Kayseri is waiting for tourists

Kayseri is waiting for tourists

The Kayseri municipality has invested 200 million euros in a ski resort in the Erciyes mountain area. At the entrance of the ski resort stands a huge mosque, built by a local Kayseri philanthropist upon the request of former mayor Mehmet Özhaseki, who is currently the minister for environment and urban planning.

The resort is capable of artificial snow production. The slopes are excellent, and the resort caters for all kinds of winter sports. More could be done for the resort, which also has to deal with the issue of alcohol consumption. Alcohol is available in only two hotels in the mountain area. What will the Russians say? They are expected to visit soon. What good is there in telling them: “We are conservative, we cannot offer alcohol.”

With the exception of Hilton and Radisson, which are owned by Süleyman Çetinsaya, who is originally from Kayseri but made his name as a big-time developer in Istanbul, there is no restaurant offering alcohol in the city. Kayseri officials are aware of this issue could allow some leeway in the near future.

“We support everyone working to develop the private sector,” said Kayseri’s Mayor Mustafa Çelik, who dreams of turning Erciyes into a top European ski resort through new investments planned in the near future.

Meanwhile, the provincial head of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Hüseyin Cahit Özden has said the party has replaced six of the 16 districts heads in the Kayseri municipality. Congresses have also been held.

This shows that the provincial branches of the AKP are working nonstop. It was mindboggling to listen to the activities of the congresses, which included Monday meetings and provincial inspections. I felt sad for the party officials. It seems they spend more time dealing with party activities than they do at home or at work.

49 cultural points

Abdullah Gül University and Abdullah Gül Presidential Museum and Library, which occupy the site of an old Russian-built textile factory from the early 1930s, are impressive, iconic buildings. But the city guide that champions Kayseri as a “culture city” does not mention them. Its list of 49 cultural points includes places such as the Kayseri Atatürk House and Museum of Seljuk Civilization.

Works at the Abdullah Gül Presidential Museum are ongoing. Although not officially opened, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan conducted an informal opening last May. At that moment he announced an official opening would take place soon. Rumors say next May.

The museum’s curator Professor Hasan Bülent Kahraman is also the vice rector of Kadir Has University. Covering an area of 1500 square meters, American architect Ralph Appelbaum designed the museum. According to the museum’s highest official Ethem Doğan, Appelbaum has constructed a total of 250 similar museums worldwide. French architect Emre Arolat designed the university and the library.

Several awards given to former President Abdullah Gül are being exhibited in the museum.

Turkey, Kayseri, Yalçın Bayer