Turkey - Four more Turkish towns named ‘cittaslow' after Izmir's Seferihisar

Turkish National Network

Four more Turkish towns were given the title "cittaslow," literally "slow city," by the Cittaslow International Coordination Committee on Tuesday.

The committee named Taraklı, a small town in the western province of Sakarya; Gökçeada, in the western province of Çanakkale; Yenipazar, of the western province of Aydın; and Akyaka, of the Aegean province of Muğla, "cittaslow" cities.

Cittaslow is a movement founded in Italy in October 1999. The inspiration for Cittaslow was the Slow Food organization that tries to combat fast-food culture. The Cittaslow organization defines itself as a growing international network of over 120 towns in 18 countries across the world that have adopted a set of common goals and principles to enhance their quality of life for residents and visitors.

In simple terms, Cittaslow towns aim to be great places to live, work and visit. They aim to support local businesses, foster local traditions, protect the environment, welcome visitors and encourage the active participation of the community in civic life. İzmir's Seferihisar was given the title "cittaslow" in 2009 by the committee, becoming Turkey's first "slow city."

Each Cittaslow town commits to working towards a set of over 50 goals and principles that aim to improve its quality of life. These goals and principles provide tangible benchmarks against which a town can measure its progress and also act as a mechanism to bring local people from all walks of life together to work collectively for the good of their town.

Ahmet Çalca, the mayor of Akyaka, told the Anatolia news agency that they were proud that Akyaka was chosen as a "cittaslow" city. Noting that they applied to the Cittaslow International Coordination Committee on Feb. 9, he stated that the town has been making preparations to secure this title for two years.