Turkey - The Scientists Are Gathered For Cittaslow

Turkish National Network

30 academicians from 16 universities came together in Yaşar University for "Cittaslow Scientific Committee" under the leadership of Seferihisar Municipality

Scientists from different disciplines and universities were gathered to discuss the future of Cittaslow movement in Turkey and constitution of Cittaslow Turkey Scientific Committee.
The meeting began with the welcome speech of host Rector, Prof. Dr. Murat Barkan:
Prof. Dr. Barkan said that he has the honour to host the meeting and added; "We have met for a very good occasion. We have worked together with the first Cittaslow Seferihisar and Mayor Tunç Soyer before. I would also like to add that we have embraced Slow philosophy in our university's spirit. We'd like to give support to the philosophy of this organization and keep it alive in our university."

Prof. Dr. Barkan invited participants to present themselves shortly, afterwards, Mayor of Seferihisar Tunç Soyer made a speech about the Slow Movement:
"We are very glad to see you here, a very colourful group with Cittaslow Mayors and scientists. This is the first meeting of the Scientific Committee which will serve to disseminate the slow philosophy in Turkey and lay the scientific foundation of Cittaslow movement in Turkey. It is our aim in this meeting that the word "slow" to be understood more clearly and constitute a road map of actions which will provide scientific support to the existing and candidate Cittaslows and strengthen Slow philosophy in Turkey."
Furthermore, Mr. Soyer made the first presentation of the meeting and stated that the world has completed the age which started by French Revolution and began to fade away after II.World War has completed its term that it is now the age of science and technology. In this age which is called globalization, speed dominates our lives and rivalry only entitles right to live for the speediest and biggest, clothes and food brands of big companies catches the humanity in a trap hegemonically. Human beings react towards the speed which is imposed by globalisation and this is really humane. Localization and slowness are risen from the roots of this reaction. Today people do not believe that being faster is good and tendency towards slowness which is being widespread becomes a global reaction. Mr. Soyer completed his speech with "Slow me down Lord" poem by Wilfred A. Peterson.
After Mr. Soyer, Nedim Atilla, leader of Bardacık Convivium and responsible person of the Convivium constitution in Turkey made a speech titled "Two Cousins: Slow Food and Cittaslow" explaining the history of Slow movement and the relationship between two associations. He also talked about the events organised by the Turkish Conviviums and international events like Terra Madre.

Prof. Dr. Rıdvan Yurtseven author of the books Slow Movement, Slow Food and Gökçeada and Cittaslow Gökçeada representative made a presentation about the Slow Tourism. Prof. Dr. Yurtseven explained the types of tourism and new Slow Tourism concept in detail. He added that people have started to prefer holidays in harmony with the nature where they can enjoy the place they visit.
After Prof. Dr. Yurtseven Cittaslow Turkey Network Coordinator Bülent Köstem made a presentation about the Cittaslow movement in Turkey, Cittaslows in Turkey, and membership requirements of excellence. He also made a short presentation of the Cittaslows in Turkey concluding the first part of the meeting.
Second part of the meeting began with the open session in which participants shared their ideas about Cittaslow movement, the constitution and the road map of Scientific Committee.

Ass.Prof. Melike Demirbaş Kaplan said "It is has been suggested that Cittaslow might be a course in the universities. "I think it might be hard to realise this but we can organise it as a "week". Cittaslow is an interesting subject and I think teachers and students will show interest to this matter. Also congresses may be organized and university magazines may be published with the Cittaslow theme." She also added that "Young mothers are the most sensitive elements of the society; Cittaslow movement should aim young mothers as the target audience."

Prof. Dr. İrfan Arıkan mentioned that he is most probably the happiest person in this meeting because 14 years ago he suggested his student to take up Cittaslow as a thesis subject which was later denied by the board. He said that "At that time I also wanted to use Sakin instead of Yavaş. I have thought of several words beginning with S fulfilling the concept of Sakin Şehir (Cittaslow) which are "sadelik (simplicity), sağlık (health), sıhhat (welfare), sahiplik (guardianship), saygı (respect), sevgi (love), sosyallik (being social), sivil toplum (civil society), sabır (patience), sorumluluk (commitment), sessizlik (silence), sürdürülebilirlik (sustainability)" summing up to KEYİF (joy)."
Prof. Dr. Korel Göymen suggested that Cittaslow introduces a model that requires a new human kind and a new life style; new kind of people respecting individuality but also caring the community. He also said: "There are various universities organising social responsibility projects we might communicate with them and City Councils."
Prof. Dr. Ahmet İnsel indicated that: "I think Cittaslow does not mean only joy/pleasure from individualism but a joy/pleasure born from the relations in community. Ivan Illich might be researched in accordance with the Cittaslow concept there are also good examples of living together living conviviality". Prof. Dr. İnsel also explained that there is an economical approach called "Degrowth" which is against putting economic growth before everything else and Cittaslow might benefit from this economic model. He also argued that Cittaslows are all little towns which cannot continue their economic development with their closed systems thus they have to rely on tourism and agriculture. Meaning that at some point these Cittaslows might be compete against each other and this might cause a problem. He concluded his speech by highlighting the relation between Cittaslow concept and youth and conservatism saying: "Cittaslows should be careful not to suffocate youth when protecting their local values and their essence. There is danger of conservatism while returning to the old and local values."

