The mayor of the northwestern province of Bursa, a city known for its historical, cultural, and natural richness, said they are in great efforts to bring back the once called “Green Bursa” to its old days in an interview with daily Hürriyet on Oct. 7.
“We are pulling down all structures surrounding the historical buildings. History and green will come to light,” said Alinur Aktaş. “Payitaht Bursa will be back.”
Payitaht, a Farsi word, was the old name of “the capital city during the Ottoman Empire.”
“This city used to be called ‘Green Bursa’ due to its natural beauty. Unfortunately, this changed in the 80s. Migration and illegal settlement ruined the city. Green became grey,” said the mayor, promising to turn it back to its old days.
According to the latest city plans, a total of 1.5 million square meters of the area will turn green with new parks. The city sits on an area of 1,036 square kilometers.
“There is a historical place called ‘Region of Inns.’ In time, a lot of structures were built surrounding these historical buildings. Now we are pulling all down with a project that would cost 200 million Turkish Liras [$25.5 million],” said the mayor, calling it a “thematic urban renewal.”
The mayor also said they will work on making Mount Uludağ, which is a winter tourism hot spot, a destination for tourists all year round.
“When we talk about snow, the first thing that comes to mind is Uludağ. There will be an addition to this perception. Uludağ will not only be active in winters, but it will also host tourists throughout the year,” noted the mayor, without giving further details.
According to data, 1.8 million tourists visited the city in 2019. The mayor has a target of “5 million tourists” for the year 2024.
“We will reach it very easily,” said the mayor with self-confidence, eyeing South Koreans as potential tourists.
“South Korea’s population is 51 million. Some 35 million South Koreans make a minimum of a one-week vacation. They don’t look for the sea. They are addicted to history and culture. It is what Bursa is all about. We are promoting the city in South Korea now.”
Hurriyet Daily News