IYA meets guests from Harvard University

12 05 2010

Istanbul Youth Assembly (IYA) meets the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs of Harvard University…

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Youth Assembly hosted the participants from Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (WCFIA), Harvard University. The participants were involved in ‘The Fellows Program’ of WCFIA and characteristically selected among high-profiled business professionals, diplomats, bureaucrat and so on. The fellows have begun their visit in Istanbul and were accompanied by the Boston Turkish Culture Center and the Office of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey.

The delegation has left Boston for Istanbul last week. On 9th of May, we have met with them and held a youth panel in the headquarters of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. The event was launched by a high level discussion on Turkish politics and the very hot topics of the international affairs such as Turkey’s accession to the European Union, the relations of Turkey with Iran, Turkey’s particular role in between the Middle East and Europe etc… from the vantage point of youth. Since the fellows were of a highly diversified origins, the panel has suddenly turned out to be an international multi-disciplinary brainstorming session. Then another presentation about ‘Istanbul: The European Capital of Culture, 2010′ was given out upon the request.

After ending the session, we walked through the way down to Süleymaniye Mosque. As IYA, we’ve hosted our guests in Darüzziyafe Restaurant for lunch and further deepened the ties and engaged in an enthusiastic interaction with the fellows. The main stream of the discussions has tapped into topics such as the daily issues, geo-political affairs, history, economics and so forth.

Close to the end of the program, we have shared our best wishes with the fellows and ended up with exchanging our contacts. A picture in memory of this warm meeting was also taken and the parties bid a farewell to each other. Everyone was smiling while we’re wandering around the shuttle and that was one of the most remarkable moment for all of us…

From up left: Sean Flannery, Yamazaki Kazuyuki, Mehmet Fatih Ekis, Bodo Liesenfeld, Yusuf Özhan, Kathleen Molony, Esra Özdil, Yao Yunzhu, Sevinç Özçelik
From down left: Zeyd Böhürler, İbrahim Sayar, Bünyamin Topuz,

Lei Huijan

İbrahim Sayar, President of Boston Turkish Culture Center.
Bodo Liesenfeld, Fellow. President and Partner, Liesenfeld International GmbH.
Kathleen Molony, Director, Fellows Program; Executive Committee.
Sean Flannery, Fellow. Co-founder, Harrison Fiduciary Group, and Senior Economic Advisor, Division of Global Health and Human Rights, Massachusetts General Hospital.
Yao Yunzhu, Fellow. Senior Colonel and Senior Research Fellow, Department of World Military Studies, Academy of Military Science, People’s Liberation Army, China.
Yamazaki Kazuyuki, Fellow. Diplomat, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Former Executive Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Tokyo, Japan.
Lei Huajian, CEO Bussinessman


IYA joined Alliance of Civilization Istanbul Conferences

26 04 2010

Jorge Fernando Branco de Sampai:

Sampaio was born in Lisbon on 18 September 1939. The Sampaio family lived abroad in the United States and the United Kingdom for some years, due to the professional activity of his father Arnaldo de Sampaio (1908 – 1984), a Medical Doctor. His mother was Fernanda Bensaúde Branco (1908 – Lisbon, 15 February 2000). His maternal grandmother Sara Bensliman Bensaúde, who died in 1976, was a of Sephardi Jew from Morocco of Portuguese origin, and his maternal grandfather Fernando Branco (1880 – 1940) was a Naval Officer of the Portuguese Navy and later the Foreign Minister of Portugal; Sampaio himself is agnostic, and does not consider himself a Jew.[1] He started his political career as college student of the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon. Jorge Sampaio was involved in the student contestation against the fascist regime and was leader of the Lisbon students union between 1960 and 1961. Following his graduation in 1961, Jorge Sampaio started a notable career as a lawyer, often involved in the defence of many political prisoners.

He married firstly a medical doctor named Karin Schmidt Dias, daughter of António Jorge Dias (Porto, 31 July 1907 – Lisbon, 5 February 1973) and wife German Margot Schmidt. The couple had no issue and later divorced. He married secondly Maria José Rodrigues Ritta (b. Lisbon, 19 December 1941), daughter of José António Ritta and wife Maria José Rodrigues Xavier and sister of Maria Ermelinda and José António, by whom he had two children: Vera Ritta de Sampaio (b. 1977) and André Ritta de Sampaio (b. 1981).

