The Mayor of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, Tunç Soyer, attended the decision conference of the historic port city of Izmir, whose preparations for the process of nomination to the UNESCO World Heritage List are still in progress Classes. Soyer said, “The historic port city of Izmir will be registered as the third UNESCO World Heritage Site of Izmir, after Ephesus and Bergama, on the occasion of the centenary of our Republic. We will live this pride together,” he said.
With the support of many Izmir institutions, especially Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, Izmir Governor’s Office, Konak Municipality, Izmir Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism, Development Agency of Izmir and TARKEM, the ongoing efforts for the inclusion of the historic port city of Izmir in the UNESCO World Heritage List have been accelerated. Mayor of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, Tunç Soyer, attended the decision conference at the historic coal and gas plant for the area of the historic port city of Izmir, where the preparations for the management plan of the area are nearing completion and the drafting of the Candidature File is progressing rapidly. In his speech at the meeting, President Tunç Soyer said, “I am proud and happy to have reached a very important milestone in realizing a 15-year dream together with our most valuable stakeholders. The historic port city of Izmir will be registered as the third UNESCO World Heritage Site of Izmir, after Ephesus and Bergama, on the occasion of the centenary of our Republic. We will live this pride together,” he said. Following the study, the issues discussed by the participants will be compiled by the site management and the site management plan will be finalized.
Izmir Deputy Governor İsmail Çorumluoğlu, Provincial Director of Culture and Tourism Murat Karacanta, Konak Mayor Abdül Batur, TARKEM General Manager Sergenç İneler, Traders Association Chairman Tatihi Kemeraltı Semih Girgin, Chairman of Izmir Historic Port Area Abdülaziz Ediz and bureaucrats took part in the decision meeting.
“The Metropolitan Municipality provides all kinds of financial and administrative support”
Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer said that the historic port city of Izmir, which includes the historic bazaar of Kemeraltı, Basmane, Kadifekale and its surroundings, and the mounds of Old Smyrna, Yeşilova and of Yassıtepe, entered the tentative list of UNESCO in 2020. Emphasizing that the work for the preparation of the UNESCO World Heritage nomination file and the site management plan has been accelerated in accordance with the protocol signed between the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and TARKEM, Mayor Tunç Soyer continued his remarks as follows: still provide. Our culture of collaboration in Izmir is behind the faster progress of the process compared to other candidate areas. This partnership is just as valuable as the work we do.
“Kemeraltı will be the lever of Izmir”
Stating that they aim to complete the site management plan studies soon after the decision conference, Mayor Soyer said: “Our goal is to present the application file to our governor and our ministry in September 2022, a year ahead of schedule. I firmly believe that our Ministry of Culture and Tourism will transmit our file to UNESCO as soon as possible, in February 2023. We all have important responsibilities on the way to becoming a World Heritage Site. We have something to say: Kemeraltı will be the lever of Izmir. I believe that the historic port city of Izmir will be listed as the third UNESCO World Heritage Site of Izmir, after Ephesus and Bergama, on the occasion of the centenary of our Republic. We will live this pride together,” he said.
“Izmir as a whole is a legacy for the world”
Stating that there are many cultural and natural heritages in Izmir, especially Kemeraltı, which has accumulated deep-rooted heritage throughout its 8-year history, Mayor Soyer said, “Therefore, Izmir is a heritage for the world as a whole. It is a unique geography that has shaped world civilizations. It is our primary duty to bring the cultural heritage of this geography to life and to understand this heritage. Our Izmir Metropolitan Municipality is trying to complete the process of making Kemeraltı a UNESCO World Heritage Site with such vision and sense of responsibility. To our Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Governor’s Office, Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism, Konak, for their contributions to these valuable studies in our city, the municipalities of Bayraklı and Bornova, the Development Agency of ‘Izmir, TARKEM, all valuable scholars, experts, professional chambers, non-governmental organizations, leaders and my valuable teammates from the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality.
“We do what we have to do”
İzmir Deputy Governor İsmail Çorumluoğlu said he was very happy to be part of such a project and said, “We are slowly coming to the end of the process which started on May 5, 2020. As as governor, we are involved in everything that we have to do, we do what we have to do, ”he said.
Stating that in-depth studies are underway, Izmir Historic Port Area Chairman Abdülaziz Ediz said the process is progressing by organizing field visits, traders’ meetings, academic studies and workshops.
TARKEM General Manager Sergenç İneler also thanked those who contributed to the work done in his speech.
Work was carried out under 6 themes during the conference.
During the conference, participants were informed about the UNESCO application process. In the conference where the participants examined the values of the area and then worked under 6 themes, the heritage elements of the area, its social and economic structure, land use planning, the management structure, the risks it contains and the actions determined for visitor management have been evaluated and the order of these actions has been determined.
How did the process start?
Historic Port City of Izmir In April 2020, the support of the Governorate of Izmir and the Izmir Development Agency, the work of TARKEM and our association of the city of Izmir, and the Chamber of Commerce of Izmir, Aegean Region Chamber of Industry, Izmir Commodity Exchange, Chamber of Shipping, Associations of Aegean Exporters, Izmir Traders It has been included in the World Heritage Tentative List of UNESCO with contributions from the Chamber of Craftsmen and the Chamber of Commerce. Within the theme “Historical Port City of Izmir”, the fact that Izmir has been an uninterrupted settlement since the Neolithic period, architectural structures belonging to various periods important to its characteristic as a port city are located together, the area has an important geographical and strategic location, multilevel Various characteristics such as having a cultural texture, traces of different cultures, being an important settlement in terms of land and sea trade have been noted.
The studies for the preparation of the management plan and the application file, necessary for the inscription of the work on the UNESCO World Heritage List, were carried out with the protocol signed on May 5, 2020 between the General Management Cultural Heritage and Museums of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and TARKEM. The boundaries and connection points of the management area of the historic port city of Izmir were determined as a result of the studies carried out by the Ministry, taking into account the opinions of the institutions and organizations communicated. The management area of Kemeraltı, Basmane, Kadifekale and its surroundings, Yeşilova, Yassıtepe, Smyrna-Bayraklı Their mounds have been defined as “anchor points”.
What studies have been done in the last year?
Since March 2021, when the Site Presidency was institutionalized, a total of 7 experts have been appointed by Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, Konak Municipality, Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism, Monitoring Directorate and investment coordination of Izmir Governorate and Izmir Development Agency to work on the Management Plan and Candidature File. TARKEM also employed 4 full-time experts. An Advisory Board and a Coordinating and Oversight Board have been created.
The analysis of the current situation, which is the first stage of the site management plan, has been completed and the studies of the second and third stages are continuing. In this context, a very comprehensive study was carried out on different topics, including data collection, face-to-face interviews, SWOT workshop, focus group meeting and survey application.
Institutionalization studies are also underway as Izmir Historic Port City Area Presidency and Izmir Metropolitan Municipality UNESCO Communication and Coordination Office. In addition to the employees of the Presidency of the zone, two different training programs with wide participation were organized so that the representatives of the institutions in the field are informed and develop their expertise within the framework of the management plan and the application. at UNESCO. Informative exchanges are carried out in order to carry out the site management process in a participatory and multi-stakeholder manner. Many field trips were organized in order to make the site known by the Site Presidency team and to have a good understanding of the history and current situation of the site, in this context, many buildings and streets were examined as well as the historical heritage in the area. Athens, Thessaloniki, Bursa, the ancient city of Ephesus and the multi-layered cultural landscape area of Bergama, which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List, were visited.