Izmir Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer hosted representatives of Balkan migrants gathered under the roof of various associations in Izmir. Accompanied by CHP Izmir MP Kani Beko, Izmir Balkan Migrants Culture and Solidarity Association Deputy Chairman Huseyin Pashaoglu, Macedonian Migrants Culture and Solidarity Association President Ilhami Yildiz, Izmir Bosnia and Sandzak Association President Abdullah Gul, Bosnia and Sandzak Association Board Member Serpil Beyazit, Associate Professor Bilgin Celik and Associate Professor Sali Saliji from Dokuz Eylül University were also attended. The delegation mentioned its projects, expectations and demands aimed to expand Balkan culture to a wider population.
Mayor Tunç Soyer underlined the need to ensure the recognition of Balkan culture and he stated that “We are ready to organize the world's biggest Balkan festival as Izmir. Festival should also include gastronomy, music, theatre, and plastic arts. We should see them in an organized way.” Mayor Soyer mentioned that they will start to work on organising a comprehensive Balkan Festival that will set an example for Turkey and he said that “Let's organize a beautiful festival by working together with Balkan Associations. Let academics and ambassadors discuss what kind of problems Western Thrace, Bosnia and Herzegovina are experiencing, what the issue of minority Turks means. Let's tell this story to Turkey and the world by colouring it with a festival and placing stories about the roots of Balkan culture to these issues.”
During the visit, the representatives of the association mentioned their proposals such as collaborating with artists of Balkan and Rumelian origin living in Izmir, supporting student exchange programs, organizing a marathon to publicly announce the Srebrenica massacre to the world, and holding events to promote Balkan cuisine.