OPET, pursuing its efforts to protect the history of the Dardanelles-Gallipoli Peninsula region with the "Respect to History Project" for 14 years, has transformed the Çıplak Village which is considered to be the starting point of Troy's discovery into an Etno-village following the Archeo-village Tevfikiye. By means of the efforts in the Çıplak Village that rests on a 5000-year history the village people are expected to play an active role in cultural and historical tourism.
OPET’s "Respect to History Project" that was initiated in 2006 and still pursues in the Gallipoli Peninsula aims at preserving the natural setting to give a modern appearance to the region. Following the rehabilitation work performed in the Eceabat region, where the Dardanelles Campaign had taken place, OPET transformed the Tevfikiye Village in the closest vicinity of the Troy Archaeological Site into an Archeo-village in the "2018 Year of Troy" and now is working on the Çıplak Village in the Troy Region to attach an identity to it in the appearance of an Ethno-Village. The main axis of the works carried out in the Çıplak Village, which reflects the different historical and cultural layers of Anatolia was to create the concept of an "Ethno-village", derived from the word ethnography, a branch of science that deals with man-made cultural elements. Ethno-village project is the sole project in Turkey that brings the museums, archaeological sites, and villages which still dwell with their culture and history together. The project was designed to reflect the ethno-cultural heritage of the Çıplak Village, which contains elements, textures and stories about all layers representing the cultural heritage of the Anatolian tradition.
Nurten Ötürk, the Founding Member of OPET's Board of Management emphasized that with the work they have been carrying out since 2006 in the Dardanelles they have achieved a great transformation and said, “By means of our Respect to History Project we are rehabilitating the villages in the Gallipoli Peninsula and the Eceabat District, and as of 2018 we have started working in the Troy Region. Troy is a region that has inspired leaders who have changed the course of history like Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Fatih Sultan Mehmet and Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The travelers visiting Troy Archaeological Site and the Troy Museum pass right before and even from within the Archae-village Tevfikiye and the Ethno-village Çıplak. Our aim is to give the share of Troy's cultural tourism to these well-deserving villages that are located at such a significant location and to bring forth their local and historical aspects they have carried from past to present."
THE ÇIPLAK VILLAGE; STARTING POINT IN THE DISCOVERY OF TROY
Öztürk stated that the Çıplak Village was considered to be the starting point in the discovery of Troy and said, "When we look at the Çıplak Village as a whole, we encounter the abundance of a rich history, agriculture and archaeological culture blended together just like many other of our villages in Anatolia. In the Çıplak Village that bears traces from the initial years of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey and the Ottoman times, we have made an emphasis to the relationship of the travelers with the archaeologists who have followed the archaeological studies starting with Schliemann as of the 17th century during the Troy excavations, which were accepted to the beginning of archaeology as a science. Ethno-village Çıplak has a significant status in terms of the history of archaeology such as Schliemann's house was in this village during the time of his excavations and almost all the villagers attended the Troy excavations. The history of the village is explained to the travelers visiting the Çıplak Village that has its roots in traditional agriculture with authentic motifs. Also, we have made additions to our project such as the sales and marketing of agricultural products of the village that would contribute to the economy.
5000-YEAR TRADITION STILL PERSISTENT
Öztürk noted that the villagers in Tevfikiye Archaeo-village and Çıplak Ethno-village who reside over a 5000-year history still pursue historical traditions and transfer their culture as a heritage to next generations and said, “At the start of our project, we have listened to the opinion of the villagers and benefited from their ideas, other than the scope of the architectural concept. Besides, in collaboration with Administration of the Dardanelles Public Education Center, we have established courses to bring awareness to the locals, grant them job opportunities and enhance their social quality of life. There were courses on many topics from jewelry design to English, hygiene rules to boarding hotel management. Their knowledge of history was also refreshed for their appreciation of the land they live in, and for them to learn and explain it to others. This is how we have contributed for the villagers to play an active role in cultural and historical tourism."
Mr. İlhami Aktaş, the Governor of Dardanelles, also made points saying, “Within the scope of OPET's Respect to History Project that has been going on for 14 years over the Gallipoli region and the villages where highly significant pages of our history were written, efforts including recreation, development and rehabilitation were carried out with intentions of embracing our history. In the 2018 Year of Troy there was an astounding physical and social transformation in the Tevfikiye Village that stands out with its history, mythology, culture and natural beauties. Now, the Çıplak Village that harbors the touch of all layers of the cultural heritage of Anatolian traditions is being transformed into an Ethno-village within the scope of the project and is gaining a new identity which has been enriched with contents that reflect its history, cultural depth and diversity. Besides the physical recreation, our people are being educated under the project in collaboration with the Dardanelles Public Education Center. As a result of all this work, an important contribution has been made to the tourism potential in our region. I would like to thank OPET that has broken the grounds and protects the values of both the past and the future with its social responsibility projects it has initiated throughout Turkey, as well as Ms Nurten Öztürk."
Prof. Dr. Rüstem Aslan, an academic at Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University's Faculty of Arts and Science, Department of Archaeology started his address by giving thanks to OPET for its contributions to the region and said: “The Çıpla Village that has been intricately woven in the 5000-year history of Troy, pursuing the ancient agriculture of Anatolia, keeping its historical ties with the science of archaeology and still bearing the traces of the Dardanelles Campaign, is ready to meet with its visitors at the Ethno-village where the villagers have opened the first elementary school in the history of the Republic in that region... OPET Respect to History - Rehabilitation of Villages at Troy Project, presents a special experience right next to the Troy Museum that will bring visitors from different parts of the world together. Archaeo-village and Ethno-village are a local development and cultural tourism project at the center of agriculture and local heritage and it is a model project for the future that facilitates our multi-layered cultural heritage that enriches through sharing as a motivating power for development. I would like to thank OPET and Ms Nurten Öztürk.”