and continued his work in here until the end of 2005. In 2006, he was appointed as the Director of the Directorate of Culture and Social Affairs at Bağcılar Municipality. After the 2014 local elections, he served as Deputy Mayor. Mr.Gültürk is married and has one child.
National Project Coordinator, SKL International RESLOG-Turkey Project
M. Sinan Özden graduated from Middle East Technical University, Department of City and Regional Planning in 1995. He has a master degree from Sweden Blekinge Institute of Technology and degree of specialization from Israel Development Studies Center on Rural Region Development. Sinan took part in Southeast Anatolia Project (GAP) Regional Development Administration’s resettlement projects and coordinated GIZ’s projects and programmes in Turkey. In 2006, he joined İstanbul Metropolitan Planning Center’s (IMP) planners team preparing İstanbul Environmental Plans and worked on the interactions between İstanbul and Marmara Region. Sinan took an effective role in the preparation of Environmental Plans in Thrace Region. He played part in establishment of the Department of Environmental Management under Marmara Municipalities Union. Sinan developed methods to improve the participation of local governments within the context of Support to Local Governance Project (LAR-2) and worked with city councils. He worked with UMT on Local Diplomacy and Sister City relations. While working as the Key Expert at TULIP Project, Sinan developed ‘’Ermazon’’ training based on status simulation and role playing. Training was applied in cooperation with 13 governorship staff. Sinan developed Local Environmental Action Plan together with REC (Regional Environment Center). He prepared Aksaray Local Environmental Action Plan and provided support for Trabzon Local Environmental Action Plan preparation. Sinan worked as the Senior Expert in internationally and EU funded projects carried out by UNDP, GIZ (GTZ), KfW, SALAR, VNG, REC and provided consultancy to Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Environment and Urbanization and the municipalities. His focus started turning towards migration and development following the Syrian migration crisis when he became involved in ICMPD’s Support the Implementation of Development Sensitive Migration Policies (SIDEM) and the Project on Asylum Capacity Building in Turkey (ASCAP). M. Sinan Özden developed the Turkish component for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions’ (SALAR) Resilience of Local Governance in the Face of Migration (RESLOG) project, and is currently National Project Manager for RESLOG, which is being implemented with the Union of Municipalities of Turkey, Çukurova Municipalities Union and Marmara Municipalities Union.
Researcher in Anthropology
Şenay Özden is trained in sociology and cultural anthropology and her work focuses on migration and the impact of local governance structures and civil society actors on refugee communities. With a specialization in qualitative research methods, she has conducted extensive qualitative research on urban refugees in Syria, Turkey and Lebanon for the past 15 years. Between 2003-2009, she has conducted fieldwork on Palestinian refugee camp dynamics and Iraqi refugee communities in Syria. She has taught at various universities in Damascus and Istanbul. She has worked as a research-informed consultant for various national and international organizations and research companies. She is one of the founders of Hamisch Syrian Cultural Center in Istanbul. She is currently working on her book on narratives of state, uprising and displacement by Syrian women in Turkey and Lebanon.
Assistant Mayor of Pirot City, Serbia
Bojan Randjelovic was born on February 17, 1971 in Pirot. Prior to his involvement in local government, he worked at the Pirot General Hospital, and since June 2016 he has served as Assistant Mayor for non-business activities in the fields of health care, sports, religious communities, gender equality and tourism.
Since the end of 2016, he has cooperated with UN agencies: UNDP, WHO, IOM on coordinating the management challenges of the migrant crisis. The City of Pirot, together with the City of Vranje and the Municipality of Sid participated in the development of the Local Action Plan for Action in the Migrant Crisis, with a focus on the psycho-social and health management component of the migrant crisis. Bojan Randjelovic cooperates with IOM in front of the Pirot City Administration in solving communal problems in the Migrant Reception Center “Fourth kilometer” near Pirot.
Representative, Tomorrow’s Women Committee
Gayed Sened is a member Tomorrow’s Women Committee in Gaziantep. Tomorrow’s Women Committee, an independent initiative of Syrian Women living in Gaziantep, which has been active for 4 years, has been the representative of Syrian Women on refugee women’s rights and social cohesion. Due to the war occurred in her country, Ms. Sened sought asylum in Turkey 3.5 years ago, and therefore she could not finish her study in Psychology. During her presence in Turkey, Ms. Sened has experienced both Temporary Shelter and life in cities. Ms. Sened, mother of 3 children, is also conducting awareness-raising activities on refugee and women’s rights at Tomorrow’s Women Committee for the future of Syrian women and children. Ms. Sened aims to heal by touching the lives of other women and girls, not only for herself. Ms. Sened, aiming to be a strong woman, sees giving power to other women as one of her goals. Ms. Sened, the representative of the Tomorrow’s Women Committee, continues to work to ensure the voice of women in all areas.
Deputy Mayor of the City of Kyoto, Japan
Shoichiro Suzuki has been the Deputy Mayor of the City of Kyoto since April 1, 2019. Mr. Suzuki was born in 1972. He graduated from the University of Tokyo Faculty of Law in 1995. After graduation, Mr. Suzuki started working at the Ministry of Construction (now part of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism) and became First Secretary at the Embassy of Japan in Republic of Singapore (2005). Following these, Mr. Suzuki took various roles in the public service including the Director of the Tourism and Product Division at the Department of Commerce, Industry and Labor (2008), Director of the Public Relations Division at the General Affairs Department (2010) and Director of Real Estate Market Planning and Coordination, Land Economy and Construction Industries Bureau (2012). Besides, he also worked many years at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism as the Director of Urban Planning and Coordination, Urban Policy Division at the City Bureau (2012), Director of City and Regional Administration Policy Planning, General Affairs Division, City Bureau (2013), Director of Accounts Management, Budget and Accounts Division, Minister’s Secretariat (2014), Director of Public-Private-Partnership Policy Division, Policy Bureau (2016) and Director-General, City Planning Bureau, Kyoto City (2017).