Alaçatı – Bademler Village: 64 kilometers.
Bademler Village, located between Seferihisar – Urla, is by far the most interesting villages in the region, with a unique emphasis it developed on the importance of education, environment, sports, health issues, culture and arts. Bademler is a village which has a library, museum and a ‘Culture and Art Society’, thus all villagers are literate, educated and they believe in the equality of women and men – something which is hard to find in the rural regions of Turkey. It was selected ‘the cleanest village in Turkey’ in 2012; as the garbage produced is collected, separated for recycling and the streets are washed everyday.
Bademler is an Alevi village which opens its arms to all beliefs, religions and communions. The inhabitants celebrate all religious holidays with the same enthusiasm; Newroz Festival, Hıdrellez, New Year’s Eve, Goat Round and Derme Devşirme (where women dressed in various costumes ask for ingredients from all the inhabitants to cook in giant pots in the village and share with everyone).
The Turkey’s first endeavor in theatre has started here in 1932, named ‘perde’ (‘curtain’ in English), still continues today as a part of daily life and all the cast members are still picked from the villagers. The traditional solidarity that is typical of a Turkish village still exists here; therefore the immigration rates are quite low in the village. Bademler was used in the filming of an important and successful worldwide movie directed by Metin Erksan many years ago which was adapted from the famous Turkish novelist Necati Cumalı’s book ‘Susuz Yaz’ that tells the stories of tobacco farmers. The movie was rewarded a ‘Golden Bear’ award in Berlin Film Festival in 1963 and was nominated for an Oscar in the “Best Film in a Foreign Language” category.
What to do in Bademler Village:
- Visit the ‘Village Theatre Building’ that is one of the most important milestones in the history of the village. If you visit in spring, you can attend the Bademler Theatre Festival which is held at the first week of May. Art exhibitions, shows and races are also organized as part of the festival at the Bademler Village Theatre and Azmak Bay.
- A visit to the local market which is open every Sunday at a street of the village is recommended – as only local products are sold and you get to hear a new story at each stand.
- You can try authentic tastes at the village; ‘oklavadan sıyırma tatlısı’ (a tasty traditional dessert prepared in the shape of dough roller), ‘asıta’, keşkek (made of wheat and chicken), vegetables from the field of Arabın Hüseyin, healing herbs picked by Memeti, homemade wines of Mehmet Sever, typical homemade breads such as; ‘godalak’ and buns made by Fatma Kaya and Canan Karabacak. It is an ideal market to buy homemade jams, tomato/pepper pastes, syrups, herbs, fruits and vegetables, homemade bread, desserts and wooden works.
- You can eat at ‘Şermin Anne’nin Yeri’ located at the end of the market which is open only on Sundays and get to taste fantastic meals baked in wooden fire including gözleme (stuffed flat breads) with eggplant, herbs and cheese or minced meat accompanied by homemade ayran (yoghurt with water), lemonade and tea; followed by ‘kalburabastı’ (riddled egg shaped sweet pastries)
- Another address-to-visit in the market is Küçükağa Gözleme Evi, where you can eat varieties of freshly baked ‘gözleme’ (stuffed flat breads)
- Ali’nin Yeri, located in the center of the village is famous for its meatballs. The small place is always full with people.
- The Toy Museum, where the photographs and documents of Bademler Village are exhibited, is the first traditional children toys museum, founded by Archeologist Dr. Musa Baran that turned his house into a museum.
- Bademler Village also hosts events held at Mathematics Farm in summer months. The enterprise, started by Tufan and Handan Döleneken in 2015, a duo that has devoted themselves to mathematics, is a learning center that adds classes on literature & music and activities and games along with the mathematics. The family believes that the inventions can not be realized without the help of mathematics, so they visited Mathematics Village of Ali Nesin located in Şirince and exchanged information with them. Piano recitals are organized, mathematics is practiced by stories and the children learn how to make natural yoghurt&cheese, grow vegetables and fruits here. The farm aims to be the 3rd Mathematics Museum in the world following Matematikum in Germany and Mo Math in the United States.