Steps on the road to UNESCO have been accelerated

Bursa Metropolitan Municipality has accelerated its efforts to include Bursa, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List with the Historic Bazaar and Khans District, Sultan Complexes and Cumalıkızık, into the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the fields of crafts and folk arts.

Bursa Metropolitan Municipality, which is working hard to increase the share of Bursa in tourism with its historical and cultural values, natural wealth and tourism potential, adds a new effort to its works for the promotion of the city in the international arena. The Metropolitan Municipality, which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2014 with the nomination file named “Bursa and Cumalıkızık: The Birth of the Ottoman Empire” prepared under the coordination of Bursa Metropolitan Municipality and made the Khans Area, Sultan Complexes and Cumalıkızık universal heritage, accelerated its efforts in order to be included in the UNESCO Creative Cities network. The Metropolitan Municipality, aiming to be included in this network in the field of Crafts and Folk Art, brought together the parties of the field in order to determine the steps to be taken and the work to be done. Representatives of public institutions, academicians, representatives of non-governmental organizations and craftsmen in the field of crafts and folk arts participated in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network Stakeholder Meeting held at the Atatürk Congress and Culture Center. The roadmap was determined during the roundtable meetings that lasted for three days, where the issue was discussed in all aspects.

From traditional to universal

Bursa Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Alinur Aktaş also announced the goals of the Metropolitan Municipality during the meeting at which he came together with the stakeholders of the issue. Reminding that 2 more cities from Turkey will be nominated as candidates for the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in May, Mayor Aktaş said, “The cities that are entitled will be announced as in November. The cities in the network are cities that contain various cultural actors with their historical and cultural backgrounds, discover and produce new dimensions of creativity with their dynamic structures, dominate the areas where they will direct their abilities and energies, and respond to the current problems of the 21st century with their cultural potential. On behalf of Bursa, we, as the Bursa Metropolitan Municipality, started our efforts to make an application to the UNESCO National Heritage Commission on the Creative Cities Network with the theme of “crafts and folk arts” in 2021. Because we have a rich tradition in this regard. Tile making, sericulture, Karagöz shadow play, spoon making, sock making, saddlery, saddle making, towel making, knife making, pottery, rawhide sandal making, hoop making, mat making, quilt making, needle lace, slanting / flask making, kundekari art, broommaking, cooperage, alem art and clog making professions are some of the crafts in Bursa, which were inherited from our past. I believe that we will convert these traditional values into the universal values by joining the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. We act together with all the dynamics of the city. We are working to promote our city in the best way and to increase the share that Bursa should get from tourism. I would like to thank all the stakeholders who contributed to us on this path ”.

246 members, 6 of which are from Turkey

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network has been shaped around 7 themes by which member cities can direct their own abilities and energies. Themes were determined as literature, film, music, craft and folk arts, design, gastronomy and media arts. Istanbul (Design), Gaziantep, Hatay and Afyonkarahisar (Gastronomy), Kütahya (Craft and Folk Arts) and Kırşehir (Music) have been accepted from Turkey to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, which has 246 members.

Date: 31.01.2021