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Creating a Cultural Route between Europe and Turkey

Turkey’s Culture Routes Society (CRS), an NGO that was founded at the request of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism to develop, maintain and promote cultural routes in Turkey, is preparing to connect a great European walking network to Turkey!

The Civil Society Dialogue program, which is financed by the European Union and the Turkish Republic, has made a grant to our project ‘Europe to Turkey On Foot’. Turkey’s Culture Routes Society will be implementing the project in partnership with the European Association of Via Francigena (EAVF) and three Turkish municipalities – Antalya’s Demre Municipality, Bursa’s Inegöl Municipality and Isparta’s Eğirdir Municipality. This one-year project, which is due to start in February 2016, will take preparatory steps to extend the Via Francigena network into Turkey through the Balkans. Currently, the Via Francigena extends from England to Italy via Switzerland and France.

The project aims to assess the applicability of the EAVF’s operational model, which is premised on collaboration with local municipalities and Regions, to the management of cultural routes in Turkey. It will be implemented by the Culture Routes Society together with three municipalities abutting existing Turkish trails – the Evliya Celebi Way, the St. Paul Trail and the famous Lycian Way. During the project, representatives from each of these municipalities together with three other local representatives will visit Italian cities along the Via Francigena, which are operating alternative tourism under the desired model. One of these Turkish municipalities will then develop a pilot route and Cultural Heritage Management students from Italy will visit to test the pilot section in Turkey. During the project, a reference guide on the development and management of cultural routes according to the European standards will be created and different national and local organizations will be informed and mobilized to participate in several meetings and conferences on the subject. Mr. Hüseyin Eryurt, CRS representative and the project coordinator, says that the project is ‘the most important step to establish the first internationally known long distance route in Turkey, which is on the brink of signing the Enlarged Partial Agreement (EPA), a protocol that is prepared within the Council of Europe to designate the standards for European Cultural Routes.’ The Italian project coordinator Silvia Lecci said ‘I am looking forward to introducing you to European good practices and working together to extend the route through the Balkans and Turkey.’.

The ‘Europe to Turkey on Foot’ project is supported under the Civil Society Dialogue Programme co-financed by the Republic of Turkey and the European Union. The Civil Society Dialogue is a programme that brings together civil society organisations from Turkey and the EU to exchange knowledge and experience, and to build a sustained conversation around common themes. The Ministry for European Union Affairs is the responsible institution for the technical implementation of the programme, while the Central Finance and Contracts Unit is the Contracting Authority of the Programme.

For further information and media relations please contact: Hüseyin Eryurt, Project Coordinator / Media and PR Officer
T 0090 242 243 1148 M 0090 532 604 4487 E



Kate Clow from CRS and Massimo Tedeschi from EAVF


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