Kızlarağası Caravanserai

In the heart of İzmir’s city centre, a story of renewal is unfolding that resembles the story of the coal gas factory. It all began with Beşir, a young boy who found himself in a bustling slave market. When he was recognised by a wealthy Ottoman merchant, he was destined for greatness.

Years of service in the merchant’s harem led Beşir to the opulent Topkapı Palace. Here he received a royal education and rose through the ranks at an astonishing rate, playing a key role in the rise of Ahmed III.

Beşir Ağa’s legacy is evident in the Kızlarağası Caravanserai, a historical marvel in İzmir built in all its splendour in 1744. It was restored in 1993 and is now a vibrant tourist destination with cafés, diverse cuisine and ancient treasures. No tour of İzmir is complete without a stop here.

Why is it regenerative?

This history preserves the historical heritage, stimulates economic activity and attracts tourists, contributing to the revitalisation of the municipality and the region.

Project partners met in Aveiro on the 14th and 15th of September 2023. It was the perfect opportunity to visit the destination with regenerative glasses on, to understand its many assets but also some of the challenges the destination is facing. Face to face project meetings always provide the partners with the unique opportunity to learn about the work of the hosting partner and get valuable insights about the destination. In this case partners were hosted by the dedicated team of management and tourism professionals of the University of Aveiro who shared a wealth of insights about a city that was new to many of the participants.

The Enforce project is well on track when it comes to the project work plan, which means that after having completed the Best Practice collection of innovative examples about storytelling for regeneration and also the Storyteller’s Guide, partners used the meeting to discuss the development of the Enforce Training Programme.

For the next few months partners will be working on developing the content in line with guidelines provided by the University of Usak, our project partner from Turkey.
The course should be available for piloting in January/February 2024 and will also be available in the partner languages once all translations are finalised.

The ENFORCE team met in the beautiful city of Luxembourg for its kick-off meeting. It took place at the premises of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg (also known as CCIL), which opened its doors to warmly welcome all partners.

The team was aware of the importance of this first meeting and approached it with the same enthusiasm, as it plays an important role in building strong bonds that will contribute to the success of the entire cooperation. With the common goal of building a solid foundation, the participants discussed in depth the first steps required for the project ENFORCE.

During this visit, the project objectives were discussed in depth to ensure that each partner has a comprehensive understanding of the overarching goals. The outcome of the kick-off meeting was extremely satisfying for all partners and generated enthusiasm among the team. It was a success and left everyone inspired and energised.

The journey of ENFORCE has officially begun and with the collective expertise of the committed partners, there is no doubt that it will thrive and achieve remarkable results.


“The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein”

Project N: 2022-1-LU01-KA220-VET-000089887

© 2024 Enforce Project
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