Around Dalyan there are many picturesque small villages. Often overlooked by tourists and they remain undiscovered. Despite being close to the thriving tourist town of Dalyan, famous for it’s loggerhead turtles, village life revolves around agriculture. They retain their rural charm.
In Turkey the definition of a village is a population below 2000. Before the 1950’s 80% of the entire population lived in villages. Today, the actual amount of people living in villages has increased but the percentage has decreased, due to the migration towards larger towns and cities.
As in the rest of the world agriculture has become much more mechanised and small landowners and tenants have suffered. These are the families that have generally sought their fortune elsewhere. Larger landowners have inevitably succeeded, machinery making their businesses much more efficient and profitable.
Today the extended family remains vital to the survival of the village community. Even though many offspring move away to the cities the extended family can comprise of male elders and a variety of cousins and children. This unit forms a cooperative that will share labour, machinery and even cash.
Every village has an elected head. Known as the muhtar.
The muhtar is the highest elected authority in the village. The tasks of the muhtar compromise of two groups: compulsory tasks, public health, primary education, security and notification of public announcements. Non-compulsory tasks depend upon the demands of the village.
In each town there may be several neighbourhoods. In large cities the number may exceed a 100 different neighbourhoods. Urban muhtars tend to have less tasks than rural muhtars. They usually provide official copies of birth certificates and ID cards.
Villages around Dalyan
Villages differ depending on the location. Near the South West coastal towns villages are mainly comprised of small holdings. The tourist trade often supplements the families’ fortunes.
Situated just outside of Dalyan is the village of Eskikoy. The population numbers around 2000 people. There are mosques, a school and small shops. The main source of income comes from citrus, pomegranate and cotton production. Eskikoy is where our horses are kept. This is also our starting point for our horse riding trips.
On the road out of Dalyan is the village of Okcular . A charming village that offers many different walks and treks through the liquidambar forests.
Kemaliye is further out of Dalyan. An Alevi village, meaning there is no mosque. Many of the inhabitants work in Dalyan during the tourist season.
Fevziye is another Alevi village that is found near to Dalaman. Explore the farms and Blue Lagoon on our Discover Dalyan trip.