DPI Online Roundtable Meeting, ‘Current Situation in Turkey: The Role of Local Government Leaders in Responding to COVID-19 & their Post-Pandemic Strategy’ with Ayhan Bilgen, co-Mayor of Kars, 17 August 2020

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On 17 August, DPI held an online roundtable meeting entitled ‘Current Situation in Turkey: The Role of Local Government Leaders in Responding to COVID-19 & their Post-Pandemic Strategy’. This was the second of a series of online meetings with municipality leaders from different political parties and regions of Turkey to discuss the current situation in light of COVID-19. The first roundtable meeting hosted Fatma Şahin, Mayor of Gaziantep from AK Party, who discussed the situation in the Gaziantep Province. This second meeting hosted Ayhan Bilgen, co-Mayor of the Municipality of Kars from The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). During the meeting, Ayhan Bilgen discussed the measures taken by the municipality to address the political, economic, and social impacts of COVID-19 on Kars. The speaker highlighted the role of the local administration and civil society in strengthening democratisation and conflict resolution during the discussion session with participants. This meeting brought together a diverse group of participants from Turkey, including academics, journalists, lawyers, politicians, representatives from civil society, members of Wise Persons Committee (WPC), as well as DPI’s Council of Expert and Board members. The RT forms part of a larger series of activities planned in the context of the project: “Supporting inclusive dialogue at a challenging time in Turkey”, supported by the EU and the Norwegian government.