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GİLA BENMAYOR >Why are people moving to İzmir?

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I know lots of people who plan on moving from Istanbul to İzmir.

Istanbul’s traffic, the high cost of living and the “urban transformation” that turns into a greater nightmare each day plays an important role in this decision.

On the other hand, the fact that İzmir is the “rising star” of Turkey is another important factor.

Recently, İzmir Mayor Aziz Kocaoğlu criticized the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization’s decision to open the estates earmarked as a sports area to construction.

“We don’t want İzmir to fall in the same bad situation as İstanbul, the world’s most beautiful city,” he said.
He is right.

The international credit rating agency, Fitch Ratings, gave the highest credit rating to İzmir.

The fact that the same agencies decreased Turkey’s credit scores while giving a high rating to İzmir is important proof that İzmir is a “rising star.” Before Fitch, Moody’s Investor Service had also given İzmir the highest credit rating.

On the other hand, we take an interest in following the “İzmir model” Kocaoğlu presented to the international public in the Cities Unbound Conference organized by the World Bank and The Economist Magazine.

One of the most important columnists in agriculture, Ali Ekber Yıldırım, describes the model as follows: 

The “Local Development Model” started 10 years ago by the İzmir municipality is a model based on growth and development through cooperatives in agricultural and rural areas. According to Yıldırım, İzmir made a difference in all areas, from growth to employment and from production to organization.

The most important aspect is that it stopped migration from rural to urban areas.

To give numbers from 10 years ago, 29.14 percent of the population of İzmir was living in rural areas but this number increased to 30.70 percent in 2016. According to Yıldırım, if this model is implemented in all parts of Turkey, foreign dependence on agriculture will end.

Turkey will transform from a country importing agricultural products into one that exports them.

Another important factor contributing to its value is İzmir’s 86th International Fair. Certainly everyone has a memory about this historical fair, which will take place this year from August 18-27.

Mine is my family returning from the fair to Istanbul with toys that none of my friends would have.

This year, the “partner country” of the fair is Russia. Russia attended the fair for the first time in 1934 as the “Soviet Socialist Republics Union.” They attended the fair in the 1930’s with technological products like motors and phones. In 1957, the model of Sputnik was the center of attention at the fair. Russia will attend the fair with a big team that will include the Assistant Minister of Economy Aleksey Gruzdev. According to Gruzdev, there are sensitive topics waiting to be solved between Russia and Turkey and new collaborations will be made during the negotiationsin İzmir.

In other words, İzmir will be hosting the process that will take the cooperation between Turkey and Russia to higher levels.

July/18/2017

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