Press conference with the participation of national press representatives in Istanbul for the 15th International Gaziantep Gastronomy Festival (GastroAntep), which will be organized by Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality under the coordination of Gaziantep Governorship and in cooperation with Gaziantep Development Foundation (GAGEV) between 18-4 September. Edited.
Gaziantep, which was selected as one of the 7 most competitive cities by the World Bank and listed as the first city to represent Turkey in the Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in the field of gastronomy among 116 cities by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It is getting ready to appear on the world stage again with its ancient cuisine.
A few days before the festival, which will bring together world-famous Michelin-starred chefs, gourmets, life coaches, dietitians, food producers, gastronomy students, agricultural producers, suppliers, academics and industry representatives, Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Fatma Şahin was at the Atatürk Cultural Center for press members. He answered the questions he was curious about and gave information about the program of the festival, which will last for 4 days.
Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Fatma Şahin talked about the investments made by the Metropolitan Municipality in the field of sustainable agriculture, Gaziantep's work in the field of Gastronomy, the content of the festival and the work carried out in the field of geographical indications, accompanied by a presentation.
ŞAHİN: OUR GASTROANTEP JOURNEY IS ACTUALLY A HUMANITY JOURNEY
In her speech at the meeting, President Fatma Şahin talked about the post-pandemic situation of the world and what they aim to do as Gaziantep.
Stating that the scale of the world's wealth is now the protection of cultural wealth, protecting its cultural heritage and health issues, Şahin said:
“Our GastroAntep journey is actually a human journey. Nations no longer look at per capita income. The greatest legacy that Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk left us in the difficult period we passed is science and reason. We will analyze well where the land in our hands will take us. In the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, it is stated that human and environmental development must be done together with economic development, and if it is not done, there will be big problems. We saw how global warming increased when rhetoric did not turn into action, and how glaciers melted when I went to Antarctica. We have a view of what we should do and what we should not do in this difficult time.”
WE SAID 'WE ARE ONE OF THE LARGEST KITCHENS IN THE WORLD IN 2014'
President Fatma Şahin, who illustrated the city of Gastronomy by referring to the daily life of a Gaziantep citizen, talked about the competitive power of the world in gastronomy and explained the process leading to the Creative Cities Network:
“A person from Gaziantep is talking about what he will eat for breakfast, lunch, with whom and where he will eat right now, what he will cook on the weekend, what kind of meatballs he will cook, and what kind of kebab he will make. This is the perception of the city. No problem with that. But when you say how much you introduced Gaziantep to the world, we are very bad. Therefore, in order to increase the competitiveness of the city on a global scale, we need to carry our cultural heritage into the future. What stage were we at? We were not in the international networks. When you are not in international networks, when you are not in this network, this is your most basic problem. In 2014, he quickly applied to the Creative Cities Network and said, 'We are one of the biggest kitchens in the world.' When we said that, we saw that we started on the right path.”
“FOOD AND BEVERAGE CULTURE MEANS ECONOMY AND PROMOTION”
President Şahin stated that the eating and drinking culture is directly related to the economy and talked about the social reflections of the table as a dialogue tool:
“Eating, drinking is what you call; It is really economy, dialogue, promotion, solving problems. It's not doing business together. Therefore, when we look at our own discourses, the phrase 'The heart wants a friend, coffee is an excuse' tells us something else. We want to make love. The pandemic has closed us inside. Society was unhappy this time. Our people want to talk, they want to tell. He doesn't go from glass to glass, he wants to hug. That's why a coffee is remembered for 40 years; actually remember the food. Food is loyalty, food is love. Therefore, when we look at these statements of ours, we say 'let's eat sweet and talk sweetly'. The dessert you eat changes the balance in the body, increases the happiness hormone, and feeds the brain. It makes you think stronger. What I'm trying to say is, we have a huge treasure on our hands. As you open it, another treasure comes out. We are here to crown this treasure with you.”
THE PURPOSE IS TO CARRY THE BLESSING OF MESOPOTAMIA TO THE TABLE
Reminding that Gaziantep is home to the historical Silk Road, Şahin said, “Those who came together for the Silk Road set a common table. The common table has further strengthened the trade of past civilizations. Therefore, in this study we will do; we see how important geography is, in fact, everything was created by bringing the abundance of Mesopotamia to the table. When we look at the Silk Road, many beliefs come together. If synagogues, churches and mosques are side by side in Islamic civilization, this is very important for our cities. It is respect for the other. Therefore, when we look at these occasions, the sitting at the table that belongs to us also brings the economy.” used his statements.
