BOLU – Anadolu Agency
An old Ottoman town with scenic landscapes and historic memories, the Göynük district of the northwestern province of Bolu has been declared as the latest addition to a network of slow cities by the Cittaslow General Committee.
Eleven Turkish cities have so far been declared as a slow city by the committee.
Kemal Kazan, the mayor of Göynük and the chairman of the Silk Road Municipalities Union (İPEKBİR), said the district had embraced the philosophy of Cittaslow. “It is very meaningful for us to be part of Cittaslow. I believe that Göynük will be one of the most beautiful examples of slow cities in the world. It is a place of peace and tranquility for those who want to escape the rush of the city life,” he said.
Practicing and enduring the philosophy of Cittaslow is vital to enjoy life, according to Kazan. “This understanding is possible to improve the dwellers’ lifestyles by protecting the city’s original structure, architecture, traditions, local cuisine and historical identity. I congratulate those who initiated this movement and showed us that the improvement of a city depends on its respect to nature,” he said.
Kazan said they were working to present an environment for people who appreciated nature and longed for old times.
“We believe that being entitled as a slow city will contribute to the recognition of Göynük. We took the first step in 2014 by applying to the Seferihisar Municipality. We have also informed our locals about Cittaslow. Enterprises are encouraged to invest. We provided education to those who are involved in tourism and those who are interested in tourism. Our efforts to improve thermal tourism in Göynük also gave its fruits, and investments have been made for a thermal facility. We take extra care of construction plans to prevent damages to Göynük’s originality,” Kazan said.
Kazan said Göynük had become one of the most popular destinations in Turkey in recent years. “It is known as an Ottoman city and has become the subject of various academic and historical studies. Its integrity is very important in terms of architecture, nature and folklore. Also known as Akşemseddin Diyarı, Göynük is one of the centers of faith tourism with its mosques and shrines. Its cuisine has all characteristics of Ottoman cuisine and can be improved with the concept of slow food,” he said.