With the cooperation of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality and Balıkesir Metropolitan Municipality, the Ida-Madra Mountains join the world geoparks network with the help of UNESCO. Mayor of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Tunç Soyer and Balıkesir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Yücel Yılmaz introduced the Ida-Madra Geopark Project, which will ensure economic development by preserving nature and create great opportunities in the Kozak Plateau, as well as in Balıkesir, Çanakkale and Bergama regions. Minister Tunç Soyer“With this project, our people will be more proud of where they live and they will be satisfied where they were born,” he said.
Mayor of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Tunç SoyerIn line with the vision of living in harmony with nature, efforts are underway to protect the rare beauties of Bergama's Kozak Plateau, famous for its stone pine, and to ensure economic development. A cooperation was made with Balıkesir Metropolitan Municipality for the Ida-Madra Geopark Project, which included Kozak Plateau as the last. The process has been started for the İda-Madra Geopark, which covers parts of Balıkesir, Bergama and Çanakkale, to be registered by UNESCO and included in the global geopark area. The Ida-Madra Geopark Project was introduced with a ceremony held in Bergama Kozak Plateau today.
İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor attended the introductory meeting held at the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality RURITAGE İzmir Coordination Center, which was established in Kozak Yukarıbey Village for the development of the area three years ago. Tunç SoyerIn addition to Balıkesir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Yücel Yılmaz, CHP İzmir Deputy Kamil Okyay Sındır, Bergama Mayor Hakan Koştu, Dikili Mayor Adil Kırgöz, Sındırgı Mayor Ekrem Yavaş, political party representatives, council members, headmen, academics, cooperative presidents and Many people from Bergama attended.
After the promotional film of Ida-Madra Geopark was shown at the ceremony, Ida-Madra Geopark Coordinator Prof. Dr. Recep Efe gave information about the project process.
“Global conservation network that keeps us alive with tourism and rural development projects”
Mayor of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Tunç Soyer started his speech by stating that the main duty of the local administrator is to protect the natural and cultural heritage of the city he serves. Minister Tunç Soyer“Our two metropolitan municipalities, with such a sense of responsibility, have jointly worked independently of each other in their respective service areas. I am proud to carry out the works related to the protection, promotion and transformation of this region as a geopark together with our Balıkesir Municipality. Geoparks is a global protection network that keeps unique place heritages that are rarely seen in the world alive through tourism and rural development projects. The Ida-Madra Geopark aims to protect the earth's heritage in our region and introduce it to the world, and to increase the economic income level of the local people. Our Izmir Metropolitan Municipality carried out its efforts to create a geopark in this area with the RURITAGE Project supported under the European Union's HORIZON 2020 Program. With this project, many steps were taken to turn Bergama Kozak Plateau into a rural tourism destination. In addition to the protection of the geological heritage, many activities were carried out on the development of the accommodation infrastructure, the marketing of ethno-botanical and local products.
“Cooperatives that have come to the point of closure are back in service”
President Soyer said, “Within the scope of the Mera İzmir Project, which we opened a year ago and carried out by the İzmir Agriculture Development Center, we started to buy the milk produced by 4 thousand 658 shepherds, which we determined throughout İzmir, for approximately twice the market value. Although we aspire to one-tenth of the ovine milk produced in Izmir, we have regulated the price of all of it. Sheep Goat Breeders' Association announced the figure given by the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality as the base price. We created an added value of approximately 20 million TL with cheese made from purchased milk. Thus, we brought ovine milk, which has a very important place in the fight against drought and poverty, to the economy of İzmir. We have restarted domestic and national agriculture. Thanks to the added value we have achieved, we have provided employment to hundreds of young people. I would like to state that we are always ready to share these experiences with Balıkesir, one of the most important centers of ovine breeding in Turkey, within the scope of our Ida-Madra Project.”
“Our people will be more proud of where they live”
Stating that the seeds planted by dozens of experts and municipal teams are reaping the fruits of their own, Mayor Soyer said, “Today, we are excited about the participation of the Ida-Madra mountains into the world geoparks network by UNESCO. I know very well that this point we have reached creates great opportunities for the formation of a rural economy in harmony with nature in these mountains. We are proud and excited to develop and implement these opportunities together with Balıkesir Metropolitan Municipality. I believe that with this project, our people living in the region will be more proud of the places they live in, they will protect the earthly heritage of this place, and moreover, they will be satisfied where they were born.”
