Istanbul has been announced as the first “OIC Youth Capital” with the initiative of Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation (ICYF-DC). The programme will be implemented in partnership among ICYF-DC, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Turkey.
The launching ceremony of “Istanbul – OIC Youth Capital” programme was held in the historical Beyaz Kosk, Emirgan Korusu on 23 June, 2015. The guests composed of diplomatic missions of OIC and non-OIC countries accredited in Istanbul, heads and representatives of international organizations, academicians, representatives of youth institutions besides local and international media were welcomed by the flag ceremony of youth from 56 OIC countries.
Ambassador Elshad Iskandarov, the President of ICYF-DC gave the opening speech of the event highlighting the significance of Istanbul in terms of the Islamic world. “For the geography to have a solid future, investment of youth is compulsory. OIC Youth Capital is an important part of OIC’s youth strategy which is also contributed by “ICYF-DC’s 10 Goals in 10 Years – Istanbul Youth Declaration” said Iskandarov while calling all parties and stakeholders to contribute in the project for an effective implementation.
Mr. Vasip Sahin, the Governor of Istanbul honoured the ceremony as the key-note speaker and underlined the importance of Istanbul in terms of historical and geo-political position to shelter the youth of Islamic world adding that it is the time for unity and integration of the Islamic World and youth’s role in promoting peace and welfare is indispensable.
The ceremony was also honored by Mr. Metin Yılmaz, the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Turkey who also declared full sport of the ministry to “Istanbul – OIC Youth Capital” project in which a variety of events, contests, conferences and workshops will be implemented all year long.
At the end of the ceremony, Ambassador Iskandarov presented their plaques to the Governor, Vice Mayor and Deputy Minister expressing the thankfulness of youth to their hosting protocols. Furthermore, Mr. Ahmet Selamet, the Vice Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality presented the symbolic” key to Istanbul” to the representatives of OIC youth.
After the family photo was taken as the memory of the day, the guests were hosted in Iftar Dinner given to the honor of the launching of the “Istanbul – OIC Youth Capital” programme.