Morgan Hill recently added a fifth Sister City - Seferihisar, Turkey - to its international municipal family for the first time, establishing an ongoing relationship with an Eastern European community.
The Morgan Hill Sister Cities Association worked for several months with residents and officials of the City of Seferihisar, according to a press release from the Sister Cities Association.
Morgan Hill’s “Ambassador of Good Will,” Bernie Mulligan, traveled to Seferihisar in October, and met with the city’s mayor, Tunc Soyer. They spent a couple hours discussing the similarities between the two communities and their mutual desire to form a relationship.
Seferihisar is a coastal city in Turkey’s Izmir province, according to the Sister Cities Association. It faces the Aegean sea, and its Mediterranean climate is similar to that of Morgan Hill. It has a population of about 44,000.
Common interests persist in the economics and societies of the two cities as well, including environmental concerns, slow and orderly growth practices, and the desire for conservation of resources.
The area around Seferihisar is also known for its archeological sites, and its agricultural production including olives, vegetables, wine vineyards and greenhouse flower production, the Sister Cities’ press release said.
Mulligan and other Morgan Hill residents are planning a trip to Seferihisar in June to solidify the new Sister City relationship.
Morgan Hill has four other Sister Cities. They are San Martin, Mexico; Mizuho, Japan; Headford, Ireland; and San Casciano, Italy.
The purpose of the Sister Cities program is to “promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation - one individual, one community at a time,” according to the Morgan Hill association’s Facebook page.
Morgan Hill Mayor Steve Tate said adding a new region of the world to the Sister Cities program reflects the desire to reach out to diverse cultures.
“To be truly reflective of the diversity of the world, you’ve got to try to incorporate all areas,” Tate said. “And it will be interesting to learn what they have in common with us.”