Mayor of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Tunç Soyermet with representatives of the city's local press organizations. President Soyer answered all questions from members of the press, from new projects to the city's pending problems, from tourism to agriculture. Expressing that urban transformation will leave its mark on İzmir in the new year in his 2022 messages, Mayor Soyer announced that the problem of the building and Basmane pit emptied by the Hilton Hotel will be resolved, that they have made the first application for the EXPO 2030 candidacy, and that they will launch an aid campaign for the citizens who are having a hard time in the deepening economic crisis.
Mayor of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Tunç Soyermet with representatives of the local press in the last days of 2021. Held at the Historical Coal Gas Factory sohbet Izmir Metropolitan Municipality General Secretary Dr. Buğra Gökçe and İzmir Metropolitan Municipality bureaucrats attended. Mayor Soyer made important statements regarding the future of the Çeşme Project coordinated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the İnciraltı region whose planning process was carried out by the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Air Conditioning, the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality main service building damaged in the 30 October earthquake, the building emptied by the Hilton Hotel and the Basmane pit. made. Answering the questions of members of the press on urban transformation, Mayor Soyer announced that they will implement a brand new model in urban transformation in 2022.
The end of the Hilton node has come to an end
President Soyer gave information about the building, which was evacuated after being used as a hotel for many years and has been idle for a while, and said, “A negotiation process has been going on for a long time regarding the building. As Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, we have a 22,5 percent stake. Based on the strength of this stock, we are trying to overcome the congestion there. For now, I can say that we are nearing the end. We will complete this process in 2022,” he said.
“We will solve the Basmane Pit in 2022”
Making statements about the land in Basmane, which has been on the agenda of the city for years and whose construction works have stopped due to legal reasons, Mayor Soyer said, “We went 4 times. Many meetings were held with our SDIF President in Istanbul. I think that this place is a boil for İzmir, a great loss and shame. I can't digest it. As a person living in this city, I am ashamed of this, we are doing whatever it takes to solve it. We will finish this in 2022, we will save this city from this shame," he said.
“We do not accept the developments that will harm the nature of the city”
Responding to questions about the Çeşme and İnciraltı projects, Chairman Soyer said:
“The government and all state institutions know how sensitive we are to these two issues. They know that we listen to every project that comes before us without prejudice. Mr. Minister came to Izmir several times. We listened to the projects related to Çeşme and conveyed our concerns. There are no completed projects as of today. There is nothing ahead of us. We have expressed our sensitivities regarding them, and we will continue to do so. We have always expressed it since the day we took office. We said that our main duty is to protect the nature of this city. We will continue to say this. We are ready for every project that will increase the income level of people in this city. But we do not accept the developments that will harm the nature of this city. Development without democracy is also possible, but we think that development with democracy would be more correct, and a development in harmony with nature would be more correct.”
We are working towards the target of four and a half million tourists
Mentioning the tourism targets of İzmir at the meeting, Mayor Soyer said, “We have a concrete goal. In two years, we want to host four, four and a half million tourists, as much as Izmir's population, in Izmir. We have a lot of work to do with this. In April, we are launching the Mytilene flights. The first cruise ship will arrive in Izmir on 3 May. Our intention is that we aim for 3 cruise ships to enter Izmir per week. We will make the direct Izmir launch in January. We are working with airline companies to determine new destinations and start direct flights. We aim to reach this target of 4 million tourists by the end of 2022. After that, our goals are bigger,” he said. President Soyer stated that they want to create a city that looks not only from the land to the sea, but also from the sea to the land. Bayraklı We want to bring the beaches into the bay. We received the Blue Flag for the first time in Güzelbahçe, in the gulf. We will continue this,” he said.
“We start with Russia”
Saying that they have done many studies on both congress and health tourism, Soyer said, “We are working on health tourism, especially with Russia, on three topics; hair transplant, eye and tooth. We are negotiating with both social security institutions and private travel agencies on these three topics. Then we will continue similar studies with western countries. As of January 1, there is the Euphoria Hotel in Sığacık Teos, it will serve as a clinic spa. Our goal is to bring together guests who will receive health services from abroad with such a tourism potential, and to ensure that health services are fulfilled completely. We aim to expand this in many hotels in Izmir. We are building bridges. İzmir is a very strong city of healthy living with its climate, soil and geography. That's how we can tell the world. We think that this identity is an identity that sticks to İzmir. We continue on our way to develop and grow.”
“Our main target is the 2030 EXPO”
Answering questions about EXPO, President Soyer stated that cities compete now and gave information about their work abroad. Soyer said, “We are trying to build a future based on Izmir's glorious past in the competition between cities.” Stating that they brought 2026 EXPO İzmir to the city, Soyer said that they expect support from the President for the 2030 EXPO and said, “We made the first application, the application needs to be submitted again with the support of the President. We will not give up on this. EXPO 2026 Izmir is a thematic EXPO. Our main goal is 2030. “We will do whatever it takes to host it,” he said.
