Turkey's "Slow City" Provides Peace and Serenity

"Slow city" is an expression that describes cities where people have a good life. “Cittaslow” is an Italian global movement founded in 1999, it targets to increase the excellence of city life.

"Slow cities" are known for their attractive natural environments, organic foods and peaceful daily life. To meet the requirements for “Cittaslow” certificate, the city must have a population under 50,000 pax.

The Cittaslow movement, which became well-known among Italian cities during its early years, now has 182 members in 28 countries.

“Cittaslow” network in Turkey

In addition to “Ahlat” that we are talking about it in this article, the number of "slow cities" in Turkey reached 17 So far: Akyaka and Köyceğiz in Muğla, Eğirdir and Yalvaç in Isparta, Gökçeada in Çanakkale, Gerze in Sinop, Göynük and Mudurnu in Bolu, Halfeti in Şanlıurfa, Perşembe in Ordu, Şavşat in Artvin, Seferihisar in İzmir, Taraklı in Sakarya, Uzundere in Erzurum, Vize in Kırklareli and, Yenipazar in Aydın.

 

Ahlat: Turkey’s newest “slow city”

“Ahlat” is located in “Bitlis” Province which located in the Eastern Anatolian Region. Known by its Armenian name ”Khlat”. It’ s exactly located on the shores of Lake Van and between Nemrut Crater Lake and Mount Süphan.

Ahlat is a main tourist destination in the region for its rich history. The blue Lake Van and the snowy peaks of Mount Süphan-Turkey's third-largest mountain-, and Mount Nemrut create a beautiful, natural combination in the district. It also has a rich cuisine that combines meat and vegetables in very interesting ways.

Ahlat is an open-air museum, featuring Seljuk-era relics like tombs, cave houses, historic bridges, castles, bathhouses and Zawiya “a traditional Islamic school”. Ahlat comes to the forefront with the country's biggest Islamic cemetery. With its history and attractive flora, Ahlat has been a member of UNESCO's World Heritage List.

Ahlat’s History

Ahlat is considered the "entrance gate of Turks to Anatolia". Founded during the reign of Caliph Omar (581-644 A.D.), it grown under Seljuk rule. Ahlat was one of the most strategic places in history; it has been home to many civilizations from the Urartians to the Ottoman Empire thanks to its natural beauty. The city has stand 4,000 years as a political stronghold. It has more than 8,000 gravestones with drawings dating back to the Seljuk time.

Deserved to be a “Cittaslow”!

Ahlat is a perfect model of "slow city" with people living in harmony and peace. The city is designed especially for cyclists and people in wheelchairs.

In Ahlat the walking sticks made from local walnut trees and structures built from the indigenous stone of the district, which adds extra charm to its local culture.

it is an outstanding natural center; the district was established on a perfect hilltop at a height of 1,650 meters. It has rich plants that are an important source for alternative medicine, it is like a big botanical garden.

Last Updated: 6.5.2019 10:16:37