Yeni Şükran; a Second Class Hotel
Entering through the old door, I come across the hotel manager İlyas and clerk Yaşar.  They welcome me and ask me if I would like to have my previous room or not. Some rooms are for visitors while some are for the hosts...
I walk up to the second floor, pass through the hallway and reach the hall decorated with photographs, mirrors, live and artificial plants. Everything remains the same place as if they were stood hundred years ago. There is an old and humid smell at the atmosphere. “It is history” said İlyas, “It is the smell of past”. A longstanding home for all. Welcome to Yeni Şükran; a second-class hotel.
It is said that the hotel got its new name from the Şükran Restaurant which was located in the courtyard of Hacı Hasan Hotel in Kemeraltı, historical bazaar district of İzmir. It is reported that with the economical and social change during westernization period of Ottoman Empire, İzmir had been introduced to a new life style. And thus, with the increasing demand for places to stay, Kemeraltı Hotels, built as khans that involve courtyards, were preferred by the local merchants who visited İzmir for business purposes. Yeni Şükran, Hacı Hasan back then, started to serve as a hotel in the beginning of the 20th century and it is the one and such an only example of Kemeraltı hotels that has still functions today.
İlyas has been running the hotel since 1982. He used to be a quilt maker when he came to İzmir from Konya in 1955.  He says the business didn’t go well because of warm climate. So he got into hotel management.  He tries his best to keep the place alive. He takes care of the repairs, maintenance and modifications as much as he can.  He talks about some regulations to keep the family environment in here. It is important to supply the needs of the guests but he can’t construct much inside of this historical building. Permission must be obtained from the Council on Monuments for innovations such as toilet included rooms.  Some people don’t prefer to stay because of that. Yeni Şükran is mostly preferred by the people who come to İzmir for seasonal work and looking for a quiet place that is suitable for their budget. There are workers, unemployed people, old-age pensioners besides full time residents,  Ayten and Adnan are two of them. They help İlyas and the personnel with hotel work and stay here for free in return.
Ayten says that she has been living here for nine years. She has moved in with a friend once but couldn’t get along and so she came back. She doesn’t have a family except for her niece who lives in Germany. She says that the only children of hers are the cats living around Kemeraltı.
Like Ayten, Adnan has tried to rent a flat two times but couldn’t adapt the life outside. He has been living in Yeni Şükran since 25 years. Moreover he has transferred his domicile to here a few years ago. He feels anxious because of the rumors about the closure of the hotel. As İlyas says the owner of the building wants to renovate the place and occasionally architects come to hotel for measurement. The owner told him that the building may remain as a hotel till 2018, after that time anything might not be certain.
It is getting dark, I bat around the old building looking at the the photographs on the wall which are left from the exhibitions held in here. Some are about Kemeraltı Bazaar, some are the memories of Yeni Şükran, people who stayed here. I ran into Yaşar at the hall and he wishes to me colored cinemascope dreams for the night and continues his daily routine, maintains checking the hallways and rooms.

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