Sabanci Foundation Turkey’s Changemakers Program continues in its 5th season to share the unique stories of extraordinary people who contribute to the social development. The fourteenth Changemaker of the 5th season is “Seferihisar Cittaslow” project.
The term “Cittaslow” was coined in Italy, consisting of “citta” (city) in Italian and “slow” in English. Cittaslow is a network which aims to prevent the disruption of the uniqueness, lifestyle and local culture of the cities due to globalization.
In order to join the Cittaslow network, cities must meet 70 different criteria ranging from environment, agriculture and infrastructure polices to traditional cuisines. Seferihisar, a coastal district of Izmir province, applied to the Cittaslow network in 2009 under the “supporting local producers” theme and became Turkey’s first slow city by meeting all the criteria.
Seferihisar Slow City has 4 bazaars set up weekly, one of which is for the organic products. In these bazaars, local producers sell their locally grown products. The products are also on sale on seferipazar.com website.
There is an effort to save local seeds in Seferihisar. Local seeds are reproduced and distributed to farmers in Can Yucel Seed Bank. The Seed Exchange Festival is also held every year with the aim of with the aim of making local seeds available to a wider group.
Local dishes gained importance again after Seferihisar became a slow city. In a restaurant called Sefertasi (lunchbox), supported by the municipality, women serve local dishes to their customers. Moreover, street lightings are solar powered in Seferihisar.