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Economic Development > Season 01 > Berrin Yildiz & Murat Sarikaya

Date: 03.01.2010 (Season 1 - Episode 14)

Berrin Yıldız and Murat Sarikaya Promote Cultural Tourism in Cappadocia

On 3 January 2010 Sabanci Foundation's "Turkey's Changemakers" program hosts Berrin Yildiz and Murat Sarikaya who contribute to the cultural and regional development of Capadocia in Turkey through the "Culture Museum".

Berrin Yildiz moved from Ankara to Ortahisar village in Nevsehir's Cappadocia region where she, along with Murat Sarikaya, decided to establish an ethnography museum that promotes local culture. In order to launch the "Culture Museum", they rented a house from the Municipality in 2002 and restored it with their own means. Although the region attracts many foreign and domestic tourists with its miraculous fairy chimneys, this museum was the first and still is the only private museum in Capadoccia.

The museum features examples and reenactments of Capadoccian and Anatolian traditions in order to inform visitors about the ancient lifestyle in Capadoccia and the Anatolian culture in general. Visitors of the museum have the opportunity to observe ancient Anatolian weaving, architectural and agricultural techniques and visit a traditional Turkish bath, a bridal chamber and a village square. Moreover, the museum also has a restaurant where visitors can taste delicious local dishes. While Ortahisar was the first village to invest in tourism in the history of Turkey, there has not been any touristic activity there in the last 20 years. However, the establishment of the Culture Museum inspired others to invest in the region. Thereby, touristic activities increased drastically and the entire region experienced economic development.

This project also received the "Best Social Entrepreneurship Award" by the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey in 2009.

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