EcoVillages In Turkey
Ecovillages are habitats that offer us today a sustainable living space, where the preservation of the environment and the renunciation of all economic or cultural activities that harm the world are of vital importance. Many people spend their daily lives without touching the ground or a tree, trying to breathe among concrete shoots. Therefore, these villages offer a very different experience, not only for people who work in agriculture or livestock but also for those who want to escape from city life. In these villages, agriculture, electricity, and water supply are developed using natural methods, while at the same time recyclable materials are used, no unnecessary waste is generated and nature is not only protected but also not harmed.
Photo: Taken from the article "Parasız, faizsiz, alkolsüz : Ekolojik köyler"
Every time you are in your village, you are involved in the local production process from start to finish. If necessary, you build your own organic house where you grow your own organic food. As in the whole world, the need and longing for nature and natural production are growing in Turkey. Thus, those who want to activate their longing for an organic nature are establishing their own eco-villages and creating very successful examples. Here are some of them:
1- Latif Yalçıner Farm / Erzincan
It is located between the villages of Apçağa and Kemaliye within the borders of Erzincan in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey. The farm has three separate rooms. Two families can live in both rooms, and the third room is designed for 10 people.
2- Yeryüzü Eco-Village / Sakarya
Yeryüzü Eco-Village was established in 2009, by volunteers of the "Yeryüzü Association" in Sakarya province, in the Marmara region to experience sustainable living. In addition to more than 70 fruit trees, there is also a small garden on the site. Permaculture experiments are conducted here, and other than these experiments, there are no agricultural activities in the field. They say, "To ensure the sustainability of our village, we have set out to do three main things: Ecotourism, community-supported agriculture, and courses. As with any other issue, we are open to ideas for the sustainability of the village."
Photo: Hüseyin Varış
3- Agrida Farm / Çanakkale
Founded in 2011 by Bahadır Yasa in Çanakkale, Agrida Farm aims to maintain a self-sufficient village by developing and implementing a permaculture philosophy, protecting local seeds, using natural agricultural practices, and sharing what it learns and produces. Agrida is one of nearly 100 volunteer-based farms in Turkey and accepts volunteers from abroad using the TatuTa system. These farms only require their guests, who provide them with food, to help with chores and yard work. Katrina Capella, who also studied rural development in Portugal, spent a year on the Agrida farm as part of a project funded by the European Union and supervised by two Turkish ministries. While she was doing organic farming in this forest village, she was able to connect with the whole world through the Internet and write her master's thesis on this rural development.
Photo: “Yağmur’un Penceresinden”
4- Knidia Farm / Muğla
Ali Somer in Datça, Muğla, established Knidia Farm in 2000. The purpose of its establishment is very simple: to create a simple lifestyle in connection with nature, based on organic production. On the farm, there are various fruit trees, a campsite for tents and caravans, a yoga cloth, carpentry and ceramics workshops, and a small pool where you can cool off even if you cannot swim. In addition, the historic water mills of the ancient Greek culture on the farm have been restored and converted into guest rooms. On the other areas of the farm olive, almond, citrus, and carob trees are cultivated. In the region where Knidia is located, there is no municipal water and electricity network. However, all water needs, including irrigation, are met by natural springs that flow within the farm premises. Electricity needs are met ecologically through a combination of solar panels and a wind generator.
Photo: Knidia Farm
5- Değirmen Organic Farm / Kuşadası
Gürsel Tonbul in Davutlar, Kuşadası, established Değirmen Organic Farm, which provides exemplary ecotourism and agriculture services, in 1995. In the same year, Değirmen Restaurant Management was established on part of the farmland on the main road as a place for daily recreation and entertainment. Over the years, the farm has become a natural ecological park that is constantly renewed and expanded. On the farm, where a wide variety of organic agricultural production is carried out, mainly vegetables, fruits, olives, and viticulture, organic finished products, ecotourism, restaurant, and museum operations are run together in an integrated manner. Gürsel Tonbul was named "Turkey's Most Successful Organic Producer" in the "Best Organic Farm of the Year" competition held as part of the "Organic Agriculture Project in German-Turkish Cooperation.
Photo: Food In Life
As we have seen in the above examples, thanks to ecovillages we have so many advantages when it comes to environmental protection. We can keep the soil, air, and water clean to create a sustainable standard of living, reduce the costly extraction of minerals and energy, contribute to the country's economy by protecting the ecological order, increase recycling and use renewable energy to create habitats that are integrated with nature. In addition, in an ecovillage as a community, much more work can be done by sharing tasks. Thus, as a community, we can accomplish more than our individual skills and abilities.