The 2nd Izmir Sephardic Culture Festival was a Huge SuccessThe 2nd Izmir Sephardic Culture Festival was opened on December 26th, with Izmir Mayor Tunç Soyer´s opening speech in Sinyora Synagogue.
The culture festival organized by the Izmir Jewish community and Konak Municipality, in order to embrace Izmir's cultural heritage, received huge attention and participation. In the festival where the Sephardic Jewish Culture of Izmir was presented, the idea of turning this festival into an international event next year, to protect the city's heritage and better present it to the world came into prominence. The festival where the participants felt Izmir's Sephardic culture through music, exhibitions, guided tours, and film screenings ended on January 3rd.
Izmir Mayor Tunç Soyer while making his opening speech
"What's Important is to Preserve the City's Traditions"
During the festival that started with the 'Jewish Religious Ritual Clothing Exhibition', the guests were treated to 'Boyoz', the traditional Sephardic food of Izmir. Izmir Mayor Tunç Soyer while making the opening speech of the festival, stated that they were planning to turn this festival to an international event starting from next year and added, "What's important is to preserve the city's traditions. Because they are the legacy of those who lived before us. A mayor has to first protect that heritage. Therefore, we will present this great wealth, legacy to the whole world."
Konak Mayor Abdül Batur in his speech said "Our festival is a very important step to present and keep the Sephardic culture alive, therefore, it is very important for us. We own a Sephardic culture, unique and specific to Izmir, with its traditions, its reflections on art and literature, its cuisine. The Boyoz which became one of the characteristic symbols of Izmir also comes from the Sephardic community.
Our city is beautiful with all its colors, and to embrace all the cultures aroused from our city is one of our main duties. We will even further our relations with the Izmir Jewish Community Foundation. I am honored to be together with our fellow citizens together side by side in this beautiful festival." He also added that their aim for next year was to turn this festival into an international event.
"Izmir's Multi-Cultured Structure"
Izmir Jewish Community President Sami Azar in his speech stated that the festival is emphasizing Izmir's multi-cultured structure and added: "We are in a city where people of different faith and ethnic groups can live in harmony just like our savior Atatürk had said 'Peace in our country, peace in the world'.
Even only for this standpoint, Izmir is thankful to its local administrators of past and present. This festival is powering us against all alienation, estrangement towards people of different faith and ethnicity and strengthening the belief that all people are created equal as brothers."