The Taurus Mountains and Tourism
The High Plateaus are regions where centuries-old traditional ways of life and modes of production can be found, but they are also increasingly doomed to oblivion. The plateaus are in the process of being abandoned. It seems inevitable that this form of habitation will forfeit its place to an entirely different, more sedentary lifestyle. Life in the village will supersede life in the high plateaus.
Since the evolution from a nomadic lifestyle will naturally progress to a sedentary lifestyle this end is certain. The developing tourism sector has also had an adverse effect by accelerating this process.
The modern infrastructure in and around Antalya hastened the trend of settling down in these areas and thereby altering the mentality and culture of the nomads. The nomadic culture is radically different from the village culture although they have the same roots. But there are similarities in their beliefs, traditions, solidarity and their devotion to nature.
As major tourist centres, Antalya, Kemer, Finike, Kaş, Alanya, Manavgat and Side are also important shopping, entertainment and cultural destinations visited by thousands of visitors every year.
Notwithstanding the diversity of national and local specialties, tourism gastronomy also has developed to cater to the wishes of tourists who do not want to stride away from their own national dishes. Antalya, which hosts more than 10 million tourists each year, has achieved a distinct reputation in this regard. Tourists are served in their own language by competent staff not only in restaurants, but also in bars, discotheques and shopping centres.
Whatever entertainment and shopping opportunities there are in the Mediterranean holiday destinations of Europe, can also be found in Antalya and the neighbouring coastal towns. Besides these, a wide array of activities such as carpet weaving can be enjoyed by tourists. This is true, not only of the tourist destinations along the coasts of Antalya but of the whole province.
The Lakes Region north of Antalya is a location of cultural and touristic importance. Lake Eğirdir, one of the largest freshwater lakes in Anatolia, is located within the borders of Isparta province. The areas around the lake are one of the most fertile agricultural lands of Anatolia. Famous for its fruit and vegetable cultivation, Gelendost, Yalvaç, Senirkent and Uluborlu are major centres of cherry, apple, pear and apricot cultivation.
These festivals provide a welcome chance for towns and villages to showcase the products on which their livelihoods depend. They are meticulously organised and are the single most important event of these towns. Situated at either end of Lake Eğirdir are the districts of Eğirdir and Yalvaç, one of the most important areas for fruit and vegetable production. At the southern end of Lake Eğirdir lies the town ofEğirdir known for its perch and shrimp, both of which are important export items. Northwest of the lake is Yalvaç, famous for its traditional handicrafts such as felt making and saddle making. Both towns have a significant place in the history and economy of the region. The Spring Market Fair held in Eğirdir at the end of summer every year goes back hundreds of years. It is the most important trade event in the Lakes Region where nomads from Serik also attend. The fair lasts a few weeks, and products ranging from live animals to carpets, fruit and vegetables and household items are sold. The nomads sell all of their produce during the fair and stock up on necessary food and clothing items to prepare for the winter.
Eğirdir - Taçkapı
The Gömbe Plateau, west of the fertile Elmalı Valley on the Teke Peninsula, comes alive in spring. A traditional fair is also held in Gömbe in autumn after the bustle of the summer months. It is the largest commercial activity of the region and attracts tourists from Kaş,Kalkan, Fethiye and Finike.
Isparta is Turkey’s most important centre of rose production and traditional carpet weaving. Isparta’s traditional carpets as well as rose perfumes and fragrances are one of the most important exported goods in the province. Each year many tourists visit Isparta and the surrounding area, regarded as the centre of the Lakes Region. There they can see for themselves how locally grown roses are processed for cosmetic products and how the hand-woven carpets are coloured with the use of natural dyes made from roots, leaves and grass.