“This place is entrusted to the nomads”
Balıkesir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Yücel Yılmaz noted that they are promoting a beautiful project as a result of a great cooperation and pointed to the nature-friendly nature of the Yoruk culture. Yılmaz said that they saw the difference between Anatolian culture and western culture better while working on the geopark project. It's a brutal attack on nature. He only builds places that represent places of worship and the state by putting stones on top of each other. He does the rest with natural materials. It's a culture, it's a way of life. The way to be at peace with nature. For years, we thought of this as carelessness, not forcing, not paying attention to details, and lack of art. Nomads never betray nature. This place is entrusted to the nomads,” he said.
“Don't worry, Ida-Madra is in good hands”
Referring to the historical and natural beauties of Kozak Plateau, Yılmaz said, “We will continue to work together with our Bronze President to introduce this unique nature and historical sites to the world. We will ensure the development of the region. Nobody should worry. From now on, Id-Madra is in safe hands under the umbrella of UNESCO.”
“As the people of Bergama, we will protect Kozak and Madra”
Bergama Mayor Hakan Koştu said that Bergama is not only one of the most exceptional cities of Izmir, but also of Turkey and the world. Explaining their efforts to bring the history to light in Bergama, which has been the capital of many civilizations and where the eyes of the world are on, Koştu said, “Kozak Plateau is one of the most precious regions of Bergama. Pine nuts have been infertile for twelve years. Kozak has such a feature. Kozak Plateau started rural tourism. Kozaklı residents welcome outsiders in their homes. The Ida-Madra Geopark Project will crown these. This project is economically very important. With this project, we see how to protect the environment and nature. As the people of Bergama, we will protect our city, our region, our Kozak, our Madra.”
“A dream come true today”
Bergama Environment Platform SözcüSü Erol Engel said, “Today, one of our dreams is coming true. Over the years, Kozak has given so much to Madra. It fed thousands of people with its water, oxygen and produce. But we have been so cruel. We got into trouble about how we can turn the features that make Madra into money and destroy them. This geopark is a beauty bestowed upon us by nature millions of years ago. It's time to keep this beauty alive. Glad we had the courage to turn from someone wrong. Together, we will take care of Kozak and Madra,” he said.
“We will create a livelihood with our own manual labor”
Headman of Yukarıbey Neighborhood Yusuf Doğan said, “We believe that our region will develop with the İda-Madre Geopark, that we can market our products and create a livelihood with our own handiwork. In addition, the Kozak Natural Life Village Project of our Izmir Metropolitan Municipality will be the locomotive in the marketing of our products.”
Ida–Madra Geopark tour
After the ceremony, President Soyer and the participants toured the exhibition stands of cultural heritage works and gastronomic products. After the tour of the booth, the Presidents explored the Ida-Madra Geopark, which impresses with its unique nature. Hisarköy Observation Terrace and Great Madra Rock were visited. At the last stop, the Atatürk Rock Monument, which is identified with its unique story in the region, was visited.
Passed UNESCO inspection on June 23
The work prepared with Balıkesir Metropolitan Municipality for the efforts to establish a geopark for the protection and promotion of the area covering Bergama, Balıkesir and Çanakkale was approved in the November 2020 assemblies of İzmir Metropolitan Municipality and Balıkesir Metropolitan Municipality and the UNESCO process started. On June 23, 2022, UNESCO inspection was carried out in the area. The process for the area to be registered by UNESCO and included in the Global Geopark networks continues.
The unique natural heritage will be both protected and developed
In line with Mayor Soyer's vision of “Another Agriculture is Possible”, local producers were supported to market their own brands for the development of Kozak, which is famous for its peanut pine and sheep and goat breeding. Izmir Metropolitan Municipality carried out the RURITAGE Project within the scope of the European Union's HORIZON 2020 Program for geopark creation in the region. Within the scope of the project, many cultural and natural riches, especially the determination of place heritage values in the region, the development of tourism accommodation infrastructure in Bergama Kozak Plateau, medicinal aromatic plant cultivation and basket knitting courses, ethnobotanical activities were investigated in detail. With the Ida-Madra Geopark, it is aimed to protect the natural earth heritage of the region and promote it to the whole world, and to increase the economic income level of the local people by developing regional tourism through this natural heritage.
Günceleme: 23/07/2022 21:15