Turkey has 208 sister cities in 93 countries from different regions from Europe to Africa as a result of the “sister city Project” launched by the Presidency of Religious Affairs through its provincial and district mufti offices to meet various needs of citizens.
In order to meet various needs of citizens in Turkic Republics and in countries with Turkish and Muslim communities, the Presidency of Religious Affairs had developed a practice called “bond of brotherhood” after the collapse of the Soviet bloc in the early 1990s. It later became “Sister City Project” which was launched in 2006.
Under the project, mufti offices matched up provinces and districts with better economic status than others with cities from other countries.
Provinces and districts in Turkey have been matched up with 208 cities in 93 countries under the project which aims to improve the sentiment of brotherhood and opportunities of cooperation between Muslim communities, help preserve the current historic and cultural places and create new places of worship and educational institutions, help Muslim communities preserve their religious and national identity, and provide opportunities to mutually exchange experience and knowledge on an international level.
70 provinces and 168 districts in Turkey have sister cities in the Balkans, Caucasia, the Baltic states, Asia, America, and Africa.
Istanbul’s districts has the most sister cities with 37, followed by Ankara and Bursa with 11, Konya with 10, and İzmir with 9.
Çankaya district in Ankara has become sister cities with Djibouti City, Amasya’s Merzifon district has become sister cities with Dakar in Senegal, Malatya has become sister cities with Minsk, Belarus, and Diyarbakır’s Yenişehir district has become sister cities with Bostswana.