Working for a barrier-free city with the slogan "Everyone is Different, Everyone is Equal", İzmir Metropolitan Municipality's “Meeting”-themed activities, which bring together disabled and non-disabled individuals, started with the opening of İnciraltı Therapy Garden. Emphasizing the importance of İnciraltı Therapy Garden, Turkey's first horticultural therapy garden, İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer said, “Nature has a healing power. From this point of view, therapy gardens are being established in many parts of the world, and the number of large-scale parks where people can visit natural areas is increasing day by day. In the age we live in, we need the healing power of nature more than ever.”
Reinforcing the "Barrier-Free Izmir" goal of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer with the understanding of "Another Disability Policy is Possible", Izmir Metropolitan Municipality planned activities themed "Meeting" as part of the 10-16 May Disabled Week. Program; It started with the opening of the Therapy Garden, where the calming effect of nature and plants is used as a healing tool for the elderly, disabled and children.
Within the scope of Barrier-Free Spring Festival in İnciraltı Therapy Garden, various workshops and inclusive activities were held in aromatic plants workshop, barefoot track, therapeutic gardening areas, wood workshop, philosophy and fairy tale activity area, biophilic children's playgrounds where nature interacted, walking paths and sitting areas.
İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer and his wife Neptün Soyer, Gaziemir Mayor Halil Arda and his wife Deniz Arda, Engelsizmir Executive Board Chairman Assoc. Dr. Levent Köstem, İzmir City Council President Adnan Oğuz Akyarlı, Seferihisar Mayor İsmail Adult's wife Fatma Adult, Kemalpaşa Mayor Rıdvan Karakayalı's wife Lütfiye Karakayalı, İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Deputy Secretary General Ertuğrul Tugay, Şükran Nurlu, Barış Karcı, Özgür Ozan Yılmaz, Seferihisar Deputy Mayors Yelda Celiloğlu and Nuriye Hepterlikçi, bureaucrats of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, members of the Executive Board of Engelsizmir, disabled associations, non-governmental organizations, academics, headmen and citizens attended.
Soyer: “Nature has healing power”
Stating that the United Nations (UN) accepted May 10-16 as the “Week of the Disabled” to draw attention to the equal participation of disabled people in social life, Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer said, “Izmir Metropolitan Municipality organizes many events every year during this special week. raises awareness on this issue in our city. The Therapy Garden, which we opened today, is one of the most important works that brings us closer to this goal. While walking, thinking, running, sleeping… We are an inseparable part of nature in every second of our lives. Every breath we take, every bite we eat and every sip of water enables us to establish a physical connection between us and the whole of nature. However, we often forget these physical and unbreakable bonds. We forget the fact that we are a part of nature. It is a scientific fact that remembering the ties we have with nature and contacting other living things heals many ailments. Nature has a healing power. From this point of view, therapy gardens are being established in many parts of the world, and the number of large-scale parks where people can visit natural areas is increasing day by day.”
“Our therapy garden is 32 thousand 500 square meters”
Providing information about the Therapy Garden, President Soyer said, “Our Therapy Garden has a total area of 32 thousand 500 square meters. Here, we have established a campus designed for the use of our citizens with special needs and where social activities continue. There are different workshop areas and therapeutic gardens within this large campus. Horticulture area for children and adults, aromatic plants workshop, barefoot track, wood workshop, philosophy and fairy tale activity area, biophilia children's playgrounds where interaction with nature are a few of them. In our Therapy Garden, nature-based therapy programs and learning activities will be organized for our visitors of all ages, accompanied by experts.
“Effective and versatile”
Stating that Garden Therapy is carried out by therapists to achieve specific and proven treatment goals, Soyer said, “Here, gardening activities are planned and implemented according to the individual. Our practices here are effective and versatile as well as being low cost as a therapy method. Moreover, it appeals to all our citizens, except for individuals with special needs. The healing power of a well-planned horticultural therapy has been proven for many ailments. Alzheimer's, disabled or at risk individuals, substance addicts and psychiatric patients, and individuals with autism benefit from this therapy. In the age we live in, we need the healing power of nature more than ever.”
Köstem: “Turkey's first horticultural therapy garden”
The Chairman of the Executive Board of Engelsizizmir, Assoc. Dr. Levent Köstem said, “The most important feature of a city is that it is healthy. In healthy cities, these areas are recommended areas. Izmir Metropolitan Municipality also transformed this area into a Therapy Garden. This area will get much better over time. This is Turkey's first horticultural therapy garden. Izmir Metropolitan Municipality is the most competent institution in this regard. We've all studied this issue well. Scientific researches and workshops were conducted. Examples from abroad were examined and we had guests from abroad who had knowledge and experience on this subject. The important thing will be to try to present this area to people in a very different way with a sustainable project.”
After the opening, Mayor Soyer presented the awards of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Boccia and Table Tennis athletes. Presenting saplings to the trainers, President Soyer presented the Chairman of the Executive Board of Engelsizmir, Levent Köstem, with the Presidential Special Award. After the opening, Soyer and the accompanying delegation visited various workshops in the aromatic plants workshop, barefoot track, therapeutic gardening areas, wood workshop, philosophy and fairy tale activity area, biophilia children's playgrounds where nature interacts, walking paths and sitting areas.