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“The City of Water”

Archeological underground area of Vicus Caprarius

Everybody knows the famous Trevi Fountain, but probably nobody knows the underground ways that reach out under the Trevi quarter. The archeological site of Vicus Caprarius belongs to this whole ancient remains. It is a complex building that was discovered during the renovation works of the ex Cinema Trevi and that containing an ancient domus and the castellum acquae of the Aqua Virgo aqueduct. Going back in time it will be possible to understand the stratification of Rome and see the archeological finds that are the trace of the big event of ancient Rome: Nero’s fire, the creation of Aqua Virgo aqueduct, the sack of Alarico and the siege of Goths. Info and reservations: www.spaziocremoninialtrevi.com

TURKEY/ Selin Sanli: Being outside the EU is what saved us

tratto da ilsussidiario.net

If at one time Turkey dreamed of being a part of Europe, today the EU is no longer synonymous with progress, but of poverty and unemployment. This is demonstrated by the fact that, according to a survey done by the Bosphorus University, published in the newspaper Vatan, today only 47.1% of Turks have a positive opinion of Europe, compared with 73% in 2003. If nine years ago, 74% of the population would have voted “yes” in a referendum on the EU, today only 51% would express themselves to be in favor. Selin Sanli, radio correspondent from Florence for the Turkish TRT television talks with Ilsussidiario.net about the results of the survey.

Why are the Turks losing their positive opinion of Europe?
The main cause is the economic crisis. We saw our neighbor Greece sink into the abyss and put everything on sale. At one time, the European Union was a political and economic power, but after what happened in Athens and the economic and political crisis in Italy that never seems to end, things have changed. For all of the above factors, the European Union has become less attractive. Ankara has withstood the global recession better than Athens? Not only have we held up, but now Turkey is going through a period of economic boom, is growing and I hope we will continue on this path. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the crisis almost touched us too, but fortunately we made it through so far.

Why has Turkey remained immune to the economic crisis?
Above all because it is not part of the European Union. In addition, the fact that labor costs in this country are much lower, and the prices of Turkish products are accordingly lower. The Italian textile firms, instead of making jacket sewing factories in Italy, relocate to Turkey where everything costs half, including travel and the customs. At the same time, however, our country is easily accessible from Europe, its people were brought up to a good standard. They work and are paid even if the wages are low by the standards of the Old Continent.

Is there a sector that is going particularly well?
Ours is a country rich in raw materials, and therefore all the sectors are thriving. Recently, for example, there was a boom in Turkish TV series, which recorded their peak in 2011. TV series produced in our country have been sold in 24 states in the world, including non-Muslim countries such as Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic, generating a turnover of 60 million dollars. We know how to learn, and this is the key to Turkish success.

Does the Turkish judgment of Europe also come from the disappointment of being excluded?

This is certainly an important factor. Even today, for example, the Turks wishing to visit the EU have to apply for a visa. The strong growth of our economy means that many people in our country go to Italy, especially in tourist cities like Florence, in order to spend and not to find a job. However, we are always treated as potential immigrants, and this bothers us a little. The embassy asks Turkish citizens who want to go to Italy how many homes they have, what their income is and other questions that are a bit unfair and put us on the spot.

What are the consequences of this attitude?
A potential tourist who is content to live in Turkey, who would not think of emigrating for any reason, and only wishes to spend three days in Rome and three days in Venice, has no incentive to travel to Italy. These little facts create resentment against the bureaucracy of the European Union. We Turks have realized that we are strong even without the EU, indeed many of us think we are lucky to have been excluded because, if things had not gone this way, today we would be worse off. Until a couple of years ago, the fact that we were left out weighed on us, but now we are doing well without the EU.