ŞAHİN TALKED ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE TABLE TO WORLD PEACE
Noting that the table makes an important contribution to world peace, Şahin said, “The more you sit at the same table and talk with people, the farther away the war will be. In a world where wars have increased so much, tables are so important that we definitely need to increase these tables in order to solve what you are complaining about. Look here, Gaziantep ranks 9th among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. You find the most powerful of the oldest settlements in us. When a person wants to see cultural tourism, they will come to the region. Every city has its own beauty," he said.
“WE INVITE OUR PEOPLE TO EAT SABUT FISH IN RUMKALE”
Expressing that they want people to taste the fish of the Euphrates in Rumkale, Şahin said, “We will be united for this country. We will ensure the coordination fast. We will keep the capacity to do business strong. We have too many problems, let's increase our problem solving capacity. We invite you to drink our menengiç coffee, which we obtained the geographical indication in Rumkale. We want to taste the chabut fish of the Euphrates. This is healing right now. It prevents Alzheimer's. That's what the scientific world says," he said.
THIS YEAR THEME: “SUSTAINABILITY”
Stating that Gaziantep's entry into UNESCO's creative cities network is a long process, Şahin said, “But we finally succeeded and thank God we brought it to a very different point. Our theme this year: Sustainability. The world is talking about sustainability. Gastronomy for sustainable development. That's why we are not a city of kebab, lahmacun or baklava. Special menus for vegan, vegetarian and celiac patients are now specializing in them as well.”
“WE ARE ESTABLISHING A MAIN AND ATASEED LIBRARY”
Noting that they protect ancestral seeds and local products, Şahin said:
“If we continue to sow the olive seeds of the Aegean in Nizip, we cannot become a hometown of gastronomy. There are ancestral seeds. Suitable for the humidity and precipitation of the region. We do soil analysis. We determine the seed according to that soil analysis. We are establishing the main seed and the ancestor seed library. This is so important. We established our Department of Agriculture. We distribute our own ancestral seed, our mother seed. We need to use this biodiversity, integrate it with the society, educate it, explain it well to the farmer and do what is necessary.”
"LET'S FEEL THE EXCITEMENT OF THIS FESTIVAL TOGETHER"
Stating that gastronomy now means a destination and regional development, Şahin said, “Gastronomy is now a destination, regional development. Common discourse, common action and common language, common goal. Now we are racing with San Sebastian. The festival content has everything. Let's all feel the enthusiasm of this festival together. Gaziantep is now a complete natural pharmacy, healing. Michelin-starred chefs are coming to Gaziantep. Students show great interest. This has happened with the sustainability of our team. We have whoever you want to see and hear.”
In the festival that brings the wide culinary culture of Gazi city to the global arena; In addition to the workshops organized by Michelin-starred chefs and representatives of UNESCO Gastronomy Cities with Gaziantep's local products, many panels and seminars such as exhibitions on sustainability and biodiversity, and Geographical Indication Workshop will be held. The festival will also include excursions, museum visits, shows, workshops for women and children, concerts and many entertaining events. With the GastroAntep Festival, gastronomy students in Turkey will also be provided with internship opportunities on global platforms.
In addition to Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Fatma Şahin to the press conference; AK Party Gaziantep Deputy Derya Bakbak, Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Deputy Mayor Erdem Güzelbey, Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce President Mehmet Tuncay Yıldırım, Gaziantep Commodity Exchange Chairman Mehmet Akıncı, Union of Chambers of Craftsmen and Craftsmen İsmet Özcan, Deputy Secretary General of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, Culture and Tourism Head of Department Oya Alpay, Deputy Mayor of Şehitkamil Municipality Murat Özgüler, Chairman of GBB Gazibel Board of Directors Fikret Tural, Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Kitchen Coordinator and Head of Culinary Arts Center (MSM) Chef Doğa Çitçi were found.
At the end of the press conference, the production of “Katmer”, one of the treats unique to Gaziantep region, was shared with the participating press members and the introduction of katmer was made.