Wind brings money to Turkey's slow city Akyaka
MUĞLA - Anadolu Agency
Akyaka’s 3,500 meter-long beach, which is a first degree protected site, was registered as a surfing area, which is very good for wind and kite surfing. This is why nearly 10,000 people come to the town for wind and kite surfing. AA photoThe town of Akyaka town, which is Turkey’s member of the International Slow City Association (Cittaslow), is popular among Turkish and foreign sportspeople for its wind and kite surfing area. As well as tourism revenues, the municipality earns money thanks to the wind of the town, which is valued for the opportunities is gives for water and wind sports.
Akyaka Mayor Ahmet Çalca said the 3,500 meter-long beach, which is a first degree protected site, was registered as a surfing area, and infrastructure works were therefore ongoing because they applied for a blue flag for the kite surfing area.
Çalca said Akyaka was a windy town throughout the year according to wind observations of the last 20 years. “With the latest arrangements in the region, the town began drawing interest, particularly from foreigners. This place is very good for wind and kite surfing thanks to regional winds. This is why nearly 10,000 people come to the town for wind and kite surfing and to take education.”
The mayor said each visitor in the town stayed there at least for one week. “It shows that Akyaka is one of the most popular tourism centers.” He said that many people began staying in close districts and villages as they could not find hotels in the town because of the increasing number of visitors. “Thanks to this, house boarding developed in villages and districts.”
Wind and kiteboard trainer Özgür Ceylan said Akyaka was one of the world’s most important centers in terms of surfing and the Gökova Gulf was Europe’s best sports areas thanks to its temperate climate and wind. “Because of its magnificent nature and convenient weather conditions, many famous sportspeople come here to practice. Gökova began to be known in the world thanks to its wind. Guests who want to make this sport finish their basic training in three days. Everyone who can swim can easily do it.”
Ceylan said that mostly British, German, French, Dutch and Turkish visitors tried to learn this sport. “200 people can make kiteboard at the same time,” he added.
Kiteboard Turkey Championship
Ceylan said Akyaka would host the Kiteboard Turkey Championship between Sept. 18 and 22. “The Turkish Sailing Federation organizes the event. The best sportsmen of Turkey will create a visual festival. Akyaka wants to be shown as a sustainable tourism and sports events location,” he said.