“We are practicing Cittaslow in Lefke and 13 villages attached to it. We established a slogan ‘First Slow down’ We hang out signs in important palaces appealing people to slow down. We suggested that, they concentrate on Slow Food rather than Fast Food. We wanted them to adopt the slogan’ Produce Locally, Consume Locally’. Central Lefke, Yeşilırmak, Elye and Angolem are resident areas. They are very adaptive to this concept.”
Hasan Karlıtaş, born and raised in Lefke, devoted his life to this place and was one of the pioneers in the realization of the projects that featured the natural and historic beauties in the region, narrated the important memories of his life and his activities in Lefke Tourisim Association to North Cyprus UK.
Hasan Karlıtaş expressed that, they wanted to create a district where people are away from stress and are peaceful, with the Cittaslow Project actualized in Lefke and the 13 villages attached to it and he also expressed that, Lefke Tourism Association which he is the president, is doing very important work about tourism and environment and first and foremost their association is carrying out their work away from politics. Karlıtaş, drew attention to the fact that Lefke has a soul, a very important nostalgia, remarkably beautiful greenery and a faith tourism because of sheikh Nazım, at the same time the allocation of important space in every issue of our newspaper is contributing to the promotion of Lefke’s beauties in London.
Karlıtaş “Tourism is an important part of life’’
Hasan Karlıtaş was born in 1976 in Yeşilırmak. He is now living in Zümrütköy. Many things have happened in his life said Karlıtaş but the turning point in his life was when he chose to work in the tourism sector, he indicated that, he studied tourism in Tourism Business High-school and that was when his path crossed with tourism. He stated that, from those days onward, each day of his life predominantly is occupied by tourism subjects, he said that he was introduced to hotel management and travel agencies when he was doing his internship in the Tourism and Business High-school, then he continued his education in tourism in the university and in 1996 when he was 20 years old he became a tourist guide. Karlıtaş is a tourist guide for 20 years.
Karlıtaş stated that, after completing university and military service, started working in Acapulco Holiday Village First at night shifts than in day shifts in the reception after a while their boss Ünal Çağıner gave him the job of front office management, he carried out this assignment for two and a half years.
Hasan Karlıtaş emphasized that, Acalpulco Holliday Village was one of the biggest holiday villages, during the time he worked there with a capacity for 600 people in 229 bungalows and 52 hotel rooms.
Later on Karlıtaş worked for Polatkan Tourism, and from 2008 to 2011 was the president of Cyprus Turkish Guides Association, Karlıtaş expressed that while he was president he worked heartily for his occupation to find its value, emphasizing the understanding “there is no tourism, with out guides’’ they made counts with the World Guides Association and European Guides Association.
“The aim of the association is to change the image of Lefke”
Karlıtaş expressed that they found the Lefke Tourism Association in 2010 and with the association started to work on tourism and environment areas, he said that they found the association to change the bad perception about Lefke, because previous to 2010 Lefke had a bad image, Karlıtaş continued his talk as such:
Because of the pollution resulting from CMC the sea was red in colour, There was an perception that any fruit or vegetable produced in Lefke was uneatable. We struggle to break this. We tried to create an image ‘Green Lefke, Beautiful Lefke’. We started the festivals in the area. Our association is the pioneer of the festivals in Lefke. Lefke has the majority of walnut trees, majority of date trees and the best yafa orange is in Lefke. We started three festivals for these products. Subsequently Yeşilırmak Strawberry Festival. We revived the festival, which was being done in 1970 after 40 years of brake. Picking strawberries from the field revived. Bağlıköy targeted to be an ecological village.’Cittaslow Project’ came into agenda. Thus Lefke’s name stared to be mentioned with tourism. This of course is not only our association achievement. But I belive that we are acting as one of the instrument to this.
