From Understanding to Action for Conservation and Sustainability of a Rural Heritage Place: Kemer, Turkey

Ekici S. C. , Kısaer E. M. , Bilgin Altınöz A. G. , Yavuzatmaca M., Yıldırım Esen S.

Presentation, pp.3-22, 2019

  • Publication Type: Other Publication / Presentation
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Page Numbers: pp.3-22


Kemer Village, a historic rural settlement situated in western Anatolia, is a very good representative of rural heritage places of this geography. Well-preserved buildings and settlement tissue of the village, provide invaluable information about spatial and architectural features, construction materials and techniques common to this geography. However, upper scale agricultural production and settlement policies, as well as changing ways of living in time, lead to depopulation, discard, alteration and even destruction of Kemer Village. Besides the physical aspects, its intangible aspects, like local living traditions, beliefs, rituals and indigenous knowledge, are also under the risk of disappearing. Although the population of the village decreased significantly in time, there are still inhabitants and local masons living in the village. Thus, it becomes possible to understand the factors, processes and dynamics of change in this rural settlement, so as to be able to define policies, strategies and actions for the conservation and sustainability.

Although the common tendency to provide an economic development to prevent depopulation of the rural historic areas is to bring touristic activities, this decision disturbs the integrity of social and physical environment. In Kemer Village this tendency has not been initiated yet. Therefore, Kemer Village is on the border of being abandoned or being a touristic destination.

This presentation explains the rural architectural and settlement features of the historical village of Kemer Village, together with indigenous knowledge on living and building traditions, resources and processes. It also discusses the factors, processes and dynamics affecting Kemer Village as an historic rural settlement, and consequently, proposes principles, policies, strategies and actions for the conservation and sustainability of rural heritage place by including all the decision makers, inhabitants and experts to the shared decision-making process.