New life for old traditions, Turkey
Fifty miles southwest of Turkey's third biggest city İzmir lies the small town Tire. In Tire's little alleys craftsmen have been making artful saddles, tin plating and felt products.
Here lives the Cön family. The family has been running a traditional felt manufacture in Tire for generations. But the felt art is in danger of disappearing like many other traditional crafts of the region. The population size of Tire has been shrinking for years. Unfortunately, the learning of the elaborate craft is not attractive for most of the youth considering the modern work life in the big cities of the country.
The objective of the project “New Life for Old Traditions” is the preservation of original crafts and working practices. How is this possible? For example like this: by educating young people in the traditional crafts of Tire and thus reviving them.
The Cön manufacture takes over this task. Together with our local project partner we want to strengthen the local crafts and make them attractive again. Of special importance is the passing on of traditional manufacturing techniques and patterns – thereby the craftsmen's jobs can be saved.
Step by step, the travel agency ÖGER TOURS wants to incorporate the cooperation with the felt manufacture into its program. Tourists can participate in experience-orientated workshops and directly witness the everyday (work) life of the locals. Furthermore, the remaining urban community of the small town benefits from the project due to the increased number of tourists because of the organized trips and felt workshops. Additionally, ÖGER TOURS plans to cooperate with selected hotel partners in order to offer the felt products directly to the tourists.