“Smart Cities and Municipalities Congress and Exhibition” was held by the Union of Municipalities of Turkey (TBB), under the auspices of the Presidency, in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization and the Ministry of Industry and Technology, at the ATO Congresium on January 15-16, 2020.
The opening speeches of the congress, which aims to accelerate the transition to smart cities by bringing together managers and experts on the subject, were made by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Minister of Environment and Urbanization Murat Kurum, Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank and TBB and Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Fatma Şahin.
President Erdoğan: “We do not want to see our country as a technology dump.”
In his speech, President Erdoğan noted that municipalities have carried out important works related to smart cities and said, “We know that some of our municipalities have already taken steps towards both improving institutional capacity and actual practices regarding smart cities. With all these preparations, Turkey is among the world's leading countries in smart cities. Within the framework of the smart city concept, municipalities have a wide potential in front of them in areas such as infrastructure, security, energy, management, education and training, health, building and transportation. The common purpose of the applications in these areas is to provide more efficient and effective service at less cost.” used the phrases.
Stating that the more the quality of life of people can be increased and facilitated with smart city services, the higher the level of ownership of this job by the citizens, President Erdoğan stated that the way to the brand cities goals is through smart city solutions.
Stating that technology investments require a serious resource, Erdoğan said, “The important thing is to accurately determine the result to be obtained with the financial burden to be incurred for this work. If this balance can be established well, it can be obtained with the support of investors as well as the municipal budget. In fact, smart city applications are not all about the municipality.” said.
President Erdoğan pointed out that this subject will have a very wide application area considering the great transformation that the new generation technology infrastructure will cause in human life, and stated that it is critical that all smart solution applications to be implemented by municipalities, other institutions or the private sector are compatible with each other. Erdoğan continued his words as follows: “Otherwise, Turkey will turn into a technology dump. We do not want to see our country as a technology dump. For this, both our relevant ministries and institutions and our Union of Municipalities of Turkey should play a leading role. If necessary, we have to take all necessary measures to establish a compatible technology infrastructure, including providing a legal infrastructure for this business.”
Minister Varank's call to mayors to use domestic products.
Minister Varank stated that urbanization is one of the priority areas and that they are trying to create cities that put people in the center, have a high quality of life and produce value. Reminding that the municipalities in Turkey were inadequate against the wave of migration from rural to urban areas that started in the 1950s and brought along new problems and sociological changes, Varank drew attention to the fact that one of the most striking examples of this period is Istanbul. Minister Varank stated that the population of Istanbul was 8 million and the number of slums was 640 thousand in 1994, emphasizing that President Erdoğan found solutions to these issues when he was elected as the mayor of the metropolitan city.
Calling on the mayors to use domestic products, Varank said: “Thanks to the scale of public investments and purchases, we can actually achieve localization and nationalization in many areas. You can work together with our Ministry in industry cooperation projects on long-term planning and realization of investments with domestic products, and you can benefit from our technical consultancy at the highest level. Never allow practices that exclude domestic goods in the tender specifications prepared. The investments you make may be urgent, but this should never distract you from the supply of domestic goods. We should all accept locality and nationality as an indispensable principle for total development. If we can demonstrate this will, there will be no obstacles to realizing our success in defense in many areas.”
Reminding that the white table, integrated waste water treatment and sanitary storage processes, and smart transportation services were put forward during President Erdoğan's term as Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Minister of Environment and Urbanization Murat Kurum said that the "National Smart Cities Strategy and Action Plan" was prepared under the leadership of Erdoğan. underlined.
Minister Kurum: “We are developing smart city strategies unique to each city.”
The action plan is special for being the first in Turkey and fourth in the world after America, the Netherlands and Australia.