64% of Turks fear that accession to the EU would be at the expense of Islamic values. How important is religion in the negative judgment on Europe?
We Turks have always been different from other Muslim. From the point of view of our mentality, we feel more European than Arab. I do not deny that people may be afraid of what they do not know. I am Muslim, but I go to church almost every day and I like it. Even in their differences, both Christianity as Islam are monotheistic religions, and I see only points of contact between them. Recently I read the Bible, and if people knew all the elements we have in common, there would be no fear. I believe that in the more or less distant future, maybe in 50 or 60 years, the conflict between the Western and Eastern civilizations will end and extremists will cease to exist.

(Pietro Vernizzi)

WELCOME TO IZMIR

Izmir is the 3rd biggest city of Turkey after Istanbul and Ankara (the capital of Turkey) and she is the most european looking city of our country, situated on the west side by the sea on the Aegean Coast, her splendor is hard to describe. Mediterranean air is reflected on the people, in the local cuisine, and every other component of the city that you might think of. When you visit Izmir you have every shade of blue color on one side and every shade of green on your other side as the city is full of green areas. If you are a resident in Izmir, you don’t need to pay to go the gym because the beautiful city is full of open gym spaces in the green areas. You will eat a lot but you can burn all those extra calories easily, i also almost beg you to go to a “hamam” turkish bath in Turkey is a unique experience, you will lose all the damaged skin and relax and come out feeling like a newborn out of that steam and it will cost you only a few dollars! 

I would highly recommend you the exquisite fish cuisine in any of the restaurants you see open. If you find yourself wandering by the coast, make sure to stop by to taste the fish with lots of healthy side dishes made of vegetables and olive oil. I would also invite you to go to Konak, the center of the city a great place to go shopping, you should definitely stop by a “Kebap” restaurant and eat” doner” with white rice served with hot butter sauce on it. I just shared with you one of childhood memories. I can still feel the delicious smell of hot butter. If you are a vegan you will find lots of little fruit shops that will make you wonderful smoothies from fresh fruit. 

If you are a nightlife type, Alsancak is the place with different type of bars, you can enjoy every type of music from world hip pop to local melodies. If you are fresh out of the disco the eating routine hasn’t finished! Because the tradition is wonderful local restaurants for soup that will defiantly fascinate you! I personally adore the lentil soup, after long hours of dancing that’s what you need.

Local transportation is very reliable, easy and fast in Izmir. There is the metropolitan and there are buses that will take you almost anywhere, and it’s made easy for the elderly and disabled.

There are lots of cinemas that show contemporary movies with the American cinemas and they are shown in their original language with Turkish under titles. There are so many different shopping malls in which you can go shopping for international and Turkish brands, movies, attraction parks, and fast food and local restaurants.

Being the bay area, the city is particularly romantic by night time. There is ferry transportation during the day from different points. Since Izmir people are mediterranean people they are very sociable, friendly, hospitable people like you, therefore if you need help you will find it easily. English is one of the highly spoken languages in the society, besides lately most people have learned Italian, Spanish, German and French. There are  several good quality universities. There are also very good equipped hospitals.

Don’t forget to taste the great sandwiches at least once in a life time, one of them is named “Kumru” in which there are different types of salami that taste incredibly great, a different type of subway sandwich that you’ll love. 

When wandering by in Izmir at times and at certain spaces you feel like you are walking in Los Angeles or Miami, you will find some angles that resemble to Viareggio in Italy, in any case you will feel at home. Izmir has a lot to offer. Izmir’s people are very open minded and democratic, Izmir is a very safe city. Since living in Izmir is very healthy that led to generations of happy and beautiful people. Izmir is known for her beautiful girls and women. 

Besides the natural beautiful surroundings of Izmir, of course I recommend you to pay particular attention to Konak Square with “The Clock Tower”,  Cumhuriyet Square, Kizlaragasi Inn to have the best turkish coffee,  The Elevator for a great view, Sadirvan Mosque. By the way please sip the black tea while posting the photos you’ve taken during your unforgettable visit. You will have a great time! Go to Turkey and enjoy Izmir, you’ll love it!