“The service building will not be a large building in its place”
Answering the question about the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Service Building, which became unusable after the Izmir Earthquake, Soyer said, “We are demolishing the building. We have lost a very long time. An application was made to the Board of Monuments regarding the cessation of demolition. Afterwards, an application was made to the supreme board. We waited for these processes. The process is complete. We will demolish it at the beginning of 2022. We formed a committee on what to do there. We will act with the decision of the board. But there probably won't be a big building there," he said.
“We are the only municipality in Turkey that allocates 42 percent of its budget to investment”
President Soyer, who also gave information about the rail system investments carried out in İzmir, said, “As of now, the Narlıdere Metro has been completed at a rate of 85 percent. We created an external financing of 490 million Eruo for the Buca Metro. In the coming days, we will deliver the site and lay the groundwork. It will begin as a funded work. We continue to work on the Karabağlar - Gaziemir line and the Otogar - Kemalpaşa metro line. All of these works will be a study that will provide a more comfortable transportation in İzmir. Currently, we are the only municipality in Turkey that allocates 42 percent of its budget to investment. We are proud of this,” he said.
“Current Animal Protection Law is not sustainable”
Answering questions about the street animals issue, which has been on the agenda of Turkey recently, Soyer said, “I am proud of our nation on this issue. The sensitivity of our nation on stray animals is very important. They brag that they don't have stray animals in the west. I don't see it as a source of pride. They form cities by destroying them, tearing them apart from life. We, on the other hand, approach with compassion and love because stray animals are a part of our lives. This is something very precious. We have a law. This is a bit of a copy paste legislation. The law says that a street animal living on the street is taken by the authority of the municipality, if it is in need of care, if it is sick, it is treated and returned to the place where it was taken. Because if it has an owner, it will find it there. We do not have such a thing. This law needs to be rearranged according to the sensitivities of this nation and conscience. This is not sustainable. We are building a new facility with a capacity of 500 animals in Gökdere. We will open in February at the latest. We are making a protocol with the Chamber of Veterinarians, it will come to our parliament in January. We are making 400 clinics in İzmir the center of the municipality. These clinics will ensure that the animals are sterilized. Thus, we will have grown to 400 outpatient clinics. We think that the long-term solution to these stray animals will be neutering.”
“We must abandon this policy now”
Saying that the language of politics should change, President Soyer said:
“I am tired of marginalization and polarization. It has no end, no destination. Always bad places, we don't want to go there anymore. I'm sick of complaining about it, I don't want to complain. I'm worried about what can I do to fix this. Maybe something to start with changing the language. We have to take care of our language. We should stay away from words that will hurt and hurt each other. This is a very sensitive thing. We're trying to do politics with a smile. We are all trying to do good for this nation and country. This policy must be abandoned now. We will do whatever we can to make it happen,” he said.
“No one should argue with me”
Answering the question about the objection process in the Kulturpark project, Soyer said, "As absurd is the claim that I love this country more than you, the claim of 'I love it more' about Kulturpark is just as absurd. Kulturpark is our common value. Which of us can harm a flower? I protect him as much as the platform that defends him. No one should argue with me about this," he said.
“Urban transformation will leave its mark on İzmir in 2022”
Making important statements on urban transformation, Soyer said, “There is no urban transformation work carried out by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization in İzmir. But Izmir Metropolitan Municipality has it. Moreover, it is a model that will set an example for all of Turkey. A model called in-situ conversion. It may be moving a little slowly, but it is advancing with very solid steps. There is an urban transformation model that does not victimize the citizens, on the contrary, protects their rights. But these alone will not be enough. In 2022, we have urban transformation works in Uzundere, Gaziemir and Örnekköy. Let me say this clearly; urban transformation will be one of the issues that will leave its mark on İzmir in 2022. We also have new models for urban transformation. We have models that have not been implemented anywhere, in any city, until today. I want to leave it as a surprise to 2022,” he said.
Izmir Solidarity to Fight Poverty
Underlining that İzmir gave an extraordinary test in the October 30 earthquake, Soyer also announced that they would launch a new campaign. Soyer said, “Starting from January 1, we are bringing a new campaign to the people of Izmir. There is a great picture of desperation and poverty that you know as much as I do because of the deepening poverty and unemployment. Izmir also gets its share from this. We are facing deepening poverty. The people of Izmir need to reach out to each other. We, as the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, have decided to devote all our priority to the social aid and support program. But this is not enough. The people of Izmir should again join hands and take care of the citizens in Izmir who are seriously affected by this great poverty. Support, let's grow this story. We saw at the time of the earthquake how valuable the motto, 'you can't go to bed when your neighbor is hungry', is so valuable. Now it's time to show it."
Bizİzmir is in service in the new year with its new face
At the meeting, information was given about the Bizizmir application of the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, which includes all kinds of announcements and information about Izmir. In the application, which will be fully updated and will provide easy access to information for the people of Izmir, We Assistant, You Have Your Word, Transportation, Paw Support, Izmir Solidarity, Smart Parking Lot, Izmirim Card, BizPuan, How Can I Go, E-Municipal Transactions, One Sapling One World, Transparent Izmir, Barrier-Free Izmir, There are Pharmacies on Duty, What's on My Street, What's Near Me, Citizens' Contact Center, Daily Life Maps, Activities, Volunteering, Services, Castle Library, Weather and Emergency Information System modules.