The Olive Peace Festival, organized for the first time this year by Izmir Metropolitan Municipality to increase the brand value of olive and olive oil, one of the local flavors of the city, has started. Speaking at the opening of the festival, President Tunç Soyer said that they are working to extend the Zeytin Peace Road to the Gallipoli Peninsula in the coming years.
In line with the vision of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer, “Another Agriculture is Possible”, Olive Peace Festival was organized in order to increase the brand value of the city's traditional flavors and local products specific to the geographical destination, to take place in gastronomy tourism. At the festival, which brings producers and consumers together, President Tunç Soyer announced that the preparations for the Olive Peace Road project, which will bring together İzmir's culture and tourism routes with the Gallipoli Peninsula, have begun.
“One Olive Branch is Enough”
Izmir Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer, Narlıdere Mayor Ali Engin, Gaziemir Mayor Halil Arda, Güzelbahçe Mayor Mustafa İnce, Mayor of Torbalı Mithat Tekin, Secretary General of İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Dr. Buğra Gökçe, council members, headmen and many citizens attended.
“Symbol of wisdom and peace”
Making the opening speech of the festival, President Tunç Soyer started his speech by stating that he was very happy to be in Urla, where Klazomenai, known as the first olive oil workshop in the world, is also located. President Soyer said, “The olive tree, the symbol of immortality, wisdom and peace, has fed living things for centuries with its fruit, illuminated the darkness with its oil, and has become an indispensable part of Anatolian cuisine with its healing. The olive tree continues to bring us all together today.”
“Our fight against drought and poverty continues”
Reminding that Köstem Olive Oil Museum, which hosts the event, was accredited as Turkey's first Global Olive Peace Park last month, President Soyer said that Dr. He thanked Levent Köstem and his wife Güler Köstem for their efforts. Soyer said, “Like the rings formed by a stone thrown into the water, our struggle against drought and poverty with the vision of 'Another Agriculture is Possible' is growing with the contributions of our stakeholders. We connect these rings with many projects. İzmir's becoming the world's first Cittaslow Metropolis in June 2021, the Terra Madre fair to be held in September 2022, our producer markets, Mera İzmir and our karakılçık projects are just a few of the rings of another Tarım reflecting from İzmir.”
“Unique tastes meet the producers”
President Soyer talked about İzmir's culture and tourism routes in the continuation of his speech and said, “Our İzmir Heritage routes, where İzmir's nature and culture are experienced, start from İzmir city center and spread to rural areas. The Peninsula Olive Route, which is a part of this network, brings its passengers together with old olive trees, vast pastures, unique tastes and producers. These routes, which make the existing in the countryside visible, open the doors of small producers to the world, and make us feel that we are a part of nature again, are of great importance for the development of İzmir. The Zeytin Peace Road, one end of which extends to the Izmir Peninsula, is one of the most important of these routes. The Global Olive Peace parks Project, of which the International Institute of Peace through Tourism and Skal International are stakeholders, set out with the belief that every traveler is a potential 'Peace Ambassador'. Together with our stakeholders, we are working for the proliferation of global olive peace parks such as Köstem Olive Oil Museum and for the Olive Peace Road to extend to the Gallipoli Peninsula in the coming years.”
“It symbolizes peace for thousands of years”
Urla Köstem Olive Oil Museum Founder Dr. Levent Köstem thanked President Tunç Soyer for organizing this festival with the importance he gives to agriculture and nature. Güler Köstem stated that they are the children of immigrants and said, “We grew up with olives, we continue to live with it. Olive is very valuable both for health and because it symbolizes peace for thousands of years. Izmir Metropolitan Municipality made great efforts to organize this festival. Thank you,” he said.
“These flavors should be transported to the world”
World Tourism Professionals Association (SKAL International) Secretary General of Turkey Emre Seyahat stated that the Olive Peace Trail Festival is important for İzmir tourism and said, “This festival is important in terms of bringing rural tourism to the fore in the sustainable development paradigm. For this reason, we think that the festival should be carried to the country and the world. For this reason, we are also aware of the responsibilities of non-governmental organizations operating in the field of tourism like us.”
“Important Contribution to Peace”
Niyazi Adalı, the Founding President of the Turkey-Australia and New Zealand Friendship Association, mentioned the importance of introducing the historical and cultural assets of the countries to the world and said, “There are worrying tensions in many regions with the effect of the pandemic. That is why the work to be done on the way of peace is very important," he said. Adalı also presented a plaque to President Soyer. President of the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT), Mr. Louis D'Amore, attended the festival with a video message.
President Soyer also inaugurated Turkey's first Olive Peace Park, located in the garden of the museum.
Flavors with olive oil in tasting workshops
In the tasting workshops held as part of the festival, Yeliz Kaya and Hilmiye Günay from Zeytinler Village, Şerife Kublay from Özbek Village and Serpil Gümüş from Nohutalan Village entered the kitchen with the gourmet chef Ahmet Güzelyağdöken from İzmir, and Aegean dishes with olive oil, each more delicious than the other, were served to the guests. İzmir Cooks Association President Assoc. Dr. Turgay Bucak and chef Fatih Taşkesen had the guests taste many olive oil flavors, especially sea bass marinated in olive oil, Cretan zucchini scrape, and Şevketi bostan puree.
Natural soap workshop
Producer cooperatives participating in the festival, which aims to encourage the production and consumption of olive and olive oil, introduced the new season olive and olive oil products to the guests, and a natural soap workshop with olive oil was held in the area.
Assoc. Dr. Ahmet Uhri and journalist writer Nedim Atilla and Kostem Olive Oil Museum Founder Assoc. Dr. The festival continued with olive presentations by Levent Köstem and ended with the Olive Songs concert by Pelin Taneli Kadıoğlu.