In terms of our co-operation agreement, this means a cultural exchange, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille said in a speech prepared for delivery in the Izmir metro municipality. File picture: Henk Kruger/Cape Argus

Cape Town - The City of Cape Town and the Turkish city of Izmir signed a co-operation agreement on Tuesday.

“In terms of our co-operation agreement, this means a cultural exchange,” Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille said in a speech prepared for delivery in the Izmir metro municipality.

“It means learning from best practice from each other. And it means the exchange of business contacts and investment possibilities.”

Cape Town was looking at new and unexplored tourist markets, including the Islamic market.

She said the use of the red fez (hat) and hijab in Cape Town could be attributed to the arrival of Turkish sheik Abu Bakr Effendi. He opened the first Hanafi Mosque in Cape Town and was buried in a cemetery on Signal Hill.

De Lille said the cities were alike in many other ways. Both wanted to be seen as distinct places of business and attract people from the traditional centres of Johannesburg and Istanbul.

She invited Izmir mayor Aziz Kocaoglu to Cape Town and said his citizens would always be considered distinguished guests.

Sapa