Toward Good Governance in Pendik Pendik Local Development Platform 21 April 2005, Sabanci University.
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Toward Good Governance in Pendik Pendik Local Development Platform 21 April 2005, Sabanci University
As is known, the new legislation on the restructuring of local governments in Turkey, the so-called public reform, holds municipalities responsible for the development of the town economically, socially, and culturally, in addition to provision of infrastructural services and routine municipality-related activities.
Historical Background of Local Administration System in Turkey In Turkey, until very recently, due to the tradition of highly centralized government inherited from the Ottoman Empire, the fate of a region or a city was very much linked to the central power, and there was a lack of authority on the part of local governments to make strategic plans or generate revenues.
Historical Background of Local Administration System in Turkey “planning has been viewed as a technical issue requiring specialized training and expertise, rather than a dialogue involving the public about which values should be advanced in the city development”
Historical Background of Local Administration System in Turkey Today, it is openly acknowledged that coping with the problems of urbanization, which include housing, the environment, transportation, economic development, community integration, and poverty, requires a thorough change in the way local governments are structured and urban politics are conducted.
Basic Dimensions of Local Government Reform Articles 14 and 15 of the Municipality Act allows public administration bodies to develop stakeholder relations with private sector and non-governmental organizations. Local administrations are given incentives to take action on local issues and allocate land either free of charge or at a low price, and with the authorization of the Ministry of the Interior, to projects that aim to improve health, education, social service, and tourism related services.
Basic Dimensions of Local Government Reform Moreover, the Article 41 of the Act gives the local governments with a population above 50,000 the duty of preparing a strategic plan by taking into consideration the views of – if applicable – universities, vocational chambers, and relevant non governmental organizations, and putting it into effect after it is ratified by the municipal assembly. In this context, the municipalities in Turkey are in the process of preparing the first generation of strategic plans for their localities.
Pendik Local Development Initiative With a current population of nearly 400,000 (SIS, 2000), Pendik is a relatively peripheral sub-province of Metropolitan Istanbul, with good land and sea transport connections and a newly built airport nearby. With the basic aim of contributing to Pendik’s multi-faceted development process, Pendik Municipality founded the ‘Pendik Local Development Platform’ with the participation of numerous stakeholders from different backgrounds, under the coordination of the Research Planning and Coordination (APK) Directorate.
Pendik Local Development Initiative An example of the multi-stakeholder spirit of this pilot project is Pendik Municipality’s collaboration with Sabanci University, located in the area. Joint efforts that began during the Local Development Platform’s formation process in the form of discussion meetings in 2003, were transformed into a formal partnership at the beginning of 2005. Within the context of this partnership, Sabanci University has undertaken the responsibility of providing support to the Pendik Local Development Platform on the topics of Research, Development, Guidance, Training and Organization for a full year.
Pendik Local Development Project The Pendik Local Development Platform comprises regional parliamentarians, and representatives of various institutions such as the municipality, central administration, universities, professional associations (Istanbul Chamber of Industry [ISO], Istanbul Chamber of Commerce [ITO], Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association [TUSIAD], Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey [TOBB], Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association [MUSIAD], Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises [KOBI], and Tradesmen’s Chambers), industry representatives, commercial representatives, and representatives of non-governmental organizations.
Pendik Local Development Project The long-term activity areas of the Platform have been delineated as follows: Assessment of the Current Situation in Pendik and the Surrounding Area Determination of Pendik’s Mission, Vision, and Principles Preparation of the Pendik Strategic Plan Training of Target Groups Inter-Stakeholder Communication Activities for the Promotion of the Strategic Plan Providing Information to the Public and the Media.
Pendik Local Development Platform The Platform has undertaken the below activities up to the present: –Assembly Meetings –Executive Board Meetings –Sub-Committee Meetings : Human Resources Development Committee Entrepreneurship Committee Foreign Affairs Committee
Educational Activities Training on Effective Job Interviews and CV Writing EU and Local Governments Informative Seminars #1: “Local Governments and Local Development in the European Union Process” #2: “The EU Project Format in Municipal Applications” Improving Exports Program Entrepreneurship Seminars
Joint Organizations Symposium on “The Role of Municipalities in Local Development”, 2004 –a one-day international symposium was organized and the discussions that followed were gathered in a publication (See Pendik Municipality Cultural Publications, #21). –High level of Turkish participants attended the symposium, and faculty members from Spain, Italy, Britain and France shared with the audience examples of local governance, as well as their knowledge and experience on the issue.