Conference titled “Local Administration Model in Cittaslow: The Lefke Example” organized by the European University of Lefke (EUL) Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences Department of Political Science and Public Administration, with the presentation of Lefke Tourism Association Vice President and Cittaslow Former Coordinator Hasan Karlıtaş carried out online on Microsoft Teams Platform.
At the event attended by undergraduate and graduate students of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration and citizens interested in the subject, Hasan Karlıtaş stated that Cittaslow is an international union of municipalities established in Italy in 1999, the word originates from Italian “Città” (City) and English “Slow”. He stated that it was derived by combining the words ” (slow). Based on this, Karlıtaş stated that Cittaslow is used to mean “Slow City” or “Slow City”.
Stating that the predecessor of the Cittaslow Movement was the “Slow food” movement that emerged in the mid-1980s as a reaction to the “Fast food” food movement, Karlıtaş stated that “Slow food gave birth to slow cities”. Karlıtaş underlined that the founding purpose of the Cittaslow movement was to prevent the disappearance of the unique features of the world cities due to globalization and the uniformization and homogeneity of all of them.
Stating that 278 settlements in 30 countries are members of the Cittaslow Union, Karlıtaş stated that Italy has the highest number of members, followed by Poland, the Netherlands, South Korea and other countries. Stating that 18 settlements from Turkey are affiliated to the Union, Karlıtaş stated that for the first time in our country, the New Bosphorus gained member status, followed by Lefke, Mehmetçik, Geçitkale and Tatlısu, respectively.
Expressing that all Cittaslow settlements are a symbol of an environmentalist creature, the snail that carries its own weight and is depicted in orange, Karlıtaş drew attention to the fact that at least more than half of 7 main headings and 72 criteria must be met in order to become a member of the Cittaslow Association. Stating that the Cittaslow Movement aims at a clean and healthy environment, a peaceful environment where all living things are happy, and a living space where disadvantaged groups such as the disabled are protected, Karlıtaş said that the Movement actually “expresses a respect for mother earth”. Apart from these, the unique features of the settlements of the Movement, their architecture, food and beverage cultures, nature, etc. Karlıtaş, who stated that he determined the protection of local production and culture as his priority target, drew attention to the importance of preserving local production and culture.
Finally, Karlıtaş, referring to the membership process of Lefke, which became a member of the Cittaslow Union on November 7, 2015, answered the questions from the students by stating that Lefke received the Cittoslow membership with its historical, cultural and natural characteristics.