Sister City Initiative is a kind citizen diplomacy network that creates and strengthens partnerships between communities in the United States and those in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, particularly through the establishment of “sister cities”. The initiative “strives to build global cooperation at the municipal level, promote cultural understanding and stimulate economic development”. Furthermore, this is a people-to-people, and citizen diplomacy initiative.
Sister City relationships begin for a variety of reasons. Generally sister city partnerships share similar demographics and town size. Partnerships may arise from business connections, travel, similar industries, diaspora communities, or shared history. For example, Houston, TX and Baku, Azerbaijan’s partnership arose from shared industries in energy.
The sister city initiatives in the states where the Turquoise Council of Americans and Eurasians is functioning are:
- Houston, TX – Istanbul, Turkey
- Houston, TX – Baku, Azerbaijan
- Austin, TX – Antalya, Turkey
- Albuquerque, NM – Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
- Baton Rouge, LA – Malatya, Turkey
- Jackson, MS – Kahraman Maras, Turkey
- North Little Rock, AR – Samsun, Turkey
- Santa Fe, NM – Nevsehir, Turkey
- Santa Fe, NM – Bukhara, Uzbekistan
- Seattle, WA — Tashkent, Uzbekistan