My current research: Troglodytes to Modern Houses, Resettlement and Adaptation among the cave dwellers of Cappadocia.
In 1985, Cappadocia a ‘moonlike’ landscape of giant rock cones, historic cave dwellings and Byzantine Churches, located in the heartland of Anatolian peninsula, 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.
However, over the last two decades, it has been observed that the increase in cultural tourism to the area has led to a problematic relationship between the key heritage attractions in the area, tourism and the local community. The living culture of Goreme village, as it is in the historic cave dwellings and the general landscape, is considered within tourism discourses as an asset to be protected and preserved; however the actions that has been taken toward the cave dweller community remains insufficient and unsustainable.
Before it' declaration as a World Heritage Site, the area was declared to be in danger zone as some rock formations were deforming and collapsing. The local community was then moved to the “AFET houses” (Catastrophe houses) by the government, as part of a modernization program during the 70’s. However, the local people found these houses to be unpractical and dysfunctional for their traditional farming needs. It is observed that most of the inhabitants of the AFET houses had to rebuild their newly moved houses.
The main reason for this displacement was thought to be the increasing tourism and market value of the evacuated caves, which are now bought by many financially, empowered customers from all around the world, to be converted into touristic accommodations. Thus the national tourism initiatives have resulted in an increasing marginalization of the locals from the economic opportunities associated with the industry...