Dudas Village : Introducing Rural Tourism

Thirty-three villages in the Beypazari region of Turkey are part of a huge tourism initiative by the Turkish government.

The aim is to promote the region for its natural beauty and the targeted market is anyone who does not want a beach holiday. Examples include culture seekers, photography enthusiasts and people who love walking and trekking.

One of the villages on the map is Dudas. Before I went to Beypazari, I had never heard of it. After I returned from Beypazari, I googled it and it seems hardly anyone else has heard of it either.

Apart from my own articles, the best resource I found was an old government website listing a few details. Therefore, if the tourism initiative is going to succeed, promotion for Dudas village needs to start.

Dudas village beypazari

Bringing Rural Tourism to Dudas Village

The tourism facilities in Dudas village are basic and those who like being pampered 24/7 need to look elsewhere. Restoration has begun on an old village house and when ready, it will be a five-room hotel.

hotel renovation in Dudas

No other tourism facilities exist in the village. It has just traditional wooden houses, dusty roads, wide-open fields, and locals who still practice age-old traditions.

I can see the appeal in that though and it fills in the gap.  The Mediterranean and Aegean coasts are favorite destinations for beach loving tourists so Beypazari is focusing on the countryside, culture, photography, and nature lovers.

House in Dudas beypazari

The Locals of Dudas Village

While walking around the village, I had one burning question to ask.

Do the locals of Dudas want tourists invading their peace and quiet?

The answer is yes. Despite the short falls of tourism, it is a good incentive for any region to participate in.

Local turkish women

Money comes in from outside sources and in turn provides jobs and funds for improving infrastructure.

The village locals I met were friendly and did not shut the door in my face. They know about the project and look forward to seeing the results it will bring.

Local man of a small turkish village

Nevertheless, who is promoting this region?

I found a few travel agents marketing two-day tours of Beypazari but they were targeting Turkish customers and only the main town center appeared on the agenda. Dudas village and the surrounding 32 villages were not on any schedule.

There is potential here with foreign tourists. People can stop in Beypazari when on the typical tours of Istanbul to Cappadocia.

Thirty-three villages, the Inozu valley and the town centre of Beypazari will keep people occupied for at least a week. The close location to the capital also means that people can include Beypazari while on a city break in Ankara.

Dudas koy

Many Turkish travel agents have told me that their business is tough. Of course it is. They are all marketing the same product; tours of Istanbul, Cappadocia, and Ephesus.

If you are a Turkish travel agent targeting the foreign market, you have an opportunity here for a unique and original product.

Call it a culture tour. Call it a trekking tour. Employ a professional photographer and run photography tours. Run wildlife and bird watching tours.

Get your thinking cap and think outside the box. Dudas village and the Beypazari region is welcoming tourism to the region. Take advantage of that.

Readers Question : Do you prefer countryside holidays or are you a beach lover?

View from Dudas village in beypazari

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Hi. My name is Natalie Sayin and I am the author of The Turkish Travel Blog. I am an Internet addict with a passion for history. Read my story here or leave a comment below to join the discussions.
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  1. says

    our sort of place Natalie. I call the narrow thinking of the travel agents the ‘Gözleme Syndrome’ – you know year one and someone opens a gözleme place with a few wooden tables and chairs and the rest of th village watches – as soon asthey see the first car stop they all begin building gözleme places and no body makes enough to make a living. Same with petrol stations – once one opens they are like a rash – all over the same area!
    Alan wrote about..Defeat and Victory – a poem by Bill Purkayastha

  2. says

    Natalie you wrote “Many Turkish travel agents have told me that their business is tough. Of course it is. They are all marketing the same product; tours of Istanbul, Cappadocia, and Ephesus.” which is EXACTLY on the mark. Travel agents do not seem to think about marketing and influencing the market. I used to contribute to Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor and you see the same questions repeatedly. The sites tourists know about are “Istanbul, Cappadocia, and Ephesus.”

    I recently watched a Turkish film called Entelköy Efeköy Karsi
    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFmswW2tUt4 with English subtitles)
    The film shows a wonderful example of a clash of cultures within Turkish culture. It is a story about a group of “intellectual” city dwellers who move to a small village, buy some land and set up ecological tourism and agriculture. The villagers have long discarded the “old ways” of farming and use pesticides, and artificial fertilizer and struggle to make a living. Very current topic in Turkey…

    • says

      Thanks for that Johnny – just seen it is nearly two hours long so will watch it this evening. The opening scenes looked good. Kind-of a comical view on the situation with a serious message behind it.
      Natalie wrote about..The Friendly Locals of Beypazari

  3. says

    Initiatives are all well and good but like you said, they need to be backed up with promotion. Saw they had a stand at the travel fair in Izmir so hopefully they managed to hook up with some agencies. Looks like a lovely place so hope the initiative pays off for them.
    Turkey’s For Life wrote about..Tranquility Is…Winter Sun In Ölü Deniz

  4. says

    I’m very interested in Turkey’s beaches. We’ve flown Turkish Airlines a few times passing through and there always seems to be articles in the in-flight magazines about Antalya.
    Jennifer wrote about..Goðafoss: Waterfall of the Gods

  5. says

    Great find Natalie! I love the idea of this project and I can absolutely see it working quite well in rural Turkey. Our best times while visiting the country was interacting with locals in the countryside. (Anyone missing out on that interaction unfortunately misses the wonderful warm-hearted nature of the Turkish people)
    Anthony @ Culture-ist Mag wrote about..Has America’s Anti-GMO Movement Come Too Late?

