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.
- 2018 – Received the award in Turkey at the Women of Soil contest held by Yves Rocher Foundation.
- 2018 – 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 – Became the only Turkish chef in the top 10 chefs of Basque Culinary World Prize for the second time by being chosen out of 140 candidates from 30 countries with her project titled “From Soil to Plate”.
- 2017 – Became the first Turkish chef in the top 10 chefs of Basque Culinary World Prize, the most prestigious culinary contest of the world, by being chosen out of 110 candidates from 30 countries with her project titled “Harran Gastronomy School”.
- 2017 – Received “Achievement Tree Award” at the end of the survey conducted among the students of French Saint Pulcherie School with her projects regarding employment of Syrian refugee women.
- 2017 – Named as the “Woman Leaving Her Mark on Turkey’s Future” by Çaba Foundation.
- 2012 – Documented and aired in Japan the success story of Mardin with Japanese TV channel NHK.
- 2011 – Received “Turkish Female Entrepreneurs Creating a Difference in their Regions” award given by Garanti Bank, Ekonomist Magazine and KAGIDER.
- 2007 – Listed among the top three projects with Cercis Murat Mansion in “World’s Female Leaders and Sustainable Projects” determined by Kent State University.
- 2007 – Received “Turkey’s Social Entrepreneur Award” given by Newspaper Milliyet and Ernst&Young.
- 2001 – Received “Turkey’s Successful Woman” award given by Newspaper Dünya.