Europe needs Turkey in its future .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ISTANBUL - Paris Mayor Bertrand Delano‘ was in Istanbul last weekend for a meeting of the United Cities and Local Governments, or UCLG.

Before the UCLG meeting a reception was held in the French Palace. Stating that the world is going through big economic crises Delano‘, who is also the President of UCLG, said he knows the perils of the results. According to him the establishments around the world should cooperate to come through the crises.

Born in Tunisia, Delano‘ has been involved in politics since the age of 23. "I have been to Istanbul before but not after I was elected as mayor," said Delano‘. "Istanbul is a living city and it is also a symbolic place."

Stating that Istanbul has hosted artists, scientists and intellectuals all through its history, he said the city is also a coordinating point.

Pointing out the French and Turks were in the palace together, he said this picture should set a pace for humanity. "It would be a better future for everyone if the problems are empathized and shared," said Delano‘. He said Europe needs Turkey in its future. Stating that political parties on the left and right may use this as a political tool, he said his opinion is that Turkey and France should collaborate.

Delano‘ said he would do his best to support the "Turkish Season in France" in 2009, which will be a year for promoting Turkey with various artistic and cultural activities.

With continuous communication and ongoing projects between Turkey’s French high schools and universities with those in France, the Paris mayor said the cultural cooperation would help further relations between the two countries.