In order to activate the tourism potential of the provinces located in the Lower Euphrates Basin of the Southeastern Anatolia Region, the underwater beauties photographs of Gaziantep, Adıyaman and Şanlıurfa are exhibited in Italy under the brand “Mesopotamia”. Many underwater photographers, especially Tunç Emre Karakoyunlu, Yavuz Pilevneli and Mehmet Öztabak, were invited to the region by İpekyolu Development Agency (İKA) to contribute to the tourism of the region.
Diving to view underwater photos of Gaziantep, Adıyaman and Şanlıurfa, photographers photographed tombstones, wells, houses and trees among the blue. Curated by the artist Nihat Özdal, the exhibition opened in Italy under the name “Mesopotamia” aims to promote the region with underwater photographs presented to art lovers. IKA Secretary General Dr. Burhan Akyılmaz said that they started working to promote 9 provinces in the Southeastern Anatolia Region under the brand name of “Mesopotamia” in cooperation with development agencies under the coordination of the Ministry of Industry and Technology and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Noting that they aim to increase the recognition of the region especially to the target markets with the “Mesopotamia” brand, Akyılmaz said, “We invited members of the international press, tour operators and travel agencies from different countries to our region. We brought together travel agencies and tour operators in our region with these stakeholders.” He reminded that they hosted 20 travel agencies from 5 different countries, especially the travel agencies of Scandinavian countries, in the region.He stated that 4 Scandinavian travel agencies decided to organize a 9-day tour in the region as of September.
Akyılmaz stated that they opened a photography exhibition in Italy within the framework of their efforts to promote the region, and said, “Our aim in this exhibition is to introduce the beauties of our region under water, especially with the construction of Atatürk and Birecik dams, to the whole world with the photographs taken by underwater photographers. Italy is the first time we promote the Mesopotamia brand as a European destination for us. “This exhibition will also feature an underwater documentary on Mesopotamia. All art lovers will meet in Italy at the exhibition, which will be open for one week. We aim to introduce our Mesopotamian brand to the whole of Europe through Italy, through art and photographs.”
Until now, the provinces in the Mesopotamian region were always promoted under the name of GAP tours and GAP brand. Akyılmaz said, “This situation had no effect on the target audience either. Because the word Mesopotamia is a special brand that fully reflects the culture, cultural heritage, history, archeology, mythology, natural beauties and history of the region. We are promoting the region through this brand by highlighting the Mesopotamia brand instead of the GAP tour. We ask all travel agencies to sell their tours of the Southeast provinces under the Mesopotamia brand in the upcoming period. With this brand, the provinces of Southeastern Anatolia will come to the fore as a tourism destination that can attract attention all over the world.”