Kütahya ranked among the new members of UNESCO Creative Cities Network, which was announced on October 31, 2017, and became entitled to receive the Creative City title in the category of Crafts and Folk Art.
A FIRST IN TURKEY
Kütahya ranked among 180 cities in the world, which are designated as Creative Cities by UNESCO. With the addition of Kütahya, Istanbul and Hatay, right along side Gaziantep, the number of creative cities in Turkey has escalated up to four. Therefore Turkey has become one of the most successful countries in UNESCO Creative Cities Network, with the significant contributions of Kütahya. Kütahya showed the success of being the first city of Turkey that was admitted to the category of Crafts and Folk Art and became one of the 37 world cities that were accepted for the network in this category. Kütahya has been officially registered as one of the 37 Crafts and Folk Art cities of the world. Therefore Kütahya was recognized as one of the special provinces that grow and develop through crafts and folk art, and embrace arts and crafts as the key factors in economical, social, cultural and environmental sustainable development. As a result of the studies carried out since the early 2016 in coordination of Kütahya Municipality and Zafer Development Agency, Kütahya succeeded in being accepted to the Network on its first application and achieved a phenomenal success in this category. This achievement was the result of the great commitment of all the people in the province.
A TWO-YEAR PROCESS
Kamil Saraçoğlu, the Mayor of Kütahya who made great efforts for Kütahya to receive the Creative City title in the category of Crafts and Folk Art, made the following statements regarding this development: ““After two years of hard work on our part, we managed to be accepted to UNESCO Creative Cities network on our first application. While we try to construct a more prosperous and livable Kütahya by solving its infrastructure and superstructure problems, we also strive to promote Kütahya, the city of happy people, in the national and global arena, along with our cultural and artistic values with tiles being in the first place. On behalf of Kütahya Municipality, I want to say that we are extremely happy to have promoted our city both in Turkey and
in international platform, owing to this big project. There are over 4 thousand artists and craftsmen working in more than 400 arts and crafts studios in Kütahya. From now on, when people talk about tiles, Kütahya will be the first thing that will spring to their minds. I hereby would like to thank the Governor of Kütahya, our Members of the Parliament and the personnel of Zafer Development Agency, who provided full support to us for ranking among the members of UNESCO Creative Cities Network. I hope this achievement will be beneficent and auspicious for our beloved Kütahya.”
KÜTAHYA WAS MOVED TO THE INTERNATIONAL ARENA
Kamil Saraçoğlu, the Mayor of Kütahya, further remarked: “On behalf of Kütahya Municipality, which filed the application, we attached great importance to the process since day one, along with provincial administrators, particulary Ahmet Hamdi Nayir, the Governor of Kütahya and the Deputies, who acted in unity and fully supported the project at every stage. As for Zafer Development Agency, which acted as the partner of the Kütahya Municipality and coordinated the application process, it will also do its share of tasks of Executive Body and the Official UNESCO Contact Point, regarding the network membership process. During the application process, all of the players associated with crafts and folk art such as managers, public sector, artisans, businessmen, academy and non-governmental organizations created an outstanding synergy, and this collaboration will gradually increase in the network membership process. Every study carried out coordinately and nationally with all the local dynamics of the city, has been moved to the international arena, as Kütahya has been announced as a UNESCO Creative City. Our next goal is to promote the culture and values that our city has continued for centuries and to popularize it as a successful model implementation.”