The northwestern Turkish city of Artvin's Şavşat district was recently announced as a "slow city" with a certificate from Cittaslow International. District Governor Cemil Sarıoğlu said Cittaslow is a municipal union founded in 1999 by four mayors in Italy to protect their cities' quality of life. The district governorship conducted certain projects to receive the Cittaslow certificate, as both the governorship and its development agency thought the district has the potential to be a slow city.
Officials from the governorship visited Seferihisar, the first district that received this certificate in Turkey, and project meetings were organized and an application was submitted to the organization. "There are 70 criteria to become a member of Cittaslow," Sarıoğlu said, adding that the district met many of them. "If we organize these criteria under three main headings, the first is to protect traditional values, the second is to preserve the natural environment and the third is to be open to technological advances. Cittaslow is never against technology; we will achieve these with the help of science and the arts," he said.