Organized by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, the Turkish Federation of Shopping Centers and Retailers, the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality's Kültür A.Ş, the fifth annual Istanbul Shopping Fest, which brings Istanbul's gastronomy, history and cultural values together across Istanbul, one of Europe's most dazzling cities. The festival will continue until June 28 and will turn Istanbul into a center of attraction for shopping and entertainment. With its unique atmosphere, blending the East's orientalism and West's dynamism, Istanbul will enable its residents and guests to experience the joy of shopping as well as discover new tastes and places.
The official opening of the festival took place last Saturday in Ortaköy with a series of events overseen by Istanbul Governor Vasip Şahin, Beşiktaş Municipality Mayor Murat Hazinedar, Istanbul Chamber of Commerce President and Istanbul Shopping Festival Executive President İbrahim Çağlar and many important Istanbul business figures. Participants enjoyed the event's festivities, which included a fireworks show over the Bosporus. Speaking during the opening ceremony, Şahin said, "We need to leave Istanbul as a prosperous city to future generations. This year, the fifth annual Istanbul Shopping Festival is being held and I hope this festival will contribute to our economy as well as to the city." He said these kinds of events allow people to shop wisely and experience the culture of the city. "I hope that we will present both of these experiences to international tourists who have come here to tour Istanbul," he added, and concluded by thanking everybody who worked hard for the festival to be a success.Following Şahin, Çağlar invited everyone to Istanbul to enjoy an exclusive shopping experience for 23 days. He claimed that the Istanbul Shopping Festival contributes to making the city a center of art, commerce and shopping. Saying that taxi drivers, simit sellers, shopkeepers, shopping malls and all people who love Istanbul are a part of this festival, Çağlar stressed the discount opportunities available, and said "Legendary Discount and Concept Discount" days will be held throughout the festival. "I believe that our love for Istanbul will help the festival grow more and more every day. While there was a global economic crisis in 2008, the tourism income of countries such as Spain and Greece decreased. However, Turkey's tourism grew by 2.4 percent. Today, we are facing a global crisis once again, but Istanbul is ranked fifth in terms of tourism growth. The Istanbul Shopping Festival aims to raise Istanbul to third place from its current rank," Çağlar said.
During the festival, which will last for 23 days, all contributing shops offer special discounts and exclusive events, parties and shopping experiences for their visitors. The festival will not only appeal to Istanbulites, but also to international tourists, thanks to the tax-free shopping opportunities that the shops offer. Throughout the Istanbul Shopping Festival, shopping malls and the city's well-known shopping spots will be turned into festival areas, and the shops will close two hours later than their usual closing time in order to provide shoppers more time to lose themselves among the various retail options.