The group of municipal officials from Tutin, Serbia, led by Mayor of Tutin Semsudin Kucevic and comprising Vice Mayor Esad Holic and representative Mevludin Skrijelj, paid a visit to the Marmara Municipalities Union (MMU) on 10th October 2016 in Istanbul, and received a warm welcome by MMU Vice President and Mayor of Bağcılar Lokman Çağırıcı and Secretary General Cemil Arslan.

During this goodwill visit to Turkish counterparts,  Mayor of Tutin Semsudin Kucevic talked about the the difficulties they have in Serbia, namely they were in constant struggle with providing even basic municipal services referring to the fact that they have the second largest diaspora after Palestinian one and that lacking of state support. 

“We, as Turkish people, have always set our hearts on the Balkans, rather than fixing our eyes on those lands. We see communities in the Balkans as entrusted to us from the Ottoman Empire”, MMU Vice President and Mayor of Bağcılar Lokman Çağırıcı said to express his support.

Visually describing their problems with the video they have prepared, the Tutin delegation made a presentation about the hospital, the town hall and sports hall of which they wish to complete construction and provision of equipments. “More importantly, I think, on the ground, we need to look at how we carry out solidarity and cooperation between communities from Turkey and Balkans,” Mayor Kucevic addressed, and continued his words, saying “Tutin is a town and municipality in the Raška region of Serbia. Most of Tutin’s population are Bosnian Muslims (98%) while one third of the municipality’s population is urban. Uterine cancer is very common among women. Our women have to go to a hospital 100 km away to give birth. We completed construction of hospital but it needs necessary equipments: diagnostic center, MR scanner and mammography. We've also built a municipal building of which rough construction is completed, but again we need support to complete its fine construction works. Once accomplished, third floor of town hall will be reserved for TRT. What we request from you is not cash, rather it is a volunteer company that can conduct all needed works as well as the donors who may supply required equipments. Importantly, we would like to weigh the concerns of supplying our children with a sports hall, our another major project for 5 thousands children living within boundaries of Tutin and that we still haven't been able to complete for 15 years. I promise name of donor be given to this sports hall who will contribute to finish it.”

Mayor Çağırıcı said all these requests touched his heart and suggested Mayor Kucevic to have a folder prepared including all these projects to be submitted to the President of the Marmara Municipalities Union and Mayor of Bursa Metropolitan Recep Altepe.

The meeting ended with expressions of goodwill and hope for the future.

After meeting in Marmara Municipalities Union, Tutin delegation visited Gaziosmanpaşa Municipality, a district of Istanbul and sister town of Tutin, where Mayor of Gaziosmanpaşa Hasan Tahsin Usta welcomed Mayor of Tutin Semsudin Kucevic in the ceremony of traditional distribution of ashura.

Photo Gallery