Seferihisar- The first Cittaslow in Türkiye

In 1521-1522, Sığacık Castle was built under the command of the naval commander Parlak Mustafa Pasha on the orders of Suleiman the Magnificent. The castle is divided into an outer fortress and an inner fortress, the “stations” where the soldiers lived and trained. The walls of the castle were built with stones from the ancient city of Teos and you can still find inscriptions from Teos on these walls.

In its early days, Sığacık was mainly a residential area. However, with the construction of the castle, it gained importance as a major port for the trade of grain and dried fruit. Instead of defending a particular settlement, Sığacık Castle served as a naval base and later as a customs control centre.

Today, Sığacık is the first “Città Slow” (Slow City) in Türkiye. It has evolved from a place for sightseeing and strolling to a destination where tourists can enjoy the region’s culinary delights prepared by locals and stay in their accommodation. The town also hosts a tangerine festival where visitors can enjoy tangerine-flavoured dishes and even make their own tangerine jam and dishes.

Why is it regenerative?

The historical importance of the castle as a naval base and customs control centre is preserved, while the area has evolved into Türkiye’s first slow city. This transformation allows tourists to enjoy local flavours and stay in the homes of locals, fostering an authentic and immersive experience. The story reflects regenerative tourism by combining cultural preservation, community involvement and the promotion of local cuisine, contributing to the sustainable development of Sığacık.

Project partners met in Aveiro on the 14th and 15th of September 2023. It was the perfect opportunity to visit the destination with regenerative glasses on, to understand its many assets but also some of the challenges the destination is facing. Face to face project meetings always provide the partners with the unique opportunity to learn about the work of the hosting partner and get valuable insights about the destination. In this case partners were hosted by the dedicated team of management and tourism professionals of the University of Aveiro who shared a wealth of insights about a city that was new to many of the participants.

The Enforce project is well on track when it comes to the project work plan, which means that after having completed the Best Practice collection of innovative examples about storytelling for regeneration and also the Storyteller’s Guide, partners used the meeting to discuss the development of the Enforce Training Programme.

For the next few months partners will be working on developing the content in line with guidelines provided by the University of Usak, our project partner from Turkey.
The course should be available for piloting in January/February 2024 and will also be available in the partner languages once all translations are finalised.

The ENFORCE team met in the beautiful city of Luxembourg for its kick-off meeting. It took place at the premises of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg (also known as CCIL), which opened its doors to warmly welcome all partners.

The team was aware of the importance of this first meeting and approached it with the same enthusiasm, as it plays an important role in building strong bonds that will contribute to the success of the entire cooperation. With the common goal of building a solid foundation, the participants discussed in depth the first steps required for the project ENFORCE.

During this visit, the project objectives were discussed in depth to ensure that each partner has a comprehensive understanding of the overarching goals. The outcome of the kick-off meeting was extremely satisfying for all partners and generated enthusiasm among the team. It was a success and left everyone inspired and energised.

The journey of ENFORCE has officially begun and with the collective expertise of the committed partners, there is no doubt that it will thrive and achieve remarkable results.


“The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein”

Project N: 2022-1-LU01-KA220-VET-000089887

© 2024 Enforce Project
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