Ebru Baybara Demir

Born in Edirne as the third child of a Mardin family in 1976, lived in Istanbul throughout her childhood and youth. Graduated from the Tourist Guiding Department, Vocational High School of Social Sciences, Marmara University in 1998, and set her heart on tourism.  Carried out the General Secretariat role at Istanbul Chamber of Guides and Turkish Association of Tourist Guides from 1997 to 1999. 1999 was the year of changes. Ebru settled in Mardin that has nothing more than a 3-star hotel and a small diner.

But she had a big dream, she was going to introduce tourism to Mardin.  

This was a really brave move in a city, where tourism income is so low if any due to the terror-related security issues, farmers have alienated from agriculture, border trade is almost finished due to the war in the Middle East, most of the women don’t leave their homes without their husbands.

With the goal of contributing to the employment of people by using cuisine, which is the common life value of Mesopotamia, as the means in this city where people from various different religions and cultures live together, Ebru Baybara Demir and the 21 women with her renovated a historical Assyrian mansion by staying loyal to its unique lines and turned it into a restaurant. Thus, “Cercis Murat Mansion” was born as the first tourism establishment of Mardin, and also as the first and only chef restaurant of the region.  

As Cercis Murat Mansion is not an ordinary restaurant serving only new or only local dishes, Ebru Baybara Demir is also not a chef, who only cooks and presents, and will never be.

Cercis Murat Mansion, which provides service to its guests every night with products grown using conventional agricultural methods, traditional recipes and unique presentations, became the assembly point of future goals with Ebru Baybara Demir and people of the region that continue to produce with courage.

Ebru Baybara Demir took the support of various international organizations, non-governmental organizations and private sector entrepreneurs besides the local administrations and ministries, and put projects into practice in various different areas, where public can directly contribute to the economic transformation in Mardin and its surrounding. Ebru Baybara Demir, who is a social entrepreneur and a chef receiving invitations from different points of Turkey, Europe and USA together with her students to share her projects and to make traditional dish services, and   chasing after real products and real lives, is married and mother of three.   

Achievements

  • 2021 took place in global ‘Lessons from Lockdown: Cooking after Covid’ book with Semim Soap an From
    Soil to Plate Agricultural Development Cooperative project    www.topraktantabaga.org
  • 2019 she presented From Soil To Plate social gastronomy projects in 5th Food on the Edge Summit as the only chef from Turkey
  • 2019 She presented Turkey in World Gastronomy Tourism Forum held by UNWTO as the only chef from Turkey
  • 2018 she received the award in Turkey at the Women of Soil contest held by Yves Rocher Foundation.
  • 2018 she deemed worthy of an award in “Contributing to Female Employment in Rural Areas” category of the Entrepreneur Female Farmers Award Ceremony organized by the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
  • 2018 again as the only Turkish chef she enters the best top 10 chefs between 140 candidates from 40 different countries in the world’s most prestigious culinary competition for her ‘From Soil To Plate Project’ at the Basque Culinary World Prize 2018.
  • 2017 she became the first Turkish chef to enter the best top 10 chefs between 110 candidates from 30 different countries in the world’s most prestigious culinary competition for her ‘Harran Gastronomy School Project’ at the Basque Culinary World Prize 2017.
  • 2017 she was granted the award of “Success Tree” for the projects of employment to Syrian refugee women, after the research made by students of Saint Pulcherie French School.
  • 2017 she won the “Turkey’s Woman Marking the Future Award” given by Çaba Association.
  • 2012 her success story of Mardin was made a documentary by Japanese TV channel NHK and aired in Japan.
  • 2011 she won the “Turkey’s Locally Distinctive Female Entrepreneur Award” given by Garanti Bank, Ekonomist magazine and KAGİDER.
  • 2007, with Cercis Murat Konağı she was in the top three projects of “Female Leaders of the World and Sustainable Projects” of USA Kent State University.
  • 2007 she won “Turkey’s Social Entrepreneur Award” given by Milliyet newspaper and Ernst&Young.
  • 2001 She won “Turkey’s Successful Woman Award” given by Dünya newspaper.