Notes For Foreign Visitors
Purpose and Aims:
The Stakeholders in Ekolojik TaTuTa:
- To strengthen the communication among groups and individuals in the "ecological living" movement.
- To develop healthy models of organic production that constitutes a lasting and environmentally friendly livelihood, especially for rural populations.
- To offer city dwellers the experience of life on an organic farm and thereby awaken and/or strengthen their sense of responsibility with regard to ecological living so that they may incorporate it into their daily lives.
- To create a venue for the first-hand and hands-on exchange of ecological methods, knowledge, experience and ideas among consumers, farmers and other interested individuals.
- To contribute to the healthy continuity of soil, air and water quality, of biological diversity, climate and other natural cycles by supporting environmentally friendly production and consumption models.
The host farms...
- are those farms, in the context of the Bugday Association's Ekolojik TaTuTa system,
on the one hand work to build their own capacities in organic production and thereby earn their livelihood, and on the other hand wish to spread the consciousness and application of organic production in their communities.
include families who are not in a certification program but who, like those who are in such a program, live and work with ecological consciousness.
are examples that apply environment friendly methods and technologies and/or keep ecologically conscious local knowledge alive, preserve its traditional ways of life and whose values will be able to be passed on to future generations (the home, visitors' accommodation, kitchen, etc normally reflect these qualities).
are comprised of individuals who receive visitors into their homes as guests, without regard for race, creed, language or gender.
facilitate open communication with visitors who come either as guest or volunteer with regard to requests and about set activities/work. The host guarantees that voluntary work will be mostly ‘not tourism related’ activities.
are farms/settlements/organizations where main focus is ecological and/or environment friendly production and/or education.
upon membership to the Bugday Association, one family/farm representative participates in the activities and governance of the Association.
by means of their designated representative, are included in the TaTuTa system by making a contract with the Bugday Association; also, if an amendment must be made to the collected farm information, the representative communicates this alteration to the TaTuTa staff in as short time as possible.
The Bugday Association for Supporting Ecological Living...
- that volunteer to accept visitors,
- whose detailed information is posted on the website and is thus available to potential visitors,
- that take on and fulfill their responsibilities according to the TaTuTa system.
- is the institution that sowed the seeds of the Ekolojik TaTuTa project and which has volunteered to take on the responsibilities of its coordination and observation in the course of its activity.
- fulfills its responsibility to all of the participants and supporters and realizes its duty with transparency and by continuously evaluating and renewing itself.
- while observing the rights of Bugday, the host farms and visitors throughout the process, uses all available possibilities in order to give life to healthy self-perpetuating models to the benefit of Turkey and the Earth.
Steps to be taken in order to be an Ekolojik TaTuTa host farm:
- are those people who wish to visit the farms listed in Ekolojik TaTuTa web site and who thus realize their visit under the conditions described in the site.
- are either "farm volunteers" who collaborate on the farm with their labor, knowledge, and/or experience for the duration of their stay or "guests" who give monetary support directly (without intermediary) to the farm to compensate the host farm regarding accommodation and rendered services.
- are individuals who make an effort to raise their own awareness and that of those around them with regard to ecological living cycles and who take responsibility therein.
- preferably participate in the activities and governance of the Bugday Association upon official membership to the Association.
- are individuals who view the rural population that they visit with hope and goodwill and without regard to race, creed, language, gender, region or tradition.
- are individuals who carry a sense of responsibility and respect for natural cycles and the livelihoods and traditions of the people and cultural heritage of the regions they visit and who wish to support these as much as possible.
- while realizing the necessary communication with the host in the course of their stay about the days' activities/tasks, respect the time and conditions of those who live on the farm.
- fulfill their responsibilities to the project manager, the Bugday Association, before and during their visit.
- are individually responsible for their own insurance in the case of health problems or accidents which occur during or as a result of the farm visit. The Bugday Association can not hold the farm or any other project stakeholder responsible for these matters. (Minors may participate in TaTuTa as visitors only under the guidance and supervision of their parent or guardian)
Steps to be taken in order to be an Ekolojik TaTuTa farm visitor:
- Interested farmer families contact the TaTuTa staff via telephone, fax, post, email or by visiting the Bugday Association office to get detailed information about the project.
