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Ayvalık Hosts 10th International Olive Harvest Days

Nov. 5, 2014
Özlem Burcu Öztürk

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The 10th Ayvalık Harvest Days, orga­nized by the Ayvalık Municipality, the Ayvalık Chamber of Commerce and the Ayvalık Chamber of Agriculture, gained a national iden­tity this year. Olive oil binds you to life” was this years slo­gan as orga­niz­ers sought to increase its usage by draw­ing atten­tion to its impor­tance for health.

Ayvalık’s world-class olives and olive oils were pre­sented with the aim reach­ing out to new mar­kets. Increasing olive oil usage in Turkey was another pur­pose of the event.

By remind­ing peo­ple that Ayvalık isn’t just famous for its olives, but also for its his­tory, nature and archi­tec­ture, the fes­ti­val put the the pic­turesque coastal town on cen­ter stage in an effort to pro­mote local tourism.

In the open­ing cer­e­mony, Benhan İbrahim Kantarcı, pres­i­dent of the Ayvalık Chamber of Commerce, men­tioned that the olive is a city tra­di­tion and a fam­ily her­itage.” For the future of Ayvalık, tourism is irre­place­able and efforts like the Harvest Days must con­tinue to move tourism val­ues to higher lev­els.

After the open­ing cer­e­mony, the Thanksgiving to Olive” march started with the accom­pa­ni­ment of the Ayvalık Band.

world-olive-oil-times-the-10th-ayvalik-harvest-days-posterParticpants had the oppor­tu­nity to taste freshly pressed olive oils in the olive mar­ket where com­pa­nies pre­sented their prod­ucts in stands along the Cumhuriyet Square.

Everyone was treated fresh fish — three tons of it, in fact — cooked in local olive oil, which is a tra­di­tion for the Ayvalık Harvest Days cel­e­bra­tion.

This year’s fes­tiv­i­ties took place in the Murateli Village, and gourmets, artists, brand rep­re­sen­ta­tives and local and for­eign jour­nal­ists attended. Participants joined the event from Spain, Greece, Italy, Morocco and Jordan.

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Besides the culi­nary treats, there were olive pick­ing con­tests, and the olive seed” show was per­formed by chil­dren from around the city.

During the Harvest Days, there was an olive and olive oil- themed exhi­bi­tion which was named Derin kök­ler, Ortak kök­ler” (Deep Roots, Common Roots) by pho­tog­ra­phers from Turkey and the Lesbos island, and an exhi­bi­tion of locally crafted rag dolls.

Besides the fun, there were ses­sions where indus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives dis­cussed the chal­lenges of the sec­tor and pro­posed new ini­tia­tives.


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