´New Year Gathering´ in BeşiktaşThe Municipality of Beşiktaş organized a ´New Year Gathering´ event in Beşiktaş, the district of Istanbul where many cultures have lived together for centuries, on the eve of December 2nd.
Besides religious leaders, representatives of religious community foundations, ambassadors, consul generals, honorary consuls and consulate representatives of around 60 countries attended the 'New Year Gathering' hosted by Mayor of Beşiktaş Rıza Akpolat and his wife Derya Akpolat, sharing unity, solidarity and peace messages for the coming new year.
Rıza Akpolat, in his opening speech, mentioning the historical and cultural heritage of the district, said "People from different cultures and beliefs, Turkish, Greek, Armenian and Jewish communities have lived together for centuries in many neighborhoods of Beşiktaş such as Ortaköy.
We are aware that our historical and cultural heritage is one of our real treasures. With the knowledge that this is not only ours but humanity's common heritage, we are determined to convey our district to the future, preserving its structure that is joining different cultures together.
We, know that the differences in our identities are not political issues. On the contrary, this variety makes Beşiktaş a more peaceful home. We as Beşiktaş Municipality, make it our mission to serve anyone living in our district equally, regardless of their identities. We accept the wealth our differences create, as a mutual significance and embrace it.
Our dream for Beşiktaş is to create a town embracing everyone and letting each individual achieve their own potential.
We want Beşiktaş to be a town undoubtedly friendly to women, children, elderlies, disabled people, to everyone and to the world. We want Beşiktaş to be a town building bridges among different communities and groups.
With these feelings in my heart, as 2019 is coming to an end, I wish that 2020 brings peace, comfort, and prosperity to our whole world and our country, and wish you and your families may live days full of happiness, health, and joy."
Following Rıza Akpolat, Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomeos took the stage and said, "Every new year represents new hopes and a new beginning. We have a responsibility to the next generation; it's up to us, mortals to make 2020 different in this manner. We need to bring solutions to each other's problems, to shed tears and laugh together. The vision of the founder of the modern Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, 'Peace in our country, peace in the world' still keeps on guiding us."
Boğaziçi Youth Choir
Boğaziçi Youth Choir, performing many beautiful songs in many languages throughout the evening, created a wondrous atmosphere during the 'New Year Gathering' event.