- With this information and upon deciding that they would indeed like to be a TaTuTa host farm, they begin the application for inclusion process with an invitation to the TaTuTa staff to their farm for a preliminary visit.
- Upon visiting the farm on the designated date and if the farm is appropriate, the TaTuTa staff shall fill out the Farm Information Form and draft a farm preparation calendar (for training, doing away with shortcomings, first visitor acceptance date, etc).
- According to the calendar the Bugday Association shall give the required training, the family shall prepare their home for receiving TaTuTa visitors and the two parties shall sign a contract recognizing the farm as a TaTuTa host farm.
- As per the contract, Bugday shall make visitors' reservations and direct visitors to the farm family but shall not be party to any exchange of goods or services between the farm families and visitors.
- The farm family shall be responsible for informing Bugday (in as short time as possible) of visitors they receive independent of TaTuTa and/or any changes to the information previously collected about the farm.
- At the end of the 1-year contract period, upon positive evaluation (by both Bugday and the farm family) and with the required changes a new contract period shall begin.
- Interested individuals shall read this Guide thoroughly, paying special attention to the Charter and farm information pages.
- After successful online registration, detailed farm directory will be accessible. The visitor may communicate with Genctur regarding questions or to get additional information. The visitor shall decide which farm and on which dates s/he wants to realize his/her visit and whether s/he shall go as a farm volunteer or as a guest.
- Some farms are available for direct contact. For the others, the visitor shall contact Genctur to find out whether the farm s/he has chosen is available on the desired dates. If the farm is indeed available s/he may make a reservation; if not, s/he may consult with Genctur to choose an appropriate alternative farm.
- By contacting the host farm family (directly or through Genctur) regarding arrival and departure details the visitor shall plan and realize his/her trip according to his/her reservation.
- Regarding requests, recommendations and/or impressions, visitors may communicate freely with both the host farm family and the Bugday Association. In this respect visitors may also provide any possible and necessary support.
- As for the knowledge, experience and labor support that farm volunteers give or the monetary support that the guest provides, visitors are directly responsible to the host farm family and shall communicate with the family accordingly.
Notes for Foreign Visitors
- For more information about the Bugday Association's activities and concept of ‘ecological
living’, we invite you to visit the English section of the Bugday website.
- Even as Turkey becomes increasingly westernized with each passing day there are certain
traditions in rural Turkey that have been maintained and must be respected. Some examples
are listed below (valid for some regions, may vary according to region):
For more information about Turkish/Anatolian culture please consult country travel guide books like Lonely Planet, the Rough Guide, Le Guide Routard, etc. Official websites of Ministry of Culture and Tourism or that of Genctur may also be useful. Or, for a more profound understanding, relevant cultural studies and sources should also be consulted. And of course, for the most up to date and specific knowledge about individual farms you should contact and consult with Genctur, the youth travel agency that handles all visitor related communications of TaTuTa for Bugday Association.
In Turkey there are two types of toilets. Alaturka refers to a shallow ceramic bowl fixed on the floor with a drainage hole in the center. The correct position for use is squatting. Alafranga refers to the common western toilet on which one sits.
- When entering the home, outdoor shoes are removed.
- It is usually not permitted for non-married couples to share a room (please consult Genctur for appropriate measures and/or farms). Moreover all couples should refrain from showing physical affection.
- Meals are not often eaten at a table with chairs. Rather, a large tray (elevated slightly) or cloth is spread and people sit on the floor around the spread.
- Hosts are often very hospitable (sometimes overwhelmingly) towards guests in their home. It is common for the guest to offer his help (in the kitchen, around the house, etc) even if the help is repeatedly refused. Depending on the family, with time and/or confidence the help will likely be accepted. Help around the house will indeed be more readily accepted (even expected) from a volunteer but all visitors should remember that helping with household chores is a fine venue for cultural exchange.