13 Km walking- tracks established for Lefke
He said that they started nature walks like the Orchid Valley Walk, they established a track between Yeşilırmak and Vuni, between Soli and Bağlıköy, and established 13 Km walking-track for Lefke, he added that they are working on a city museum for Lefke and they have achieved a lot of ground with the help of Tourism and Environment Minister Fikri Ataoğlu, the museum will be completed in 2018.
Hasan Karlıtaş underlined the importance of Cittaslow for Lefke. Karlıtaş expressed that Yeniboğaziçi, Mehmetcik and Lefke are members to Cittalow in TRNC
and their aim is to provide peaceful and slower life in this short life span of people.
We are implementing the Cittaslow in the area.
Hasan Karlıtaş described the Cittaslow practices as below:
We are implementing Cittaslow in Leke, We determined a slogan ‘First Slow down’ We put up signs in important places asking people to slow down. We suggested that they concentrate on ‘Slow Food’ rather than ‘Fast Food’. We wanted them to embrace ‘Produce Locally, Consume Locally’ slogan. Yeşilırmak, Elye and Angolem are resident areas. They are very adaptive to this concept.
Karlıtaş stated that, the Italians from Cittaslow visited their district and liked it a lot especially the place known as the ‘’Green Valley’’
Karlıtaş said that even tough CMC Mines are a disadvantage for Lefke, Lefke is an international quite city and rather a peaceful settlement. There are certain shortcomings about this subject but this is not a work that can be achieved just by municipalities, there is a programme that should also be undertaken by central government and citizens stated Karlıtaş, he also emphasized that the logo for Cittaslow is a snail and this describes slow movement.
Karlıtaş stated that snails leave a trail, eat only grass thus they are environmentalist, they carry their homes on their backs and are not a burden to others because of these he said this is a very meaningful logo. Karlıtaş emphasised that it is worthwhile to follow this trail, he said that they became member to Cittaslow in 2015 and since than Lefke citizens are adopting to Cittaslow more and more.
There is no place for politics in the association
Hasan Kalıtaş emphasised that the association does not mess up in politics in any way, and this is written in their rules.
Karlıtaş stated that a person cannot be president for more than two terms in their association and this should be an example for the governments, he also criticised other association, which have the same person for president for 20 years.
Pointing out that NGO should be separated from politics, emphasized that if NGO’s comes under political influence, they will be dependent, and if they become dependent they will never be free.
Karlıtş expressed that Lefke Tourism Association is a 7 year old association but because of they are very energetic activities they have developed very well he said that the association duty is to work on subjects like, history, culture and nature.
Hasan Karlıtaşsaid; "Lefke is a very important region. The oldest Turkish municipality is Lefke. It was founded on 1900. It is a municipality of 117 years. It is an Ottoman Turkish town. In front of him is the character that extends to Venice. There is also a mine. The Lefke mine is seen as pollution, but the CMC, which came to the country after World War I, remained in the island until 1975. Thousands of people got jobs. People from every region of the island worked in these mines. There would be two payment days in two weeks. Many big business people we know today came to Lefke and set up stands. "
Faith tourism did not die
Describing that Lefke had a special spirit, a very valuable nostalgia and a unique beauty of greenery, Karlitas expressed that there are also wetlands.
Referring to the fact that there are question marks on the grounds of being in peace with the sea, Karlıtaş emphasized that the public beaches should be increased and that the sea factor should be used more in the region.
At the same time, Lefke, who has the most mansions after Nicosia, says that the mansions are also very important. He added that while Sheikh Nazim's has lost his life, "faith tourism" is still not dead, and that it is still very important. Karlitas explained that Cyprus culture in Lefke is culturally meaningful and that Agro tourism is also developing.
Hasan Karlıtaş; "Zorlu Cezaroğlu is a very special person. We met at tourism fair in England 5 years ago. We made a good friendship. He was the reason for me to start writing. I am writing 3-4 articles per month in North Cyprus UK. Our writings are about history, culture, nature and Cyprus. North Cyprus UK offers a very important service. Lefke has great benefit from promoting in the UK. I have received very good comments from people of Lefke who lives in England "Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Mart 2018, 08:24