Officially merging with the Eminönü district with the Local Elections of 29 March 2009 and having covered the entire Historical Peninsula beginning from that date, Fatih houses about 450,000 residents and a population of about 3 million persons during the day.
The deepest rooted center of population in Istanbul with a history of 8500 years and considered to be the gem of not only Istanbul but of the world with its inherited treasures of world culture, Fatih faced the danger of losing its natural and historical beauty owing to intense migration since 1950s. In time, many areas of collapse occurred and infrastructural issues began to appear together with dense population.
Called the walled city, covering the entire Historical Peninsula, the area was declared as protected area in order to preserve its historical and natural beauties and accordingly it was necessary to re-plan the area.
As we took office in 2004, we progressed step by step pursuant to the strategic plan we created and we successfully realized 50 years' worth of investment in 5 years in Fatih. Making direct contribution to socio-cultural structure and economy of Fatih, we aimed to serve not only the present day but also the future of Fatih with these investments.
Our main approach whereon our works are built is a comprehensive social transformation project. The purpose is not only to open the historical and cultural heritage to tourism and contribute to economic life of Fatih residents but also to bring about a social and cultural revival in Fatih. An indispensable requirement for accomplishing this purpose is to realize a participating approach.
One of the most significant bases of our social transformation project is to raise the socio-economic level of Fatih residents. Therefore we attach particular significance to vitalizing economy and increasing employment in Fatih. As our strategic plan is realized step by step, we are restructuring vocational courses in order to meet the qualified workforce demand to be brought by new areas of business that will emerge in Fatih.
Making Fatih a cultural center again makes another basis of the social transformation project. Art galleries, theater and movie display, concerts, photo exhibits, panel discussions, conferences, art workshops and festivals are among the events that are always in our agenda and what we organized. However, what's more important is to create a cultural infrastructure so that these activities are organized by the residents of Fatih themselves. For this purpose, we incorporate into our agenda more comprehensive and permanent projects in collaboration with universities, non-governmental organizations and the world of art. The Ali Emiri Cultural Center and Wedding Hall which was recently completed with the contributions of our Metropolitan Municipality and offered to the service of Fatih residents is the new venue where these projects come to life.
Again in this period, our information houses aiming to supplement our youth's education and increase their success in exams as well as for their socio-cultural development are put to service. 3 new information houses that will be commissioned this year within the organization of our district halls will be added to the existing 5 information houses. Our district halls will be venues that meet the socializing needs of Fatih resident ladies and children. Serving as a kind of small municipality from condolence to celebrations, from sports to information house and neighborhood unit, we will build our district halls in important centers of Fatih and will have thus overcome a major shortage.
While Fatih houses major university and foundation hospitals of our country, the number of healthcare centers where our people can easily access to primary healthcare services was completely inadequate. During our service period of 5 years, we spent efforts to put up a healthcare center in every neighborhood in order to resolve this problem despite the fact that it wasn't among our essential duties. We completed 18 of the 24 healthcare centers that constituted our goal and we transferred them to the Ministry of Health. We will have achieved the EU standards in health when all of the planned healthcare centers are commissioned into service.
We also continue our works for dissemination of sports facilities at full speed so that our youth use their energy more constructively. We incorporate sports facilities to Fatih with the support of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Our Fatih Sports Complex in Edirnekapı will be offered to the service of all the youth interested in sports with its Olympic swimming pool, squash, boxing, wrestling, weight lifting, ping pong and billiard halls, conference halls, apparatus gymnastic and fitness halls. Our ice-skating rink of Olympic size in Silivrikapı has recently been offered to the service of Fatih residents. Mimar Sinan Stadium is modernized and renewed in international dimensions. Upon completion of the works, the stadium will be opened for use as training field for amateur clubs and it contains football, volleyball and basketball fields.
Gathering our previously loose units under the same roof, our Municipality Service Building had recently been constructed with the contributions of our Metropolitan Municipality and commissioned into service. Planned to ensure the residents of Fatih receive the top quality service they deserve in a modern, accessible building with parking area which doesn't disturb the aesthetics of the city, our new service building complex is also having an urban theater stage constructed in it. We named it the Reşat Nuri Stage and upon completion of this theater construction, our Municipality Service Complex will become a living area day and night.
The Super Service Solution Desks commissioned upon completion of the municipality service building have been created in order to resolve the issues of Fatih residents with regard to municipality services and to increase our service quality to the top level. Ensuring top level transparency, speed, reliability and most importantly, satisfaction of citizens, the system gained the admiration of Fatih residents.
Moreover, established in order to create a bridge of communication between our Municipality and Fatih residents, the Fatih Municipality Communication Center (FABİM) maintains its works on regular basis. Fatih residents are able to communicate any issues, suggestions and complaints to FABİM by phone, e-mail or personally and keep track of the solution. FABİM serves as a bridge not only in people's relationship with the municipality but also with the other institutions of the government.
As you might have realized, I haven't mentioned issues such as collecting garbage, building roads and zoning applications which are considered as the fundamental duties of the municipality. Because, these are the most fundamental duties of a municipality. Still, if you witness any failure in our services, I ask the residents of Fatih to own Fatih and communicate the issues to the municipality via FABİM as any sensible citizen should.
As I mentioned earlier, classical understanding of municipality cannot be our way. The goal is to create a comprehensive social transformation in Fatih. We are working to urbanize Fatih with its historical accumulation, infrastructure, social and cultural development and to make it a model district in Istanbul under the European Union standards.
Now our only purpose is to deserve your gratitude with our services.
Yours and sincerely,