Mayor’s Message

We are bringing young artists together in İzmir with the İzmir Mediterranean Biennial

The Mediterranean, with its sea, climate, colors and sounds, is a grandiose geography that has been bringing together the civilizations around it like a bridge for thousands of years. Anatolia, which forms the eastern part of the Mediterranean, has created a great cultural richness on its mountains, valleys, plains and shores for thousands of years. The first villages were established here, and the cores of agriculture, theatre, painting, architecture and music developed in Anatolia for the first time. Associated with economics; many innovations, ranging from the discovery of money to global trade, have emerged in the trade routes and ports of this peninsula.

Thousands of years ago, this cultural richness in Anatolia grew, accumulated and overflowed like a seed that could not fit in its shell. It extended to the Mediterranean from İzmir and other Aegean ports. This accumulation and overflow in Anatolia found a great response in other parts of Mar Medi Terraneum, that is, the “Sea in the Middle of the Land” in Latin. Mediterranean Civilization gave birth to and nurtured many of today’s universal values, especially democracy.

We are the children of the Mediterranean. Everything from our culture to our history, from our climate to our geography is a reflection of this geography we share. Our city, İzmir, is one of the most important heritage geographies of the Mediterranean civilization. Based on this legacy, we are bringing young artists together in İzmir with the İzmir Mediterranean Biennial, the first of which we will hold in March 2023.

The Biennial, which we started with the aim of making İzmir the meeting point of the world and the Mediterranean for arts and culture, will enable us to keep our common culture alive. We have full confidence that our Biennial will further strengthen the ties and friendship between us and all the cities of the Mediterranean.

With the “Circular Culture” program that we announced at the UCLG Culture Summit in 2021, where we brought world cultures together in İzmir; we made a new definition of culture based on harmony with our nature, with our past, with each other and with change. I believe that our Biennial will spread the seeds of circular culture from İzmir to the Mediterranean and the whole world. I will be very happy and honored by your participation in the İzmir Mediterranean Biennial, where young artists will express the Mediterranean. Hope to meet you in İzmir.

Tunç Soyer

Mayor of İzmir Metropolitan Municipality