Ankara and Damascus signed a protocol on Tuesday to become sister cities.
Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek and Governor of Damascus Bishr Al-Sabban gave a news conference following the signing ceremony.
Gokcek said this was a historic day for Ankara and noted that Damascus, the biggest city of Syria, was an important center for the Turkish and Islamic world. He said Damascus affected the whole world with its architectural structure.
Gokcek said many historical buildings constructed in the period of the Ottoman Empire was a sample of common history and historical heritage. "We decided to announce Ankara and Damascus as sister cities to boost fraternity ties and cooperation opportunities among the people of Turkey and Syria," he said.
"Sister city protocol will optimize relations of Ankara with Damascus," Gokcek said.
Bishr Al-Sabban said relations between Turkey and Syria should be example to the other countries, noting that the local administrations were endeavoring to improve relations.
Al-Sabban said Turkey and Syria had similar problems with respect to urban services, "Ankara has overcome some problems. We want to make use of Ankara's experiences."
Al-Sabban said there were many real estates in Damascus belonging to Turkish citizens and that they were carrying out works on the matter.