Houmt Souk / TUNISIA
Bodrum Municipality & Houmt Souk Municipality of Djerba Island, Tunisia
Sister City Relations
Before the development of bilateral relations with the motivation of "Sister City" between Turgutreis Municipality and Houmt Souk Municipality of Djerba Island, Tunisia, many mutual visits were made. With the support of relatives living in Tunisia and Bodrum, who are also descendants of Turgut Reis, concrete steps have been taken with the support of "Ankara Turkish-Tunisian Friendship Association", "Tunisia - Turgut Reis Footprints Association" and "Turkish-Tunisian Friendship Association" officials to formalize the existing historical and cultural ties of the two cities in the context of "Sister City" relations through mutual visits and correspondence. The first "Turgut Reis and Turkish Maritime History" Symposium was held on May 27-28, 2011 by Turgutreis Municipality and many valuable guests from Houmt Souk, where the influence of Ottoman Admiral Turgut Reis is significant, also participated in the event.
From 2012 onwards, positive communication has been established between Bodrum Municipality and Djerba/Houmt Souk Municipality in order to become "Sister Cities" with the valuable contributions and visits of "Ankara Turkish-Tunisian Friendship Association", "Tunisia-Turgut Reis Footprints Association" and "Turkish-Tunisian Friendship Association" officials. It was reported that the "Sister City Protocol" signed between Turgutreis Municipality and Houmt Souk Municipality is of great importance for Bodrum Municipality as well. In the future, it was conveyed that Bodrum Municipality's "the Directorate of Media & Public Relations" was assigned to carry out the bilateral relations and fulfill the responsibilities of the "Sister City Protocol" without interruption, as the "Sister City Relationship" has become official. As a result, many mutual visits have taken place between the two cities.
A delegation representing Bodrum visited the municipality of Houmt Souk on the island of Djerba, Tunisia. The delegation including the Turkish-Tunisian Friendship Association's representative for Bodrum, the representative for Bodrum-Houmt Souk municipal relations, a French-Turkish translator and a photographer named Ömer Doğan. During their visit from June 21-24, 2015, the delegation was welcomed in Bodrum by the Houmt Souk municipal delegation. They strengthened bilateral relations through a cultural and historical tour program, aimed at strengthening the bonds between the "sister cities." During the visit, they were joined by the Tunisian Consul General in Istanbul, Neyla Chala CHEBAANE, the Tunisian Republic's Ambassador, Mohamed Salah TEKAYA, and the representative for the Turkish-Tunisian Friendship Association in Bodrum, Tarık Eray ÇAKIR. The mayor of Houmt Souk, Nader KHMİLİ, was invited to the commemorative event for Turgut Reis, which will be held in Bodrum Turgutreis in 2017.
The letter from the Ministry of Interior and Local Development of the Tunisian Republic to the Mayor of Turgutreis, Bodrum, sent by Special Delegation Chairman Sami Ben Tahar, resulted in a visit to Djerba/Houmt Souk municipality between April 14-18, 2013. The Sister City agreement, which was sent by Turgutreis municipality to Djerba Houmt Souk municipality on December 13, 2013, was approved by the Djerba/Houmt Souk municipality council on January 23, 2014, after some revisions were made. After the council's approval, Djerba/Houmt Souk municipality invited the Bodrum Municipality to sign the Sister City Memorandum on February 18-20, 2014. The Turgutreis municipal council applied to become a "Sister City" with Djerba Island's Houmt Souk municipality on May 8, 2013, and the Turkish Ministry of Interior's approval was granted on September 16, 2013. The efforts to become a Sister City between Bodrum's Turgutreis municipality and Djerba Island's Houmt Souk municipality were closely monitored and supported by Bodrum municipality. The Sister City Memorandum between Turgutreis and Djerba/Houmt Souk municipalities was signed on March 10, 2014. On August 27, 2014, the Mayor of Bodrum sent a letter to Houmt Souk municipality's Special Delegation Chairman Sami Ben TAHAR, informing them that due to changes made in the Law and Decree-Laws by the Turkish Ministry of Interior, the ten district municipalities in Bodrum were merging into one municipality, and the legal entity of Turgutreis municipality had ceased to exist.