Our society aims to maintain Turkey’s 18 existing culture routes, to encourage the establishment of new trekking trails, and to set standards for the best practises for their development.
Culture routes are a means of deepening cultural understanding—both within Turkey, where city-dwellers are separated by space and life-style from their rural past, and by showing international trekkers aspects of Turkey’s culture that would normally find difficult to access. The Society brings benefits to the areas through which the routes pass, by involving local people in the routes, especially in identifying old roads and by offering them the chance to host trekkers in their homes and pensions.
Turkey's first long-distance trail was the Lycian Way, launched in 1999; it runs between Fethiye and Antalya in SW Turkey. User numbers grew rapidly and thousands of people have enjoyed this trail; it encouraged other enthusiasts to establish trails too. There are now 18 culture routes in Turkey, and we are developing more.
We have just finished the first stage of an ambitious project to develop a long-distance route which links Europe to Asia. Starting in Canterbury, UK, the Via Francigena runs all the way to Rome. The new project will extend it to Bari, then across the Adriatic to Albania then Macedonia and Greece before entering Turkey. It will finish at Demre, on the south coast of Turkey.
Our Action Plan:
The immediate aims of the society are aimed at the publicising and protection of our existing routes. We want to:
- Do more work to publicise the routes, especially via social media, and in different languages. (most of the existing walkers are Europeans, but we now have visitors from as far as China and Brazil as well as many Australians - we especially need to appeal to the Russian market.)
- Encourage the authorities to protect our routes as classified sites. Many are under threat from HES works, mining and new road-making, but we have prepared a detailed legal report on this comparing methods in Turkey and Europe.
- Maintain and clean the routes - we run a volunteer group at least once a year.
- Work with local authorities to help villagers along the routes earn money from providing services for walkers – small pensions, transport services, restaurants, etc. We are currently working on a plan to form a women's cooperative which will run a small restaurant and sell food to trekkers.
- Work with our members - foreign and local travel agencies - to offer group holidays on the routes.
- Work with international bodies – we attend the annual forum of the Institute of Culture Routes of the Council of Europe, and the World Trails Network Conference. We adopt international standards and co-operate with other trail makers.
Cooking / shopping
Helping with Tourists
Help with Computers / internet
In addition to the regular help, which includes updating our social media and website (wordpress), keeping in touch with trekkers, photo library work, etc. we are also in need of Russian speakers who can translate English to Russian for our website and smart phone apps and can do Russian research on the web.
English, Turkish, Italian, French
Our office is in the centre of Antalya, close to the old town (Kaleiçi) where there are shops, museums, swimming areas, places to eat and drink, etc. We have a room for 2 people inside the office with bathroom, kitchen, etc. and a garden.
We are close to all city transport. Antalya has airport bus station, tram within easy reach of our office. There are plenty of places to visit around Antalya.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
We are a very mixed group speaking Turkish, English, Arabic, French, Italian, etc. So the volunteers can practice these languages, explore Antalya, which is a lively cultural touristic city and explore the coastal mountains around it.