Thousands throng border city for festivities, shopping

Thousands throng border city for festivities, shopping

Thousands throng border city for festivities, shopping

Edirne, a northwestern province of Turkey located near the Bulgarian and Greek borders, seems to be having one of the best times of this year with its exciting social activities and tourists densely flowing into the city.

More than 25,000 people flocked to a coffee and chocolate festival held in Edirne during the weekend, bringing coffee lovers to an event where they can sip on different kinds of coffee and taste delicious chocolate products.

The event took visitors on coffee’s historical journey through time with information, activities and samples of past and present-day delicacies based on the feelings and living spaces created by coffee.

The festival also included stands of the popular coffee shops in the country, various workshops and seminars for those who want to be a barista of their own home and concerts by famous musicians.

Speaking to Demirören News Agency, Kemal Soytürk, the provincial director of culture and tourism, said that the festival hosted 25,000 people, noting that daily tourists from neighboring Greece and Bulgaria also visited the festival area.

Edirne has been a top destination for thousands of Greeks and Bulgarians who flock there on the weekends for shopping, making a considerable contribution to the city’s economy. But, the sudden rate changes in the Turkish Lira against foreign currencies have increased these visits even more.

Nearly 1 million Bulgarian nationals entered Edirne from Kapıkule and Hamzabeyli Border Gates with their private vehicles and tour busses so far in 2021, according to data obtained from sources.

With the volatility in the exchange rate that led to the lira to decrease sharply, tourists started to benefit from competitive prices and meet all their needs from Turkish shops and markets by creating mobility in Edirne.

Recep Zıpkınkurt, the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Edirne, stated that the number of Bulgarian tourists reached 12,000 on weekends and that approximately 500 euros were spent per person.

Gergana Lazarova, a Bulgarian citizen who came to shop from Plovdiv, noted that everything was cheaper in Edirne compared to her country.

“We came to Edirne to shop. Everything is very cheap here. I bought coats and socks. We come here every Friday and shop,” she said, stressing that the products in the city were both high quality and cheap.

Gülçin Mehmedova, another Bulgarian citizen from Shumen, noted that prices were very reasonable.

“We’ve come a long way and got what we like. Here the products are of slightly better quality. We can say that most people in Bulgaria dress here now,” she added.