Parallel Session 2.2 - Ensuring dignity: local authorities fostering access to basic services such as health and education
While failures to fulfil the need for basic services can be a source of tension at the local level, the response to the Syria crisis has shown how municipalities can foster new partnerships and mobilize international support to not only increase but also expand access to services for refugees.
This session discusses how local authorities respond to the need for expanding the basic services (e.g. health and education) to displaced populations, often in the face of lacking additional resources and the challenge of decreasing access quality for host communities.
This session is structured around the following questions: How have local authorities dealt with increased demand for health, education and other services from refugees and migrants? How did they adapt such services to the specific needs of displaced populations? What is the key to ensuring inclusive and quality health and education services? Which services are typically and/or particularly difficult for refugees and migrants to get meaningful access to? Where has the support from development and humanitarian response actors been most effective and what are the areas in need of improvement most?
Meryem Aslan has been the Oxfam Country Director in Turkey since 2013. She has more than 30 years of international experience working with United Nations and civil society organisations, in program coordination, policy design and management positions in a range of countries and fragile states in South and Central Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America.
President, INGEV Foundation
Graduated from METU – Department of Economics and after a short experience of advertising and banking, Vural Çakır took place in the foundation of Zet Research Company. After the merger with ACNielsen in 1993, he became the trading partner and the general manager of the company until the end of 2000. He founded KMG Marketing Services Group in 2001 and acted as president of this group until 2007. In 2007, a partnership was established with Ipsos which is the second largest research company of the world and which has also acquired Synovate in 2011.
He acted as the CEO of Ipsos Turkey and as the member of Ipsos Global Management Council until the end of 2015. After selling all his company shares to Ipsos, he pioneered the establishment of INGEV in order to work in civil society field. Substantially, he continues his works in the field of human development and supports innovative entrepreneurships. Having many articles published in various business magazines, Vural Çakır gave lectures at Bilgi University, Adschool Marketing Communications Master Programme between 2008 – 2013. Also, former president of Turkish Researchers’ Association (TÜAD), in the meantime, Vural Çakır is the author of two books named “Geleceğe Dokunuş” (Touching the Future) and “İş Hayatının – Okulda Öğretilmeyen – 21 Gizli Kuralı” (21 Secret Rules of Business Life – Not Taught at School)
Mayor of the Nicosia Turkish Municipality, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Mehmet Harmancı was born in 1977 in Nicosia and he graduated from the Turkish Maarif College. Harmancı completed the Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) International Relations Department. During his university education, he fulfilled active missions in EMU-KOB (EMU Cypriot Students Union). Harmancı completed his master’s degree in EU and Politics in Liverpool from the John Moores University. Harmancı has been actively involved in both Political groups and Civil Society Organizations moreover he has had vast experience with the private sector especially with regards to the management sector. He started his political life in the Social Liberation Party (TKP) where he undertook the responsibility of President of the Youth Section of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDH) and TKP. He worked as the General Director of a private tourism company between the years 2005 – 2008. In 2008 Harmancı was selected for the Young European Leaders programme by the US Embassy in Cyprus. Between June 2013 and September 2013 Harmancı served as the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture. Fulfilling Deputy Secretary General missions, Mehmet Harmancı was then elected as the Secretary General of the Social Democratic Party (TDP). He worked as the Project Manager for the UNDP funded ‘Engage-Do Your Part for Peace’ project for which he completed the required deliverables of the project on behalf of the Management Centre of the Mediterranean. He has also been heavily involved in multicultural environments both as an activist of peace and reconciliation and at an organizational level. Mehmet Harmancıwas elected as the Mayor of the Nicosia Turkish Municipality in the elections which took place in June 2014 and he was re-elected in 2018 as the Mayor of Nicosia Turkish Municipality. He is married and has one child.
Mayor of Sisli, Istanbul, Turkey
Muammer Keskin was born in 1954 in Ardahan. He completed his primary and secondary education in Ardahan. Mr.Keskin came to Istanbul for his university education and graduated from the Department of Social Studies at Atatürk Education Institute. After his military service, he worked as a teacher for 3 years. Mr.Keskin started to work at the Directorate of Science Affairs in 1972 during the Mayor of Fahri Atabay. Between 1974-1978, he worked with Istanbul Mayor Ahmet İsvan at the Istanbul Side Asphalt Branch. In the next two years, Mr.Keskin served as Sisli Branch Manager under the CHP Mayor Aytekin Kotil. District President. In 1985, he played an active role in the establishment of the Association of Financial Advisors. Mr. Keskin contributed to the publication of the Social Democratic Change Magazine in the 1990s. Between 1998 and 2006, he was a member of the board of directors of Istanbul Chamber of Independent Accountant and Financial Advisors. Mr.Keskin also has served as the General Secretary of Social, Economic and Political Research Foundation of Turkey (TUSES). He has actively worked in many civil society platforms such as Şişli Democracy Assembly, Özgür Şişli and Özgür İstanbul Platform. Mr.Keskin, who continues to serve civil society as a member of the Board of Directors of the Turkish Oncology Foundation, is married to Hülya Keskin and has two children, Derya and Volkan.
Ex-Mayor of Peshawar City District Government, Pakistan
Asim Khan has done master’s in business administration from University of Peshawar in 2005. Before joining politics, he started as an entrepreneur and his business experience includes publishing, agriculture, distribution & real estate. He was elected as Mayor of Peshawar in 2014 local government elections. He was the CEO of Mass transit system for the city. He also remained the focal person for mega projects in City District Government of Peshawar. He served as member of different provincial government boards. He is a very active member of the ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and served on several party positions. He was also the Provincial President of Mayors of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. As Peshawar holds the record of hosting the refugees for the longest time and still has a big number of refugees, he played a major role in integrating and facilitating the refugees in the city of Peshawar.
Mayor of Şahinbey Municipality, Gaziantep, Turkey
Mehmet Tahmazoğlu was born in 1959 in Şahinbey, Gaziantep. Mr. Tahmazoğlu studied in Şehreküstü Ahmet Çelebi Primary School and Atatürk High School in Gaziantep. He graduated from Erzurum Atatürk University Faculty of Management in 1982 and acquired two master’s in Management at Gaziantep University Faculty of Social Sciences and in Political Science and International Relations at Hasan Kalyoncu University Faculty of Social Sciences. Mr. Tahmazoğlu who completed his military service as reserve officer between 1983 and 1984 started his professional career as certified accountant in 1984. After having involved in trade, he continued working as certified accountant. Mr. Tahmazoğlu who have taken place in various civil society organizations in different roles between 1984 and 2009. He started his political career as Member of Justice and Development Party’s (JDP) Founding Executive Board in Gaziantep. After having worked as Deputy Head of JDP’s Gaziantep Office and Head of Political and Legal Affairs, in 2007, Mr. Tahmazoğu became a candidate for parliament from JDP at the 8th place. He was elected as the Mayor of Şahinbey Municipality in 2009 and re-elected in 2014 and 2019 consecutively. Mr. Tahmazoğlu has also been Member of Executive Committee of Union of Turkish World Municipalities since 2014. He is married and father of seven children.