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Bodrum attracting tourists for more than just sun, sea
1.       tunci
7149 posts
 25 Aug 2011 Thu 07:26 pm



Bodrum attracting tourists for more than just sun, sea

Bodrum has long drawn huge numbers of foreign tourists. Many more, however, are beginning to settle in the Aegean town and become involved in local projects to help the less fortunate

Bodrum. AA photo

Bodrum. AA photo

The Aegean district of Bodrum has long been synonymous with mass tourism, yet an increasing number of foreign tourists are staying in the area after their holiday, putting down roots and helping out with social responsibility projects.

We try to integrate into society,” British citizen Ian Patterson recently told Anatolia news agency, adding that he had lived in Bodrum for 10 years. “We have formed a group for handicapped children. More than 100 foreigners are living in [the Bodrum neighborhood of] Turgutreis alone.”

Patterson works at the Bodrum Health Foundation, where he helps train children with physical disabilities.

Noting that the number of foreigners living in Bodrum had increased in the last six years, Bodrum Health Foundation Public Relations Manager Şafak Yaşar said: “They work for social responsibility projects and support us in meeting our needs. For example, when we decide to establish a children’s park in any place, they prepare projects. They have restored the main gate of the foundation. They are always helpful with children with disabilities. They approach them with love and compassion.”

Yaşar said there were nearly 200 children with physical and mental disabilities being treated at the foundation, which was established in 1996.

Bodrum continues to draw foreigners

For many foreigners, Turkey’s tolerance, natural and cultural beauty, as well as clement weather, have drawn them to make a new life in Bodrum.

I came to Turkey 50 years ago as a sailor, visited the Black Sea provinces of Samsun and Trabzon. I saw that people of different languages and religions lived in peace. We have more Turkish friends here; we don’t live with other foreigners in groups. Turks respect our faith just like we respect their faith,” Patterson said.

“[Turkey’s] nature, cuisine and people are very nice. We can perform our own faith here freely,” said British citizen Allan Waite, who moved to Turgutreis seven years ago.

Michael Maidment, a Scot living in Turgutreis, said he moved to Bodrum with his wife 10 years ago after retiring. Before moving, he said they had come to Bodrum for a holiday.

Living in my own country is stressful. Here we are living in a free environment and we are very happy. Turkish food is very good. Also, this is a very cheap country to live in when compared to my own country. The concept of the family is really important compared to Scotland. This is what we like most,” Maidment said.

Bodrum Mufti Mehmet Yiğit also said around four or five foreigners living in Bodrum applied to them every year to accept Islam. “We give them a certificate prepared by the Religious Affairs Directorate,” Yiğit said.

BODRUM - Anatolia News Agency



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2.       tunci
7149 posts
 17 Jul 2012 Tue 01:46 pm


Güzelyurt becomes a touristic hub

AKSARAY - Anatolia News Agency

More and more tourists are visiting Güzelyurt in Aksaray province to the west of Cappadocia to learn about the cultural heritage of the 250-year-old arched stone mansions which have been transformed into boutique hotels. Güzelyurt area is an important part of the historical Cappadocia region, attracts attention from tourists

Güzelyurt in Aksaray Province in the Central Anatolian region of Turkey, 250-year-old arched stone mansions have been transformed into boutique hotels serve tourists coming to discover the area’s historical treasures. Town is a part of the Cappadocia region. AA photos

Güzelyurt in Aksaray Province in the Central Anatolian region of Turkey, 250-year-old arched stone mansions have been transformed into boutique hotels serve tourists coming to discover the area’s historical treasures. Town is a part of the Cappadocia region. AA photos

In the town of Güzelyurt in Aksaray Province in the Central Anatolian region of Turkey, 250-year-old arched stone mansions have been transformed into boutique hotels to serve tourists coming to discover the area’s cultural and historical treasures. The town is an important part of the historical Cappadocia region.

Mayor of Güzelyurt, Kudret Özeş, said Güzelyurt and the surrounding area have throughout its history hosted many cultures like the Hittites, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans. The town has previously been known under the names Karballa and Gelveri. According to Özeş, Güzelyurt is a treasure waiting to be discovered.

“In Güzelyurt history, nature and culture awaits adventurers with [places like the] Ihlara Valley, the Monastery Valley, Selime Monastery Cathedral, underground cities, hundreds of Gelveri houses and fairy chimneys waiting to be explored.

The founder of the Orthodoks sect behind St. Gregorius Church was born in Güzelyurt, Özeş said, adding that Greeks living in the area during the Seljuk and Ottoman era invested their wealth in Güzelyurt and made it a significant religious center. “The venue became one of the regional trade centers with this,” he said.


Population exchange in 1920

Much of the previously large Greek population in Güzelyurt vanished with the population exchange of the 1920s. “With the population exchange in 1924, Greeks and Turks exchanged places. Before the population exchange, rich Greeks dealing with trade in Istanbul had historical mansions in Güzelyurt,” Özeş said.
Some houses in the town date back 250 years and a few 100-year-old historical houses also exist, according to Özeş. “They have extremely thick walls. The height of the arches is nearly four to five meters. Each of the houses is a work of art creating an authentic environment.”

Özeş said the historical mansions are now being used to meet the needs of visitors to the region. “The authentic structure of the buildings is protected,” he said.

“With the arched stone mansions’ being brought into use in tourism we’ve reached the capacity of 400 beds. We have boutique hotels and guest houses. The nature [in Güzelyurt] and tourism go hand in hand,” Özeş said.

The restoration of the old houses is still in progress, he said.

Increasing potential of tourism

“We do our best as a municipality. We are open to new ideas from the tourism companies about the transformation of the historical mansions into boutique hotels. With this aim, we’ve allocated old houses belonging to our municipality to tourism managers,” Özeş said. The value of the houses has risen drastically as foreign investors become increasingly interested in them and travel to the area to see them, Özeş said. “The citizens are content with the situation too. Some citizens transformed their houses into boutique hotels with a series of restorations.” Özeş said the town’s tourism potential continues to increase which benefits the town economically. “The prices of the mansions are increasing day by day. Values of the old houses, which [have been maintained] well, range from 250 to 300 thousand Turkish Liras. There are old arched houses with eight to 10 rooms waiting to be sold,” he said.

Özeş also noted that with the increasing number of beds available to tourists the number of the tourists has increased too and many tourists wish to stay at the town’s historical mansions.




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