Karaburun Women Agro-Tourism Cooperative

Being the first agricultural tourism project of Turkey, Karaburun emerged as a product of the efforts of Winpeace, Turkey-Greece Women’s Initiative towards bridging the women in respective countries. Established by a group of women inhabiting Kugukbahge, Sarpincik and Parlak villages of Izmir’s Karaburun district, "Karaburun Women Agro-Tourism Cooperative" presents a very diverse understanding of tourism. The women in these three villages seek to make a contribution to home economics by turning their houses into guesthouses. Guests who can participate in activities such as cooking bread, preparing traditional dishes, carpet weaving, horse riding, trekking and picking up olives pass a nature-friendly holiday. In addition, agricultural tourism tries to preserve the traditional products subject to be forgotten such as jam, handicrafts and aromatic plants.

For the education of women in Karaburun, similar cooperatives in Greece were visited and educational trips were organized to the villages in Turkey that are excelled in running guesthouses. This project aims at achieving the economic independence of women villagers who previously worked as unpaid family workers and their social enhancement. The project in Karaburun employs 18 people in total. The Karaburun example clearly shows that once the project extends in the whole of Turkey, it would be greatly beneficial in every respect (Anonymous, 2005).

• Mersin-Erdemli District Kosbucagi village agricultural tourism development project

The project location, Kosbucagi village, is in 12 km distance from Erdemli and it has some Roman and Byzantine ruins. The main source of income of the village is agriculture and animal husbandry. The project aimed at contributing to the development and extension of agricultural tourism, providing employment opportunities other than agriculture, increasing household income by direct acquisition of local products to the consumers, developing collaboration in the locality, and preserving and utilizing the agricultural product diversity, natural resources and cultural assets. The target group of the project is principally women since women have the potential to fulfill the essentials of agro-tourism. It endeavored to make women obtain income by using the education provided. Social status of the women with income tends to increase and consequently contributes to the domestic decision making mechanism. With a thorough marketing, this project is expected to cause major social, cultural and economic changes (Anonymous, 2009a).