The cities carry the traces of history, culture, and civilizations they have produced in their course of life from the date they were founded. From past to present, the traces of history, nature and individuals also make an important contribution to the formation of the cultural identity of the city. Within this context, richness of the city in terms of cultural and social activities, is one of the important factors determining the identity of the city.
Edirne, in addition to being the capital of Ottoman Empire for 92 years, have brought many cultures and civilizations formed by 8.300 years old history to the present by having experienced. It is the meeting point of different cultures and religions with the feature of being a historical, cultural, training and touristic city connecting Asia with five border gates to Europe via Balkans.
As a mayor of Edirne, since the day I came to relative, we have continued to workto pass on the important projects in order to protect our historical, cultural identity of our city and transfer it to the future generations while going on the services of modern social municipality in our city.
The projects such as bringing our historic and registered houses to the socio-economic life of the city with the slogan “We are moving Edirne Houses to the future”, “Edirne Military Hospital Martydom” said to be the second largest martydom of Turkey, “Edirne Urban Memory Museum”, “Kırkpınar Oil Wrestling Festival Information and Documentation Center”, the arrengement of the building , known as the old electricty buildingas a “Cultural Center and Marriage Hall” are the works we have carried out to protect and enrich the cultural identity of our city.
Hidrellez, one of the most important festivals of our city from the past and celebrated with ceremonies everywhere people have leaved for years and known as the herald of returning to the spring season and the revitalization of nature, is a ritual celebrated in Thrace under the name of “Kakava”. There have been many guests from home and abroad to our city in Hidrellez and Kakava Festivals, celebrated every year between May 5 and May 6 by our municipality.
As a result of some initiatives we have made as Edirne Municipality, we have done some work to get Hidrellez and Kakava Festivals on the Tentative List ofUnited Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In the wake of our initiatives, a file has been prepared with the works of Edirne Municipality, relevant institution and Civil Society Organizations under the leadership of the General Directorate of Research and Education of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Prepared along with Macedonia and Turkey offered to UNESCO in 2016 "Spring Celebration: Hidirellez" of multinational common files have been submitted for consideration into South Korea's Jeju Island between 4 to 8 December 2017 Intangible Cultural Protection Heritage 12th Intergovernmental Committee Meeting. As a result of the evaluation, it was stated that Hidrellez was recorded in UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage Representation of Humanity and .in this case as to strengthen common cultural respect and understanding in the global arena has been pointed out that Turkey is a remarkable indicator of the activities carried out.
With the entry of Hidrellez and Kakava Festivals into UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List, the number of Cultural Heritages of Edirne in UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List have increased to 4.
Bringing our cultural heritage that crowns the streets of our city, to the life of mankind and bringing them together with you to be passed on to the future generations is one of our most important tasks.
Hoping to meet at succesfull “Hidrellez-Kakava Festivals” full of spring enthusiasm.