Kocaeli Municipality Mayor Ibrahim Karaosmanoglu—Municipality Mayor is equivalent to a Governor in the United States. In order to deepen the diplomatic bonds between Turkey an the United States formed in the 18th century both very successful states of Kocaeli Municipality and the State of Maryland have decided to form a Sister City Initiative. This initiative promotes cultural, social, business programs and/or activities of mutual interest between the immensely significant states.
Due to the efforts of Mid-Atlantic Federation of Turkic American Associations (MAFTAA) and its member organization Maryland Turkish-American Inhabitants (MARTI) Intercultural Study Trips to Turkey were organized for MD state legislatures, during which several meetings were set up for Sister City opportunities. After due consideration, State of Maryland and Kocaeli Province jointly came to an understanding to initiate a mutually beneficial partnership. In May of 2010 a Turkey Intercultural Study Trip, which included Secretary of State John P. McDonough along with MD legislatures representing Governor O’Malley and the State of MD visited Mayor Karaosmanoglu’s office in the Municipality of Kocaeli for the Sister City Initiative Ceremony. The initiative stated that both parties will collaborate and support future Business, Cultural and Social programs and opportunities to intensify the bonds. Delegations of local officials, academicians and businessmen from both parties have traveled to Maryland and Kocaeli for various opportunities to enhance and progress the friendship bonds.
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On March 27th, 2012 Mayor Karaosmanoglu along with his Delegation came to Annapolis to meet with Governor O’Malley and took part in the sister city ceremony during the Annual Turkish-American Legislative Reception organized by MAFTAA and its member, MARTI. Both regions pinned point their commonalities, what they aim to do for the future and how they can collaborate. Both States desire to contribute to the development of future generations with these friendship bonds, which will promote business relations but also link the people and the culture, thus, promote diverse cultural understanding. This partnership focuses on promoting trade, advancing cross-cultural understanding and exchanging ideas to construct firm relations between the State of Maryland and Kecioren Municipality.
Chair, Maryland – Kocaeli Sister State Committee
1109 Ingleside Avenue
Gwynn Oak MD 21207
750 First Street NE Suite #1125
Washington, DC 20002
Vice chair of Kocaeli Sister States Committee