A Day in Ovacik Village is alive
A Day in Sile Ovacık Village Project, T.C. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has taken its place among the projects to be supported within the scope of Future is in tourism, which is carried out in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Anadolu Efes. In an interview with Fatma Denizci at the beginning of 2018, the project was newly accepted.
We have evaluated how they came to this point together with the Ovacık Village Women’s Seed Association-Biovacık, the NGOs and volunteers that Fatma Denizci was in contact with. The project has been up and running since 2018. A Day in the village of Ovacik Sile, held in Turkey was one of the most important examples of projects in terms of rural development and promotion of female labor.
On March 8, 2020, International Women’s Day, we were together at the pickle workshop event of this beautiful team, veteran Ovacik Village women and female employees of Anadolu Isuzu company.
Our video, where we can watch exquisite images from the day of the event, is on our 700binkm YouTube channel.
We appreciate this project as 700thousandkm, the rural development, the realization of women’s labor and most importantly, the return to the village are the movements we value very much.
We hope that this project will be an example to many villages in Turkey and we can look to the future through nature. We support the project by creating content and making videos.
This time, we wanted to talk to Fatma Denizci about the implementation of the project and what they are doing as a living place. We leave you alone with this enjoyable interview.
Our interview with Fatma Denizci
What is the scope of the project?
It is a project developed especially with women considering the social and economic needs of the villagers.
The project aims to develop an experience-based tourism model. By living the essence of life in the village, guests will be a part of natural life by experiencing the processes, traditions and cultures behind local tastes. Guests will be grown from the ancestor seeds of traditional food, experience the art of harvesting and cooking together with the villagers so that every step towards the “table” will be taken together.
While doing all these, it is aimed to minimize air, water and soil pollution and waste production, and inform local people and guests about environmental impact (responsible tourist and responsible business).
How and from whom did you get support when the project was implemented?
The stakeholders of our project are Sile Municipality, Sile Culture and Tourism Association. Dear Refika Birgul @refikabirgul enriched our menu, gave us ideas on how to serve traditional dishes to our guests. In addition I would like to thank our architect, who supports us voluntarily, @chateau Senay Kahramanoglu, @mazustudio Beliz Oral, who designed our logo, @ecostore Mehmet Basaran, who helped set up our waste management system, @daglarkizi_rey who created permaculture garden, @nevraakin and @guidetumay who is with us in our project and support us always from the beginning to the end.
What has been achieved under how much grant scheme?
The grant amount is 120,000.- TL.
Turkey’s thrown that in the case of the former village school, women can use jointly, to do workshops, we turn to a social networking venues forgotten that relaunched the verge of flavor.
We have a kitchen where we can serve breakfast to a maximum of 30 people.
How many women are working for the project in Ovacik Village? Did you include all women from the village people? How did this union come about? How did women in the village approach your project? How have their ideas changed in the process?
11 women are working. Other women in the village cannot actively work in Ovacik Experience Workshop due to age or physical reasons. However, they can sell their Şile Cloth handicrafts, jams, pickles and tarhana products, which they can make at home, in our workshop.
The whole village was very enthusiastic in the process of applying for the project, but when things got serious, we could not get support from the villagers except our stakeholders. I think they couldn’t figure out how to make money with this project.
They thought why did the guests come to see our buffalo, our forest, to taste our traditional dishes and pay a price for it? After making our first workshop, our first guests came, their ideas changed. They were both surprised and delighted that the urban people were so longing and excited about nature and traditional tastes.
How has Ovacik Village changed before and after the project?
Ovacik Village is one of the smallest in 57 villages of Şile. Our pre-project awareness was in 2012 with the first Seed Exchange Festival. We have been curious about hearing the project and recommending our guests to visit us.
What kind of communication and support do you have with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Anadolu Efes “In the Future Tourism” team after the project is launched?
We received financial and moral support from the Future in Tourism team for the announcement and promotion of the project. They invited social media phenomena, famous people, chefs, various national TV channels to our village for promotion. They made short films and programs about us.
What approach do the village men take to this project?
At first, men never believed in the project. Now, of course, their spouse’s economic contribution to the house pleases them.
How do you contribute as Fatma Denizci in the ongoing process?
I am a project manager. I tell our story to our guests who come every workshop day. We are hiking together. I try to introduce wild fruits, herbs, and animals around.
What kind of activities do you hold and who comes? What income is created for the women of the village?
We experience rural life for our guests. Families with children, students, nature lovers, photo clubs show interest.
What kind of workshops are organized?
Making of bread, cheese, pickles, tarhana, vinegar, jam, noodles, fusilli pasta (the most interesting).
We determine our workshops seasonally. Tomato time like tomato paste, cabbage time like pickle. Personal development workshops; Breath, awareness, music therapy, artistic works. Herb collection / recognition
In the workshops (such as noodles, fusilli pasta, ear ravioli), we cook and cook together. If we make pickles, jam, everyone goes home by taking what they do.
We have workshops for compost (fertilizer) from kitchen waste. Seeding / planting workshops
How can they contact you for participation and what are the conditions for participation?
We announce our workshops from our @ovaciktabirgun instagram account and get registered.
The number of people is very important to us. For workshop preparations and treats we will prepare for our guests. It is among our missions not to waste, to reduce consumption as required by our project. We will continue on our way with responsible tourist, responsible business opinion.
It can be as an individual and a group. We can make the desired workshop with a minimum of 10 people on any day.
What reaction and communication did you receive from the surrounding villages?
It was an exemplary project for other villages. Our goals include collaborating with other villages and guiding them. Turkey’s calling us from other cities, the people visit to our project, those who want us to show the way.
Should we avoid the imitations of the project?
We want the A day in Ovacik Village project to be imitated and multiplied. Of course, it is our wish to stick to our philosophy and the path we have taken.
What are your suggestions for increasing this kind of projects in Turkey?
We, NGOs, volunteers, cooperatives and local government should cooperate in order for our villagers to regain the values and respect they have lost.
What do you think of rural development projects in Turkey and what is your advice for our country, for the increase of such initiatives?
There are such initiatives not only in our country but also in the world. Including villagers in such projects, encouraging cooperation, creating employment, preventing the immigration of the young population to the city. To ensure that village women contribute to the family economy. We know that prosperity and quality of life have increased in societies with women who achieve, produce, be confident, protect their rights and have a voice.
What are the new projects and ideas from now on?
I want to stop a little. We have needs such as accommodation, village pansion and camping. Incoming guests want to stay in the village. He wants to get eggs from the henhouse.
Very nice things are happening in Şile Ovacık Village. Make your way through this beautiful village, the old village school, today’s experience workshop, there are delicious tastes for you.