Mersin Metropolitan Mayor Vahap Seçer was the guest of the Evening News, which was broadcast live on Habertürk screens and presented by journalist Ceren Bektaş Atuk. Answering Atuk's questions, President Seçer made evaluations about the projects they have implemented in Mersin since the day they took office. Explaining that they are in the construction phase of the metro project, Seçer said, “This is the largest local government investment in Mersin history.”
“We have a lot of work to do, a long way to go”
Ceren Bektaş Atuk's, “What has changed in Mersin in 2,5 years?” Answering the question, President Seçer stated that they have done important services since the day they took office and said, “A lot has been done. But this does not mean that Mersin is full of service. Of course, we still have a lot of work to do and a long way to go.”
“Social municipality; this is our main duty”
Mayor Seçer reminded that 11 Metropolitan Mayors of CHP come together and make evaluations frequently, and said that they took a break from large investments during the pandemic period and emphasized social services. Stating that they received good feedback from the citizens with the services they provided, President Seçer said, “When people are hungry, experiencing economic difficulties, suffering, traumatized; A mayor cannot think of a road, pavement or any other concrete investment. This is not the point of view of the Republican People's Party Municipalities. Social municipality; To touch people, to relieve their pain, to be together in their happiness, to share their difficulties, this is our main duty. We did that very well. The returns we get from the street, the happiness that people share with us; We can see them,” he said.
“We have created a Migration Desk within the municipality”
President Seçer said that after the events that started in Syria in 2011, Mersin also received intense immigration, and as a result, 1 thousand immigrants were added to Mersin's population, which was at the level of 868 million 400 thousand. President Seçer continued as follows:
“The laws have determined all your opportunities and incomes according to 1 million 868 thousand, but the number of citizens you serve is 400 thousand more than this. In other words, you have to serve approximately 25% more population. Let's start with the economic trauma of the event. Of course, we also face important social problems, but I am the mayor of the city. As in every other issue, we have to find solutions beyond complaints. For example, we have created a Migration Desk within the municipality. We cooperate with many international organizations such as the United Nations Organization for Migration, the High Commissioner for Refugees or the German GIZ. Under the coordination of Iller Bank, we are pushing infrastructure loans and opportunities within the scope of FRIT II so that we can overcome this economic trauma. If you say 'how much is enough', of course it is not enough. Sadly, 50% of it is unregistered. There are about 220 Syrians in Mersin, which you keep under your registered control, but there are also nearly as many unregistered. People who do not know where and how they live. There are additional burdens they place on the city, from education to health. Under these conditions, of course, this business is unsustainable.”
“Women add energy to the city”
Explaining the projects they have developed to enable women to participate in economic life, President Seçer said that women from many regions of Turkey live in Mersin. President Seçer said, “Each of them has a different culture, a different way of life. These women add energy to the city. These women want to work and produce. We have already established the Department of Women and Family Services. To show how much we care about this issue. On the other hand, Mersinden Women's Cooperative; I would like you to follow it. They carry out very important and valuable projects for women's participation in economic life and for revealing the hidden workforce at home. We also support. We cooperate with other institutions and international organizations," he said. President Seçer emphasized that they have increased the employment rate of women at all levels.
Seçer talked about their support for agriculture and animal husbandry.
President Seçer stated that they are continuing important projects to increase the agriculture and livestock potential of Mersin and talked about the "Come on, Let's Support Our Village Project" and the "Earnings Project" that they have implemented to support animal breeders. Seçer said, “If the country will win by producing, if it will develop by producing; people will work, produce, they will turn into economic value. This will be reflected in prosperity, education and health will increase, that prosperity will add value to every aspect of life, raise it and Turkey will develop. I think the function of local governments is very big here," he said.
“Mersin, which hosts 120 thousand tourists today, could host 15 million tourists a year like Antalya”
Evaluating the tourism potential of Mersin, Mayor Seçer stated that Mersin is similar to Antalya in terms of nature and hosts valuable places in terms of faith tourism. However, Seçer underlined that no incentives were made to Mersin as a priority region in tourism in the past years, and said, “If it had been considered as a priority region in tourism like Antalya and had been in Mersin within the scope of the incentive, Mersin, which hosts 120 thousand tourists today, could host 15 million tourists a year like Antalya. Our coasts are also very beautiful. It's great historically. You see the symbols of the three monotheistic religions there, but we are not where we want to be,” he said.
“Metro is a very important value for Mersin to become a brand city”
President Seçer also gave information about the process of Mersin Metro, which they will implement as one of their vision projects, and said, “We have reached the construction phase. We are currently waiting for some signatures from Ankara. Because we went in search of finance, the tender was made, the construction will begin. We need to fund this. I hope; These signatures come out from Ankara and the relevant ministries in a short time and reach us. We start the subway. This is the largest local government investment in Mersin's history. There has never been such a big investment in its history. I think it applies to Adana as well. Because when you look at its monetary value, the project is very important, very valuable. Having a metro is a very important value for Mersin to become a brand city," he said.