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Lefke Becomes an International Cittaslow

Three years ago, with the initiation of the Ministry of Tourism, the Municipality of Lefke, together with the Lefke European University and other civil society organisations set out to become a cittaslow.

07 Haziran 2016 Salı 09:40
  Lefke Becomes an International Cittaslow
Their motto was “Lefke: Serenity is in its nature” and they believed in this goal. With diligence and great teamwork, Lefke succeeded in achieving its aim. On November 7 2015, Lefke completed its journey to become a formal member of the Cittaslow family in Falköping, Sweden.

 

Hasan KARLITAŞ

The Cittaslow movement was born in Italy in 1999. The word ‘Cittaslow’ comes from ‘city’ in Italian (citta), and ‘slow’ in English. The meaning is slow or serene city and there are seventy criteria to be met in order to become one. In these cities, a peaceful beginning is envisioned where time will pass slowly and both the environment and the modest local culture will be respected. The movement promises cities in which everyone; young and old, disabled and able bodied alike, will feel happy, with a production, rather than a consumption-based philosophy, preserving the environment and their culture to pass on to the next generations. With this vision hundred and eighty-two members, from twenty-eight countries in different continents, appeal to 150 million holiday makers. Ten cities in Turkey and the Municipalities of Yeniboğaziçi and Lefke in our country have earned the right to be a member of this network.

The notion of respecting the past, the present and the future generations, living every moment to the fullest, without haste. is a refreshing one. According to this philosophy, appreciating the historical, cultural and natural richness that the past brings and having a more humane and environmental-friendly perspective is crucial. Indeed, among the sine qua non of the Cittaslow movement are: preserving the city you live in, caring about those who both live and visit it, recognizing the local features and the traditional food, rejecting the course of cities becoming alike and supporting the uniqueness of each city.

Don’t miss out on discovering the Serene City of Lefke

I believe that the Cittaslow membership suits Lefke perfectly. Especially with this membership, it is paramount that Lefke plans ahead to preserve its local features and its authentic architecture, for now and the future. Cultural and environmental-friendly tourism, higher education and good practices of agriculture should be Lefke’s priorities for the future.

Things to Do in the Serene City of Lefke

The Municipality of Lefke, which stretches from the westernmost part of our island, the strawberry village of Yeşilırmak (Limnidi), to the village of Taşpınar (Angolem) is now formally registered as a cittaslow. The town offers plenty of attractions for visitors: In Yeşilırmak, one can stop by The Organic Farm, see the grape vine that made it into the Guinness World Records, dine at one of the local restaurants on the shoreline, or have a taste of the strawberries, which are the symbol of the village, or any other vegetable/fruit produce. They can visit the Royal Palace at Vouni in the village of Bedemliköy and the ancient city of Soli. There are abundant local businesses serving local food and beverages on the shores of Yedidalga. Other noteworthy attractions include the family-owned business of Bakırcı, offering a taste of Cypriot cuisine, the eco tourism movement in Bağlıköy, the Pendaya Eco Garden in Yeşilyurt, the Gaziveren Farmhouse and Argonya in Doğancı. The town of Lefke, with its greenery in the town centre, thanks to its walnut, date, olive and orange trees, its handicrafts and its eye-catching architecture, reflecting its multicultural past, truly completes the western region of the country. Of course, one must also not forget its hiking trails.    

With its history, culture and natural beauty, Lefke, the most serene and green town of Cyprus, is like a hidden treasure waiting to be rediscovered. The Slow City of Lefke, which cherishes its local values, is calling out to those interested in history, culture and nature; hear its voice!

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