Gökçeada (TR) - The first eco-gastronomy congress of turkey held


The first eco-gastronomy congress was jointly organized by theMunicipality of Cittaslow Gökçeada, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University (ÇOMÜ), and the South Marmara Development Agency in Gökçeada.

Along with scores of experts, Muhittin Gürel (The District Governor of Gökçeada), Ünal Çetin (The Major of Cittaslow Gökçeada), Prof. Dr. Şükriye Aras Hisar (The Vice-Rector of COMU), and Prof. Dr. H. Rıdvan Yurtseven (The Director of Gökçeada School of Applied Sciences) participated in the congress.

39 presentations were delivered at 7 sessions. The congress was spiced up by the workshops intended to get the participants to meet new tastes. Moreover, eco-gastronomy was multilaterally discussed at the congress where local food was in the limelight.

"Our Motto: Good, Clean, and Fair"

The opening speech of the congress, titled "The Eco-gastronomic Culture", was delivered by Prof. Dr. Rıdvan Yurtseven, the Coordinator of the Scientific Committee of Cittaslow Turkey and the Director of Gökçeada School of Applied Sciences.

"Normally, very few people participate in eco-gastronomy congresses; however, we wish to break the routine and reach out for the masses", said Prof. Yurtseven.

Prof. Yurtseven continued to say:

"I am very thrilled to witness the organization of such a congress intended to promote the Cittaslow philosophy and Slow Food Movement based on the motto 'Good, Clean and Fair'. Throughout the congress, we will discuss such matters as local sustainability, supports to local production, development of local people. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the people supporting and contributing to the congress."

"Food is a political matter", said Defne Koryürek, the Committee Member of Slow Food International, which has around 100.000 members from across 150 countries and is a network of local chapters working together to protect and to preserve local food cultures known as Convivium.

"Food is a political matter."

Koryürek said, "Production of any kind and the way you produce are political matters, and they are your own choices. Political are for what, for whom and for whose survival you spend the dimes in your pocket – the price of your arduous toil. You may support a local production or an international economy with the money you have spent. It is meaningless to put the blame on somebody else because it is all up to you to build the future with these dimes in your pocket. We are here to discuss the politics of food; 'what we support', 'what kind of a future we like to have', and 'what we do for a better future."

She also said, "You do not only vote in an election; choosing a product at a market or a greengrocer is also 'voting'. You pay either for organic, unprocessed food or the other. This is a matter of choice, a political one indeed."

Bülent Köstem, the Coordinator of Cittaslow Turkey made some notable remarks about Cittaslow and Slow Food. He said, "Cittaslowis just the thing for Gökçeada" and thanked the contributors.

Prof. Dr. Şükriye Aras Hisar, the Vice-Rector of ÇOMÜ, remarked that she was proud to host the congress where prominent figures in eco-gastronomy would be discussing the matters concerning eco-gastronomy.

Prof. Hisar continued as follows:
"Thanks to this congress, we will be able to know Cittaslow better which we regard as a remarkable investment in the future, and we will have the chance to re-consider our ideal to lead a better life and our love to and interest in local cultures.

Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University takes pride in having the most successful gastronomy program in Turkey. Among its missions are to protect and to preserve the national and global values and to support new discoveries. This is why Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University aims to become an institution making a world of difference.

ÇOMÜ is a pioneer in gastronomic research in Turkey. Therefore, it works hard to achieve its vision to be globally listed among the leading universities in gastronomy. We are proud to support any program and activity organised to this end. On behalf of all the members of ÇOMÜ, I would like to express my gratitude to the dear participants, and wish a fruitful congress to you."

Ünal Çetin, the Mayor of Cittaslow Gökçeada – the one and onlyCittaslow Island in the world – had this to say about the congress and its primary concern: "The Cittaslow and Slow Food Movementsas the focus of the present activity quite fit the characteristics of the island, and help us express what we already have inside."

Çetin continued as follows:
"Gökçeada, one of the most important islands of Turkey, has a strong sense of localness and hosts a great many activities and novelties without bringing any harm to its natural environment.

With its unique environment, Gökçeada is among the most important gastronomic centres thanks to the island people of different religious and cultural background and its simple food bequeathed by the previous civilizations. The food here has a unique taste and it is not hard on tongue.

I am very proud to co-host this congress with Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University and the South Marmara Development Agency. I would like to express my gratitude to Prof. Dr. Rıdvan Yurtseven and his team. I look forward to the upcoming projects to see you again on the island."

Muhittin Gürel, the District Governor of Gökçeada, thanked the project partners and the participants, and expressed, "I care about such events which I find highly contributory to the development of the island, the promotion of its riches, and the preservation of its local identity".

At the congress, which was organized at Gökçeada Anemos Otel, the presenters delivered their papers for two days, which were followed by the workshops.