After the Carnation Revolution of 25 April 1974, Sampaio funded Movimento de Esquerda Socialista (MES) (Portuguese acronym for Socialist Left Movement) but abandoned the political project soon after. In 1978 he joined PS, the Socialist Party, where he remains to present day. His first election as a deputy for Lisbon in the Portuguese National Parliament is in 1979. Between this year and 1984, he was a member of the European Commission for Human Rights, where he developed important work on these topics. Between 1986 and 1987 he was president of the parliamentary bench of the Socialist Party. In 1989, he was elected president of this political group, an office he held until 1991. Also in 1989, Jorge Sampaio was elected the 62nd Mayor of Lisbon, charge he took in 1990, and re-elected in 1993, remaining in office until 1995.

In 1995, Jorge Sampaio announced his wish to run for the presidency of the Republic. He won the election of 14 January 1996 in the first round against Aníbal Cavaco Silva, the former prime-minister by then, and became president on 9 March. After a non-controversial first mandate, he was re-elected as President on 14 January 2001.

As President, Sampaio’s actions were focused on social and cultural affairs. In the international political scene, he oversaw the return of Macau to China in December 1999 and he also gave important publicity to the cause of East Timor‘s independence.

It is generally considered that Sampaio’s presidency were marked by a firm sense of prudence and moderation, an approach which earned him a remarkably uneventful first term in office. In 2004, however, his refusal to hold early elections following Social Democrat Prime Minister José Manuel Durão Barroso‘s resignation met with vigorous protest from all left-wing parties and even led to the stepping down of Socialist leader Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues. Sampaio made this decision to ensure political stability at a time when the country was facing economic recession, and he appointed Pedro Santana Lopes as Prime Minister. However, only four months afterwards, on 30 November, Sampaio concluded that the new cabinet was not achieving the desired stability, but quite the opposite, and he therefore dissolved the Parliament, calling new elections for February 2005.

On 24 February 2005, Sampaio called on José Sócrates, as the nation’s next prime minister, to form a government.

Sampaio’s successor was chosen in the Portuguese presidential election, 2006, that occurred on 22 January. Aníbal Cavaco Silva, the man he defeated in 1996, succeeded Sampaio on 9 March 2006.

Member of the Club of Madrid [2]. [2]

He is also a Member of the Portuguese Council of State, as a former elected President of Portugal.

In May 2006, Sampaio was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General as his first Special Envoy for the Global Plan to Stop Tuberculosis. In April 2007, current UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon designated him as High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations.

In 2008, he was awarded the North-South Prize of the Council of Europe.

German State of Hessen, Roland Koch, Prime Minister’s visit of Istanbul

22 11 2009

The Prime Minister of German State of Hessen Roland Koch visited Istanbul with his delegation. He met with the representatives of the civil society organizations and journalists.

During his visit of Istanbul, he was hosted by Fatih Mayor Mustafa Demir.

After a short interview made between Mr. Demir and Roland Koch, in Fatih Mayor Mustafa Demir’s room; guest Prime Minister Koch was hosted by IMM Youth Council President Muzaffer Demir. Afterwards they past Fatih Municipality VIP conference room in order to have a meeting named “Youth in the axis of Germany and Turkey” with Foreign Relations Committee members of IMM Youth Council.

After the presentation of IMM Youth Council members, Mr. Koch answered the questions of the members with a great pleasure. He focused on his teenage years and shared his very respectable experiences in order to constitute a bridge between two countries’ youth and youth organizations and for the future piece.

The meeting that was held in order to establish a strategic cooperation with Germany’s youth and IMM Youth Council was resulted with Prime Minister Roland Koch’s promise to entertain Youth Council members.

After the session, the Prime Minister Koch and his delegation turned back to the Armada Hotel in Cankurtaran for dinner.

Fatih Mayor Mustafa Demir and his wife Şule Demir hosted Roland Koch, his wife Anke Koch, the regional parliament, AK Party Istanbul Provincial Chairman Aziz Babuşcu, IMM Youth Council president Muzaffer Demir and many distinguished guests in the dinner.