In the Historical Coal Gas Factory, Izmir Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer met with the committee from Thessaloniki visiting Turkey for start of rounds and the sector representatives. At the end of this two-hour summit, the parties agreed that all sectors must cooperate to launch this project.
All details of this project were discussed during the summit organized in the Historical Coal Gas Factory and hosted by Izmir Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer. Mrs. Neptün Soyer, wife of Izmir Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer, attended to this meeting as well as Mrs. Argyro Papoulia, the Consul General of Greece in Izmir; Mr. Osman Tolga Gencer, the Chairman of TÜRSAB Aegean Representation Committee; Mr. Yusuf Öztürk, the Chairman of the Chamber of Shipping and management of Izmir Shipping Association; Mr. Ayhan Turhan, the President of International Land and Cargo Shippers and Agency Owners Association; the project consultants Michalis Triandafillis and journalist Süleyman Gençel; officers of Levante Ferries Shipping Company that intends to organize the ferry routes and a delegation from Thessaloniki.
Izmir Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer made the opening speech of the meeting; he mentioned that they have convened to start a key project and added: “We are all pleased to be realizing a dream we have had for so long. Izmir – Thessaloniki Ferry Route is to combine two most beautiful cities of the world. As Izmir Metropolitan Mayor, I can assure you that our municipality will do its best to promote, market and improve this route. I hope we will all travel on this ferry as soon as possible”.
Argyro Papoulia, the Consul General of Green in Izmir, highlighted that this project is important for improvement of business and tourism relations between the two countries and reminded that the prime ministers of both countries signed a cooperation treaty in 2016. She added that they worked with Izmir Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer for Samos route when Mr. Soyer was the Mayor of Seferihisar and this cooperation has continued with other projects.
The ship-owner Yorgos Theodosis is the owner of Levante Ferries Shipping Company that intends to start the routes between two countries and he mentioned that they are ready to operate two ferries for three days of a week on Izmir – Thessaloniki Ferry Route and continued: “We are taking key steps for launching the project we have been discussing since 2001. The ferry will depart from Alsancak Port towards evening and arrive in Thessaloniki in the morning. Then, the ferry will leave Thessaloniki towards evening and arrive in Izmir in the morning. When the ferry routes start, the people of these two countries will get to know each other; tourism will improve and business volume will increase.”
Mr. Yusuf Öztürk, the President of the Chamber of Shipping, reminded that the Thessaloniki Port is a passage to the Southern Europe, Balkans, Italy and they will provide the necessary support for operating the line.