Boğatepe Environment and Life Association

The 11th Changemaker of the 9th season of the Sabancı Foundation Turkey’s Changemakers Program is Boğatepe Environment and Life Association which provides an exemplary model for rural development.

Boğatepe Environment and Life Association was founded in 2000 by İlhan Koçulu to reanimate the village life in Boğatepe, Kars.

Within the Association, women of the village took a range of trainings about plant growing, dairy farming and endangered plants seeds. Besides the usage of natural sources of the village, women also took computer and French classes. 

After the Association started its activities, the migration from village to cities stopped, and even remigration back to village started. 

One of the first eco-museums of Turkey, the Cheese Museum was founded in the village and cheese diversity was increased. Beside cheese production which is the main economic activity of the village, eco-tourism also became a source of income thanks to the support of villagers. Cultural tourist groups started to accommodate in the village. Thus, almost 7,000 tourists started to visit the village of 500 habitants every year.

Boğatepe Environment and Life Association was founded under the leadership of İlhan Koçulu and grew with the support of women of the village. The activities of the Association became an exemplary model in the field of rural development. It created a huge difference both in the reborn village and in the lives of women of the village.

Date: 16.03.2018 (Season 9 - Episode 11)

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