Copyright for World Hands The Santa Monica Sister Cities Association invites Bodrum to join the family 

Los Angeles is a sprawling metropolis comprised of an eclectic mix of smaller communities each with their own vibe and draw.

One of the best known beachside communities in LA, is Santa Monica, which hugs the Pacific coastline between Malibu Beach to the north and Venice Beach to the south.

US Flag Turkish Flag Friendship pin

Santa Monica’s mayor, Pam O’Conner recently sent an official invitation to Bodrum’s Mayor Mehmet Kocadon, inviting Bodrum to become it’s sister. Although the official response to the Santa Monica Sister Cities Association agreement is still pending, according to a vice consul from Turkey, Bodrum is ready to join the family.

O’Conner’s letter included the impetus behind the invitation:

“Santa Monica and Bodrum share many similarities: their coastal locations, diverse communities, active lifestyles, and artful and innovative atmospheres that inspire curiosity in the form of visitors from around the world.”

Sister Cities International Logo Blue BackgroundCitizen Diplomacy

The US sister city associations are all part of Sister Cities International which was created at President Eisenhower’s 1956 White House conference to promote “citizen diplomacy”. The intent was to develop a grass roots organization that could create bonds between people from different cities around the world, with a mission to:

promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation – one individual, one community at a time, creating relationships based on cultural, educational, information and trade exchanges.

copyright Red BackgroundRoving Jay the Diplomat

How’s that for a coincidence! My two adopted homes becoming sister cities!

Little did I know that when I created my Bodrum Peninsula Travel Guide website a couple of years ago, that I was actually delivering against Eisenhower’s diplomacy mission.

Back in 2008 when Bodrum joined my family circle, I spent hours trawling the web to find out as much about the area as possible for my own edification and fascination.

There was scant information available, and on each visit to the area, I zig-zagged across the Peninsula gathering insights and recommendations.

Initially I set up my website to create order from the chaos of the local snippets of information I’d gathered, and I was the site’s most frequent visitor.

But two years later, my 500 posts across 80+ categories attracts an every growing global readership, so much so, I was compelled to write a book about the area. The Bodrum Peninsula Travel Guide: Turkey’s Aegean Gem was published in May, and is just one more vehicle to share the charms of Bodrum Town with a wider audience.

Through my interest and fascination with Bodrum, I’ve made some amazing connections with expats; frequent visitors to the area; and local businesses, and I hope to expand on these relationships by fostering a closer involvement with the Santa Moncia Sister Cities Association and their partnership with Bodrum. My goal is to use my local knowledge of both locations to help strengthen the bonds between my two adopted cities. I sense exciting times ahead.


Here’s a couple of Facebook pages set up to start the sisterhood: