19 November 2008 : Asian Mayors Forum

Speech of H.E. Prof. Dr. Mahmud Erol KILIC PUIC Secretary General at the First Asian Mayors Forum in Tehran November 19-20 2008.

H.E. Dr. Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf,
Honourable Mayor of Tehran,
Dear Participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen, 

    At the outset I would like to thank Dr. Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf for his kind invitation. As we all know the city of Tehran is situated on the East -West Silk Road which means that it is occupying middle position between East and West.

Being a capital city, Tehran reminds me of a famous Turkish author who says that  “ If a city became a capital in its history, it will remain forever as a capital.” Like every created being it has a spirit and a culture that remains forever.  I hope that this kind of meeting will pay more attention to this nature of cities, i .e. the cultural and spiritual aspects of cities beside their economic and physical presence.

          I remember when I was a high school student, we read the statement of the great philosopher Aristotle that the maximum population of a city ought to be kept at the level  of 2000 inhabitants. More than this level necessitates the establishment of another city some where. The time of Aristotle is now long past and we have gigantic metropolitan cities all over the world . The metropolitan cities of today keep expanding beyond any limits with their huge towers and skyscrapers, This situation, of course, is apt to have its effect on the psychology of human beings.

There is an Arabic proverb that says, “ Sharafol makan be sharafel makin “. This means that the dignity of a place is derived from the dignity of its inhabitants. So, the limit of human presence in such cities must be preserved and respected in every way.

          I was born in Istanbul. I lived in the European part of the city but my university job took me to the Asian part. So everyday I was commuting on an inter-city or inter-town basis but in an intercontinental journey. In the world there are many cities that are divided by rivers or gulfs, such as Isfahan and Cairo. This physical division of cities brings to you the idea of multiplicity in unity in this world. We have to preserve these differences in the context of one spirit and one idea.

          I believe that for  a better and peaceful world, in general, we  need in the first place , to respect human life and dignity as well as respect to nature. We need spiritual tranquillity as well as developed technology.

          Working hand in hand, parliaments and municipalities can develop ideas and enact relevant and necessary legislations to protect the environment. For this high goal, I wish that this meeting will strengthen ties among municipalities.

          While thanking you once again , I hope that this forum, which is hosted by the city of Tehran, will achieve its goals in order to pave the way for further cooperation and unity between all the peoples of the world.

Prof. Dr. Mahmud Erol KILIC
Secretary General
Tehran 19 November 2008

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