cittaslow cities Marmara
Located between İstanbul and Ankara, Taraklı is a historic district of Sakarya Province in the Marmara region.
Twenty percent of the district is covered in agricultural land, 60% is covered by forests and heathland, and 10% is meadows and pastures.
Taraklı was established in a narrow valley, surrounded by high mountains and hills, and it is famous for its protected 19th-century homes.
In ancient times, Taraklı was part of the Roman province of Bithynia which extended from the Marmara Sea, by way of the Bosphorus, to the Black Sea.
The nearly five-century-old plane tree in the neighborhood for Yusufbey has been registered as a natural monument by the Ministry of Culture.
One of the district’s most important structures in the Yunus Paşa Mosque. The mosque was built in 1517 by the vizier of Sultan Selim I, the ninth sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Because the dome was built using lead, it is popularly known as "Kurşunlu Mosque" (kurşu is the Turkish word for lead).
The Karagöl Plateau is in the mountains, 21 km northeast of Taraklı. It stands at 1,200 meters above sea level, and is surrounded by pines, beeches, firs, and oaks. The oxygen here is plentiful and there many natural springs.
The plateau has several trekking routes, and every Friday, the local bazaar is held here. The bazaar is famous for its traditional wooden spoons made of beech wood.
Vize, a town and district in Kırklareli Province on Türkiye's European soil, is located between two former Ottoman capitals: İstanbul and Edirne. Situated between the Black Sea coast and the Istranca (Strandzha)Mountains, the district has a rich historical heritage.
Vize was an important administrative and cultural center starting from the Byzantine period. Settlement in the district begins in the time of the Thracians, and dates as far back as 4000 BC.
Little Hagia Sophia Church (Gazi Süleyman Paşa Mosque in today) is one of the region’s most important historical monuments. It was built by Byzantine emperor Justinian I as an Orthodox church on the site of a pre-existing temple dedicated to Apollo. The structure displays features that are rarely found in Byzantine architecture. The church was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman period and was named “Süleyman Paşa Mosque.” The current structure retains decorative features from the Ottoman period.
The town of İznik, also known as the ancient Nicaea, is located in Bursa along the shore of Lake İznik in the Marmara region of Istanbul. During the Byzantine period, İznik became an important religious centre, where two of the Christian Councils of Nicea were held and Niceen creed was issued. İznik is also among the 8 pilgrimage centers in Türkiye, as well as a part of UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.
Famous for its handmade pottery and tiles, İznik deserves to be on everyone’s travel bucketlist not only because of its history and culture but also because of its refreshing nature. It is a great destination for those who like to spend quality time in nature, enjoying the laid-back lifestyle of a Turkish town.
İznik is now accepted into the list of Cittaslow cities by 2021. It is very difficult to achieve this badge, however İznik proved to deserve it thanks to its beautiful nature, slow lifestyle that respects the environment, and its rich historic and cultural heritage assets that are preserved with constant care.