The International 2019 Fall Coordination Meeting of Slow Cities (Cittaslow Municipalities) was held for the first time in TRNC. The meeting was made on 09 November 2019 in Saint Nicholas Church in Mormenekşe village of Slow City, Yeniboğaziçi, under the title of “Cittaslow Tourism”.
The meeting was attended by mayors and representatives from member municipalities of Cittaslow from Turkey, Poland and Italy, President of Cittaslow Stefano Pisani and Secretary General Pier Giorgio Olivetti, in addition to Mayor of Yeniboğaziçi Mustafa Zurnacılar, Mayor of Lefke Aziz Kaya, Mayor of Geçitkale Hasan Öztaş, Mayor of Tatlısu Hayri Orçan, Mayor of Mehmetçik and also President of Cittaslow Northern Cyprus Branch Cemil Sarıçizmeli.
The opening speeches of the meeting were made by Mayor of Mehmetçik Cemil Sarıçizmeli and President of Cittaslow Stefano Pisani.
Mayor of Mehmetçik Cemil Sarıçizmeli stated that the meeting was very important and special for them, that as a country Cittaslow is a window for outer world, and that there are problems and obstacles for their recognition and Cittaslow is a very great opportunity to overcome these problems and obstacles. He also said that during the preparation phase of the organization, they carried out a professional work in order to promote and raise awareness for Cittaslow in the country, and organized visits and trips to the Cittaslow member cities of Northern Cyprus network within the framework of organization activities in order to contribute to the promotion of the country. Sarıçizmeli affirmed that the tourism potential of the country is not at the desired point and that they desire a tourism model based on which the country can introduce itself, bring its own diversity to the fore, people who visit the country can experience the culture of Cyprus, see the cuisine of Cyprus and know the people of Cyprus. He also asserted that Cittaslow is a unique and distinguished community which doesn’t not include the issues of any kind of political order, religious and race privilege and that Cittaslow is one of the meaningful and great organizations of the world which have thirty representatives from all around the world.
In his speech, President of Cittaslow Stefano Pisani underlined that Cittaslow is not a political organization, stressing that Cittaslow tourism doesn’t just mean holidays, but also cities’ recognition of each other and development of tourism models.
After the opening speeches, the meeting was moved on. During the meeting, Prime Minister of TRNC Ersin Tatar met with the representatives of Cittaslow and expressed his pleasure to see them in TRNC, thanked TRNC Cittaslow municipalities, which made this meeting possible and made efforts for it to be held in TRNC.
Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB) also contributed financially to the meeting of Slow cities with the decision taken at Administrative Board meeting held in TRNC on 22 October 2019.
Cittaslow is an international association of municipalities established in Italy in 1999. Cittaslow, derived from the combination of the words “Città (City)”in Italian and “Slow (slow)” in English, is used in the sense of “Slow City”. It is known as part of the Slow Movement.