  6. phil + Di marina gateway says

    i would love to go there who is running the tour i would like to contact them i wouldnt mind touring with other turkish people in fact i would welcome it but i would need an english speaking person

  7. says

    very inetersting article , we are working on a rural tourism project in malta to promote rural villages will be please to meet you if you happen to be in malta….

    • says

      Nice website Conrad – thanks for the invite as well. Not sure I will be visiting Malta anytime soon though

  8. says

    Quite a neat idea. I hope it continues to grow.
    Maybe I missed it in your text, but what kind of transportation is there among the villages and the center? I like the idea, but I think without any sort of public transport network I would have a hard time rationalizing it. I don’t want to have to rent a car. It wouldn’t have to be a full bus system, but some sort of Tuk-Tuk network or shared vans could provide a group of jobs for locals.

    Be curious to what the facilities will be like. I don’t even need paved roads, but I like running water and clean places to be.

    Our time in Turkey was failry brief and even avoiding the beach places, we still felt we didn’t have much time. This shows how much more there is to see.
    Andrew wrote about..Mundane but beautiful

    • says

      Andrew – driving in Turkey is a breeze, car hire very affordable and it’s a very popular way to travel. If you arrive at the airport at Antalya, for instance, almost every tourist is picking up a rental car. If I was going to explore this area I’d be driving. The tourism marketing folks need to make creating a driving map a priority.
      lara dunston wrote about..MeshTrip — a One Stop Shop for Holiday Rentals

  9. says

    Well said, people never think outside the box. If you market a destination, people will come, but if we don’t know about it, how can we know to go there. I would definitely visit this region, thanks for letting me know about it. Beautiful shots of the people too!

  10. Colleen Madden Devan says

    Fantastic initiative!
    From my one-year experience living in Turkey with a Turkish family as a foreign exchange student, some of my most memorable experiences were the connections I made with people when visiting my baba’s birthplace village- Atabey near Isparta. It is through these types of interactions in humble circumstances that we understand how similar we are as humans, despite the many differences we commonly think make us different. I hope this new koy tourism helps build more of these understandings and share Turkey’s amazing, genuine hospitality.

  11. says

    Fantastic, this is precisely the kind of place I would like to visit in Turkey.
    I usually keep clear of beach resorts, they are too touristy, and a kind of tourism that I rarely like, I always prefer either countryside or cities.
    I loved Istanbul, I hope I’ll be going back to Turkey this year.
    Angela wrote about..Cooking Thai style at Da’s organic farm in Chiang Mai, Thailand

    • says

      Hope you do make it back Angela so I can look forward to reading your stories

  12. says

    Great post, Nathalie! And great ideas, and I think you’re right. The Ottoman-era wooden houses in Turkey are so enchanting and what you’ve photographed looks so charming. I’d definitely explore the area. And I’m confident many others who prefer local travel would too, because it’s the chance to connect with these people, that they wouldn’t normally get a chance to meet, which really makes these experiences so special.

    We were writing a first edition Cyprus guidebook in 2006 and stayed in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere in Northern Cyprus that was just starting to figure out how to establish itself as an eco-tourism destination. I ended up doing some magazine stories on it. It was just wonderful – you stayed in an old farmhouse, learnt how to bake the local bread, they offered picnics in the olive groves, hikes to nearby hilltop archaeological sites, and, best, of all, you could hang out with the shepherd and learn what a shepherd does – which is actually very little at all except gaze at the clouds and dream.

    That was one of many small memorable and very meaningful experiences that kept presenting themselves to us over many years and led to us evolving our whole style of travelling and creating Grantourismo. Nobody wanted to walk with shepherds in those days! But now everybody wants to do farm-stays and learn to bake bread and that’s fantastic.

    I think that village in Northern Cyprus would be a wonderful model for Dudas. I can connect you to the family that started it all if you wanted to pass on their details.

    And agree with the comment above, your portraits of the people are beautiful.
    lara dunston wrote about..What to Eat in Myanmar – Our Favourite Dishes

    • Nat says

      I am not due to return to Dudas yet Laura but hopefully will about 2 years later. We can then see how much they have progressed. The Cyprus holiday sounds gorgeous!

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