Citta Slow Cities of Turkey

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Cittaslow cities of Turkey list has been constantly updated in recent years and cities where calmness, slowness, and peace prevail are becoming a trend. The number of people who want to rest their minds is increasing day by day, like air pollution, cost of living, traffic, crowds, and noise makes it more difficult to live in big cities.

Citta Slow Cities of Turkey
Citta Slow Cities of Turkey

The Cittaslow movement was born in Italy in 1999. The ‘citta’ in Cittaslow means ‘city’ in Italian and ‘slow’ means ‘slow’ in English. Derived from the combination of these two words, Cittaslow means ‘slow city’. In a short time, the slow city movement, which advocated the idea of self-evaluation of cities and a different development model in order to improve the quality of life, spread all over the world in a short time.

Cittaslow philosophy, which emerged as an alternative to cities with a fast-moving, fast-working, and fast-consuming lifestyle with the influence of modern life and globalization, is the philosophy of people communicating with each other, protecting nature and traditions, making use of technology while maintaining respect for the planet with sustainable energy; most importantly, it includes self-sufficient cities.

There are currently 18 Cittaslow towns within the borders of Turkey. Turkey’s first slow city was the Seferihisar town of Izmir, and then this number increased with other cities that were evaluated and selected according to about seventy criteria.

CittaSlow Turkey

How can a city become ”Citta Slow”

First of all, cities that want to earn the Cittaslow title must act in accordance with the philosophy of this movement and get enough points from the application file they submit to the Cittaslow Foundation. In order to obtain this score, studies must be carried out within the framework of the criteria determined by the organization. It is possible to summarize the Cittaslow criteria under a number of main points:

  • Environmental policies
  • Infrastructure policies
  • Technologies and facilities for urban life quality
  • Protecting local products
  • Policies on agriculture, tourism, trading and craftsmen
  • Plans for hospitality, awareness and education
  • Support for ”Slow Food” activities and projects
  • Social cohesion

There is another detail that should not be forgotten. One of the requirements which is necessary to be a slow city is that the population of the city should be less than 50,000.

Citta Slow Cities to Visit in Turkey

Seferihisar: Turkey’s First Slow City

Seferihisar is the first city from our country to join the Slow City or CittaSlow group. For this reason, Seferihisar is accepted as the Slow City capital of Turkey. It also has a wide range of resources in terms of solar, geothermal, and wind energy. The main source of income in Seferihisar, which is famous for its tangerine orchards, olive groves, and artichoke fields, is agriculture. There are four villager markets a week, two of which are organic, and only products produced by farmers are featured in these markets. Seferihisar town has 49 kilometers of coastline.


Imbros (Gökçeada): The First Slow Island of the World

Gökçeada, located in the western end of Turkey is known for its deep blue sea, lush nature, underwater beauties, and peaceful atmosphere. Imbros or Gökçeada is a special route to go regardless of summer or winter. In Gökçeada, which is a hidden paradise, you can have an unforgettable travel experience.

Halfeti: Mysterious Slow City

Halfeti of Şanlıurfa is a small quiet town that has hosted many civilizations and has a deep historical story. As a result of the Birecik Dam built in the year 2000, 60 percent of the Halfeti town was flooded. New settlements have been created for the surviving part of Halfeti. The district began to be known as a hidden paradise after the 2000s. With the number of tourists increasing day by day, many touristic activities have started to form in the district.

Halfeti Mosque

Yalvaç (Antioch of Pisidia): Slow City with an Amazing History

Located at the foot of the Sultan Mountains of Central Western Anatolia, Yalvaç is a charming district rich in natural beauties, which has also hosted several civilizations throughout history. In Yalvaç, which has made a name for itself with its traditional culinary culture, you will see that forgotten handicrafts such as leather making, felt making, blacksmithing, and carpet making are still alive.

Yenipazar: Slow City Surrounded by Ancient Cities

Yenipazar is Aydın district’s smallest district with the least population, took this name because it was a trade center in ancient times. One of the reasons making Yenipazar is famous are its historical Byzantine buildings and Carian settlements which have survived to the present day. The town of Yenipazar has made a name for itself with its vegetables and delicious pitas produced from local seeds.

Yalvaç Town

Get Tour Guide in Turkey to Visit CittaSlow Cites of Anatolia

Personally living in the city of Kusadasi which is a really slow city itself, I love the slow living myself too. I will be happy to take you around CittaSlow towns in Turkey. Contact me to hire a professional licensed tour guide in Turkey. See you soon, Hasan Gülday.

Hasan Gülday

Hasan Gülday. Professional licensed tour guide working in Turkey.

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