A 140-YEAR-OLD INSTITUTION EMBRACING CENTURIES OF HISTORY
The Alsancak Tekel Factory, whose history dates back to the end of the 19th century, after restoration, renovation and reconstruction works in accordance with its original form, has transformed into a cultural and artistic center of the new generation that will shape the cultural and artistic life of İzmir.
The unused buildings of the factory, which is one of the most important industrial heritages of the city with its 140-year history, were re-functionalized and brought into the future. The historic factory opened its doors to culture and art, this time under the name “İzmir Culture and Arts Factory”.
With its museums remodeled according to the concept of modern museology, libraries that appeal to all segments of the population – from children and young people to adult readers and researchers of all ages, cultural and art workshops, and a vast landscape and recreational area suitable for outdoor activities, the İzmir Culture and Arts Factory is a candidate for the new center of attraction for the city and will continue to be a source for those who are building the world of the future while helping to preserve the city’s historical memory.
İzmir Culture and Arts Factory is one of the windows to the cultural and art world of our country and İzmir and an original and innovative cultural and art center that responds to the artistic, cultural, educational and social needs of society with its services, a place where the people of the city interact with culture, art and nature. It stands out as a pleasant meeting place for all citizens and visitors of the city.
Alsancak Tekel Factory
INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE OF THE CITY
In İzmir, which has a rich agricultural potential and is the main port of departure of Western Anatolia, industrial activities emerged in the period from the 16th to the mid-19th century, generally due to the export of agricultural products. With the rapid increase in the volume of trade in the second half of the 19th century, there were significant developments in the industrial life of İzmir. Many large industrial plants are opened, such as a spinning mill, a coal-gas factory, a water factory and a cigarette factory.
As a result of the trade agreements that the Ottoman Empire concluded with England and France, foreign merchants subordinated to these two countries settled in İzmir from 1838. In 1881, the Düyûn-u Umûmiye (Public Debts) Administration was established to pay the foreign debts of the Empire, and all taxes collected from stamps, alcoholic beverages and tobacco were reserved for domestic and foreign debts. The Régie de Tabacs (Tobacco Regiment), created in 1884 as an enterprise of the administration, took over the tobacco monopoly and began designing three factories that same year, following the policy of establishing large factories. One of those three projects was the Alsancak Cigarette Factory.
Only two years after the establishment of the Turkish Republic, in 1925, the Tobacco Regiment was purchased from the French by the state, and all the rights and obligations of the Regiment were accordingly transferred to the state. The “Tobacco Monopoly Law (Tütün İnhisarı Kanunu)” enacted in 1930 marked the first steps of TEKEL, which had been the sole manufacturer and distributor of alcohol and tobacco products in Türkiye for many years. Alsancak Cigarette Factory, which was actively used in the early years of the Republic and whose production chart increased in the 1940s, continued its production activities as a TEKEL enterprise until 2004. The buildings on the factory premises are registered via various decisions of the Protection Authority in 1979, 1985 and 2007.