The "Kemeraltı Days" organized by the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality for the promotion and development of the historical Kemeraltı Bazaar, the heart of Izmir, started with enthusiasm. The activities that started in Konak Square continued with the cortege in the historical bazaar. Saying that Kemeraltı is not only a shopping center but also the lifeblood of culture, art and gastronomy, and the heart of İzmir, Mayor Soyer said, “The tourism potential that Kemeraltı will create will be the lever of tourism for all İzmir.”
The "Kemeraltı Days", which was organized with the aim of reviving Kemeraltı, whose preparations for the candidacy process for the UNESCO World Heritage List are ongoing, started with enthusiasm. Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, Aegean Young Businessmen Association (EGİAD), Kemeraltı Tradesmen and Craftsmen Association and TARKEM, the event will contribute to the promotion of Kemeraltı culture and the development of trade volume. The event will last for two days.
The Kemeraltı Days, which started with a feast in Konak Square, were opened by the Republican People's Party İzmir deputies Kani Beko and Tacettin Bayır, Mayor of Ödemiş Mehmet Eriş, Advisor to the President of İzmir Chamber of Commerce Mine Güneş Kaya, President of Kemeraltı Tradesmen and Craftsmen Association Semih Girgin, representatives of non-governmental organizations. , muhtars, artists and many Izmir residents attended.
“İzmir cannot be satisfied with 1 million tourists”
Making the opening speech of Kemeraltı Days, İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer stated that Kemeraltı is the heart of İzmir and said, “Kemeraltı is İzmir's largest and oldest shopping mall. But despite this title, it does not get the value it deserves. This is not acceptable. Kemeraltı deserves much more with its Kadifekalesi and Agora, extraordinary taste stops and shopping opportunities. I was in Athens yesterday. It has a neighborhood called Plaka, which is similar to Kemeraltı. Just above it, there is a historical ruin called the Acropolis. The Acropolis receives 10 thousand visitors a day. Athens, with a population of approximately 700 – 800 thousand, receives 6 million tourists a year. Izmir cannot be satisfied with 1 million tourists. Kemeraltı is about 10 times the size of Plaka. It has a much wider area, a much richer ancient culture. Therefore, he deserves much more.”
“We do not want to give artificial respiration to the heart of İzmir”
President Soyer underlined that they do not want to give CPR to Izmir's heart and said, “We want Izmir's heart to flow with enthusiasm and beat with enthusiasm. That's why today we want to bring together the art, culture and gastronomy of Kemeraltı with the people of İzmir. This is the purpose of this festival. Kemeraltı is not just a shopping center. It is the lifeblood of culture, art and gastronomy. It is the heart of Izmir. We will continue to work hard to do this. We have a long way to go, but I believe we will get very good results. The tourism potential that Kemeraltı will create will be the lever of tourism for all of İzmir. We will achieve much more together," he said.
“Kemeraltı is the school where we learned the first trade”
EGİAD Chairman of the Board of Directors Alp Avni Yelkenbiçer, to increase the attractiveness and reputation of Kemeraltı, which has an important place in the history of İzmir with its commercial, cultural and social values. EGİAD He said they will do whatever it takes. Yelkenbiçer said, “This historical region, which starts from Konak Square, where the first bullet was fired in the Liberation War, and extends to Kadifekale, is a school where many of us spent our childhood and maybe we learned our first trade with our elders. Kemeraltı is a great value not only for İzmir, but also for world trade and cultural history with its cultural heritage. With the strength we derive from our members, we will continue to fulfill our responsibility in any work to be done for the region, especially for its inclusion in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. We will follow up on all the activities carried out," he said.
“Kemeraltı deserves UNESCO Historical Heritage”
TARKEM General Manager Sergenç İneler said, “We tell everyone that Kemeraltı is the center of İzmir and has many stories and riches in it. But today we are experiencing something else. We will continue to tell the artisans, visitors and citizens how much Kemeraltı deserves the title of UNESCO Historical Heritage. This area, where Kemeraltı, Kadifekale and Agora triangles are candidates for UNESCO Historical Heritage, is very important for TARKEM. With the restoration and works carried out in this area, this area has been brought back to İzmir. kazanWe continue to work to get it. Perhaps most importantly, you can make a restoration, an improvement, but it is useless when you cannot integrate it with the public. In this sense, Kemeraltı Days is of great importance.”
After the opening speeches, the Kemeraltı cortege started from Konak Square and toured the historical bazaar in a fair atmosphere. Kemeraltı shopkeepers and visitors accompanied the cortege, which was the scene of colorful scenes accompanied by a band, with applause.
Terra Madre Anatolia explained
After the cortege, the guests attended the Terra Madre Anatolian Talk, the first meeting of the Kemeraltı Days at L'agora Han. During the talk, information about Terra Madre Anadolu İzmir 2, which will be held in İzmir for the first time outside of Italy, between September 9-2022, was given and the importance of food safety was discussed.
Moments full of music
As part of the two-day Kemeraltı Days, concerts, talks, competitions, activities for children, dance performances, workshops, free photo shoots with the greenbox photography studio and many more events will be held in all Kemeraltı streets, especially Konak Square, Balıkçiler Square, Küçük Karaosmanoğlu Han and Portugal Synagogue. will fill. Evrim Ateşler, Sedat Yüce, Aydok Moralıoğlu, Funda Öncü, Sinan Efe Aksoy, Dj Müslüm Ergün and İzmir Metropolitan Municipality City Orchestra will provide the audience with musical moments in different areas.