Message From The Mayor

Kaleiçi: A bridge from the past to the future...

Dear Friends,

Antalya is the world's 4’th most visited and Turkey's most important tourism center. The City, located on the Mediterranean coast, attracts more than 17 million tourists a year with its natural beauties and unique historical heritage.

Muratpaşa is the second largest Metropolitan District of Antalya with half a million population. Modern day district of Muratpaşa is home to Kaleiçi, the historic center founded by Attalus II, King of Pergamon around 150 BC. Witnessing the rich historical heritage today as well, from Pergamon Kingdom to Rome from Byzantiyum to Seljuk from Ottoman to Republic, Kaleiçi articulates into the World’s Cultural Heritage with its characteristics. The heart of the city Kaleiçi, an Old Town surrounded by walls, is a magnificent place to live and see the monumental and civil architecture intertwinned and to experience the historical and modern life together.

This rich historical heritage certainly has left us many distingtive monuments. The Fluted Minaret Mosque, built by Alaeddin Keykubat, the ruler of the Anatolian Seljuk Empire in 1230, which stands out with the form of its fluted minaret that is one of a kind in Anatolian Turkish Architecture, is just one them. This monument was included in UNESCO Temporary List of World Heritage in 2016.

As Municipality of Muratpaşa, we deeply attach importance to the preservation of historical cities, and strive for carrying them to the future. All efforts we do is to raise awareness for historical cities that have left their mark on human history and host a tremendous cultural heritage.

Within the framework of the context above  and in order to share with the entire world the living historical texture and cultural values of Kaleiçi, since 2016, we have been organizing the Kaleiçi Old Town Festival, which brings together representatives of historical cities from all over the world.

With this special festival we aim to raise awarenss, expand the opportunities for cooperation in preserving the cultural and historical heritage of the living Old Towns, to find solutions to common problems, to increase the interest in the Old Towns, as well as to establish a permanent bridge of humanity and culture between our cities.

36 living ancient cities from 3 continents and 21 different countries were hosted in 2021 The Kaleiçi Old Town Festival.  The increasing interest to the festival, through the years, has shown us that we, the living old towns, are facing the same challenges, have common goals and chasing common dreams. In order to share and negotiate these common problems and strengthen mutual collaborations we have additionaly organized an Kaleiçi Old Town Festival Forum.

In 2022, despite these dificult pandemic conditions, we wish to come together with all our old and new friends in the 7. Kaleiçi Old Town Festival and Forum to build lasting ties, share our experiences and make our voices heard through cooperation.
To many festivals and forums together!

Ümit Uysal
Mayor of Muratpaşa Municipality