İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer, stating that they have undertaken transformation work in 5,500 independent structures within five years, said, "However, we never consider these efforts enough. We are in a state of preparation. In the new period, we will take significant and bold steps," he said.

The Izmir's Economic Development Coordination Committee held its 123rd and final meeting of the year at the Historical Coal Gas Factory, hosted by İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer. In the meeting where the evaluation of the year 2023 took place, topics related to the city agenda, such as İzmir Metropolitan Municipality's "Izmir Terminal City" project, "Presidency and City Councils as a Civilization Center idea Project Competition," and urban transformation projects were discussed.

"I couldn't even hold a screwdriver, and now I'm repairing cars."
During the meeting, the focus was initially on female mechanics who have joined the automotive industry through courses offered at the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Vocational Factory. Anıl Kaçar, the Head of the Social Projects Department at Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, gave a presentation on the activities of the Vocational Factory and the importance of women's employment. Efil Karadeniz, a participant in the Vocational Factory's Auto Electrician and Air Conditioning Maintenance Course, expressed her gratitude, saying, "I couldn't even hold a screwdriver, but now I can remove and install a battery. Thank you very much for the opportunities you have provided us."

Merve Gacar, a student in the Washing and Dry Lubrication course, also thanked Mayor Tunç for believing in them and providing this opportunity. She stated, "I knew nothing about cars, and now I can do everything from car maintenance to oil changes."

"They shattered stereotypes."
Calling on the business world to employ qualified women graduates from the Vocational Factory, Mayor Tunç Soyer expressed his astonishment, saying, "I couldn't believe my eyes. What stereotypes do we have? A tire mechanic must be a man; an electrician must be a man; only a man understands the starter dynamo. Each of them shattered significant stereotypes. Their success serves as an example to many women in Turkey. From now on, may fortune be on their side. I especially urge our colleagues in the automotive industry to employ these individuals so that it creates a wave of courage alongside."

The Presidential and City Councils building was introduced
During the meeting, the project that won the “Presidency and City Councils as a Civilization Center idea Project Competition” for the new structure to be built in place of the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality's main service building, which was demolished due to its risk after the October 30 Izmir earthquake, was introduced. Jury Chairman Nevzat Sayın, architect Selim Atak, interior architect Rahmi Hızarcıoğlu, landscape architect Doğu Ayan, and architect Cansen Molva shared details on why the project was chosen as the winner. Nevzat Sayın stated, "Cities that claim to be entirely democratic position their city councils as symbolic structures. We also thought, can we do this? The new structure should not harm Konak Square, and it should be an open and democracy-encouraging structure. We set many criteria, such as the structure itself should have monument-like qualities. One of the reasons this project was chosen as the winner is the harmony between the presidential office, the council building, and the public relations offices. From the outside, the structure may appear as three disconnected buildings. The dominant structure in the building is the council building. The relationship it establishes with its location seems meaningful and positive to us."

Nevzat Sayın mentioned that the idea of creating a democracy monument, which would be the most fitting for the second century of the Republic, was the starting point. He added, "Now the processes related to the construction of that building are beginning. During this process, we want the jury to be completely involved in the implementation. We don't want it to be built like any other building construction. I hope it becomes a beautiful legacy that we leave for future generations."

"We will take bigger and bolder steps in urban transformation."
During the meeting, the ongoing urban transformation efforts of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality were discussed. Mayor Tunç Soyer stated that they have given momentum to urban transformation in Izmir and emphasized that even greater strides will be taken in the new period. Soyer mentioned, "Before 2019, urban transformation work was carried out in 950 independent units. Today, we are engaged in the urban transformation of 5,500 independent units. However, approximately 880,000 buildings must undergo transformation. We face a colossal problem, and this reality is right in front of us. As we leave behind the past five years, we have taken some significant and radical steps, such as municipal companies participating in tenders as contractors and adopting a cooperative model. We have gained valuable experience. I can say that we have accumulated the courage to tackle this colossal issue. We have a preparatory plan to solve this problem in stages. I would like to share this with you as soon as possible. We never consider these efforts sufficient. There is a need for some radical and fundamental moves. We are in preparation, and I want to emphasize that we will take big and bold steps."

"Investment needs to be realized for the Izmir Terminal City project."
Meanwhile, in the agenda of the Izmir Economic Development Coordination Board, a presentation was made on the "Izmir: Terminal City" developed by the Izmir Chamber of Commerce, aiming to make Izmir a transfer center in global trade with its ports and logistics capabilities. Mahmut Özgener, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Izmir Chamber of Commerce, stated, "For the realization of this project, the transportation infrastructure of Izmir needs to be completed, similar to Istanbul. Both port and railway investments are necessary for Izmir. All these efforts should urgently be included in the agenda of the Ministry of Transport."



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