Reconstructing households among the cave dwellers of Cappadocia
Eda Elif Tibet (University of Bern)
Paper short abstract:
The new settlements that the cave dwellers were moved into, were found to be disfunctional and unpractical in many aspects as the local community had to reconstruct their new habitual environment according to their residential and traditional needs.
Paper long abstract:
Cappadocia, a 'moonlike' landscape of giant rock cones with historic cave dwellings and Byzantine Churches is located in the heartland of Anatolian peninsula. Its' people lived in these naturally formed rock structures throughout centuries. In 1985, Cappadocia was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and became a National Park. Since then, a steadily increasing number of cultural tourists have visited the place and over the last two decades, the increase in cultural tourism and foreign settlers to the area has led to a problematic relationship between the key heritage attractions in the area, tourism and the local community. Cappadocians were displaced from their caves by the government and were moved into the "AFET houses" (Catastrophe houses) as part of a modernization program. This paper aims to investigate the local community's perceptions of being displaced by economic development of Cappadocia, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Turkey, through visual anthropology methods. The objective is to examine the impact of tourism on people in displaced households' by locating and documenting life histories and current living circumstances, in terms of the interconnection of social, economic, and political processes that are demonstrated in the effects of regional tourism policies. It aims to examine the challenges of involuntary displacement, migration, reconstructing livelihoods, resettlement and the adaptation processes from a farming economy to tourism oriented life style, by adopting "the house" within "the landscape" as a metaphor for constant social change, especially in questioning the tourism policies that govern land acquisition and in advocacy on behalf of the local communities faced forced- displacement.
Shaping lives and places within social movements