Interview with Sibel Uyar, Mayor of Urla

  • Why did you decide to develop the creative tourism in your destination?  

Tourism is crucial for Urla’s economy. Definition of tourism is changing in the world and we want to be part of new tourism understanding.  Urla is a multi-cultural town as a result there is a strong culinary culture. This strong culinary culture makes Urla is a destination for gastronomy tourism. Gastronomy tourism by itself is not enough for sustainable tourism that it should be combined with other activities, by this point creative tourism is an alternative to enhance the capacity of gastronomy tourism. In addition Urla has 111 km of coastal line with 800 kilometer acreage that is embraced by the natural beauties and the historical sites. Urla with its geographical structure is suitable for alternative sports as well. With 8000 years of historical background Urla is a rich town in terms of historical and cultural assets. Urla is an alternative destination for creative tourism that tourist can experience Urla’s culture, traditions and crafts with local people and have better understanding of the destination.

  • What makes Urla so unique for creative travellers?

Urla, with its multicultural nature, hospitable people and warm climate welcomes people from all around the world. Tourist can find different activities to fulfill their vacation time in Urla. People can enjoy sandy beaches and also enjoy natural beauties while tasting most amazing local dishes. We like to invite everyone to our festivals that are organized different seasons of the year to promote tourism in Urla. You can taste amazing herbs peculiar to Urla in our Herb Festival in March, our “Sakız artichoke” in our International Urla Artichoke festival which is held in end of April and also experience our traditions in our Scarecrow Festival in end of June.

  • Which typical experiences would you recommend?

  Urla offers a lot of creative experiences like olive oil workshops at Klazomenai, cooking classes where visitors can discover our traditional dishes and pastries, art and handicrafts workshops in our famous Art Street or even wine tasting. In addition, visitors can enjoy nature while doing sport activities including hiking, biking, horseback riding, enduro-quad biking and water sports, they can go on our village tours, stopping in 15 villages with fertile soils and natural resources and beauties, or on historical tours that take them to excavation sites, historical mosques and the Quarantine Island.