Prof. Dr. Tayfun Özkaya added that: "Biodiversity of Turkey is under heavy attack we are losing very important values like raw milk and local seeds. We have organised two Seed Swap Festivals in Seferihisar and Yenipazar in order to protect the biodiversity. We can disseminate these festivals to the other Cittaslows. We can support community supported production, organising producer markets and open new ones in the other Cittaslows."
Güven Eken (President of Doğa Association) said that: "I see Cittaslow movement as a revolution but not a political one, where the power transferred from one point to another; it is a natural-cultural revolution. We, as the Doğa Association, are planning to open a Doğa (Nature) School and maybe we can talk about opening a Cittaslow university. Education is too important to leave it to the governments."
During the meeting all of the participants shared their ideas and suggestions about the constitution, objectives and road map of Scientific Committee. Existing and candidate Cittaslow mayors have also took their turn and explained their aims and needs in accordance with the Cittaslow concept.
Meeting concluded with following decisions: to set up an email group to establish communication between the participants, to have meeting on a regular basis, to establish an information form to collect data from Turkish Cittaslows to enable situation analysis of the Cittaslows and to establish a steering committee to manage the basis of the Cittaslow Turkey Scientific Committee.

1. Tunç Soyer – Mayor of Seferihisar
2. Bülent Köstem - Cittaslow Turkey Network Coordinator
3. Ahmet Çalca – Mayor of Akyaka
4. Yücel Atalay – Mayor of Gökçeada
5. Yüsran Erden – Mayor of Yenipazar
6. Tacettin Özkaraman – Mayor of Taraklı
7. Prof.Dr. Dicle Oğuz - Ankara University, Department of Landscape Architecture
8. Prof.Dr. Hasan Çatalca - Arel University, Department of Statistic
9. Yrd.Doç.Dr. Dilek Ünalan - Boğaziçi University
10. Av. İlker Ünsever - Boğaziçi University, Department of Tourism Law
11. Timuçin Çetiner - Cittaslow Taraklı Representative
12. Prof.Dr. Ayşe Filibeli - Dokuz Eylül University, Environment Engineering Department
13. Prof.Dr.Sıddık İçli - Ege University, Solar Energy Institute
14. Prof.Dr. Tayfun Özkaya - Ege University, Agricultural Economics Department
15. Prof.Dr. Ümit Erdem - Ege University, Environmental Research and Application Center
16. Prof.Dr. Ahmet İnsel - Galatasaray University, Head of Department of Economics
17. Sema Demir - Gazi University
18. Doç.Dr. Uğur Ömürgönülşen - Hacettepe University, Department of Political Science and Public Administration
19. Prof.Dr. İrfan Arıkan - IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems
20. Prof.Dr. Hasan Çatalca - İstanbul Medipol University
21. Yrd.Doç.Dr. Melike Demirbağ Kaplan - İzmir Ekonomi University, Head of Strategic Planning Department
22. Nedim Atilla - Journalist
23. Selçuk Yılmaz – Mayor of Vize
24. Tekin Bayram – Mayor of Yalvaç
25. Prof. Dr. Huriye Çatalca - Medipol University, Health Management
26. Çetin Öztürk - Architect
27. Prof.Dr. Ahmet Reşit Ersay - On Sekiz Mart University, Faculty of Medicine
28. Prof.Dr. Bülent Cihangir - On Sekiz Mart University, Fishery Technologies
29. Prof.Dr. Rıdvan Yurtseven - On Sekiz Mart University, Gastronomy Department
30. Prof.Dr. Yavuz Demir - Ondokuz Mayıs University, Faculty of Literature
31. Selami Çarkçı – Mayor of Perşembe
32. Volkan Özyurt - Perşembe Municipality Representative
33. Güven Eken – President of Doğa Association
34. Prof.Dr. Korel Göymen - Sabancı University, Faculty of Art and Social Sciences
35. Şahin Akın - Taraklı Municipality Representative
36. Onur Donat - Trakya Development Agency
37. Semiha Ahmet - Trakya Development Agency
38. Sibel Üstündağ - Vize Municipality Representative
39. Ercan Kafafçı - Yalvaç Municipality Representative
40. Prof.Dr. Murat Barkan - Rector of Yaşar University
41. Prof.Dr. Esin Can Mutlu - Yıldız Teknik University, Business Administration Department
42. Prof.Dr. Cemal Arkon - Yüksek Teknoloji Institute, Department of Urban and Regional Planning