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Ecologic/Cultural Alternative Tourism Model For Highland Phrygia (Afyonkarahisar-İhsaniye)

   Phrygians is an important civilization that has founded a brilliant state in Anadolu in the 7th century BC. Today the Phrygian region includes the entire cities of Afyonkarahisar, Ankara, Eskişehir, and part of Kütahya. Phrygians who had exhibited a particularly advanced civilization in history have left behind significant works, especially in the field of architecture. In that sense, the Phrygian Region is home to very significant historical and touristic assets. Assuming that it includes ecologic/cultural tourism activities; ecotourism can be defined as a protective, educational, and sustainable tourism activity that preserves the natural and cultural heritage and is aimed at developing the local public. This study is aimed at identifying the ecotourism potential of the Highland Phrygia that remains within the boundaries of İhsaniye town of Afyonkarahisar, making use of such potential and turning the place into a national and international arena for ecotourism. The activities related to ecotourism must be based on the principle of avoiding any damage to the Highland Phrygia ecosystem. Accordingly, it is very important to prepare a good and sustainable management plan. If the ecologic/cultural alternative tourism model can be implemented in the study site, it will be possible to make the place an important area of ecotourism at national and international levels.

Highland Phrygia, which is defined as the study site, is within the boundaries of İhsaniye town of Afyonkarahisar, located in the Inner Western Anatolia part of the Aegean Region. İhsaniye town is at 39°02' northern latitude and 30°25' eastern longitude.  The study site covers an area of about 909 km2. The part that remains within the boundaries of İhsaniye town of Afyonkarahisar of the Highland Phrygia which lies over Eskişehir, Kütahya and Afyonkarahisar provinces is a plateau with an altitude of 1250-1500 meters. The boundaries between high grounds and basin bottoms are often defined by tectonic lines, and such sites have started to rise, particularly since the Neogen and continued to do so during the Quaternary. Therefore the current elevations have actually been shaped in the Quaternary. Several alternatives have been identified in the study site within the scope of the ecologic/ cultural tourism model. These are ecologic village, flower and vegetable production in greenhouses, goat milk and goat cheese production, biogas energy production, trekking and cycling activities along the current Phrygian Way routes, photo safari, culture tours to the archeological ruins of Phrygian Region, wildlife observation, camping in tents and caravans, orienteering, panoramic viewing, scientific tour, rock climbing, nature training, horse rides, nature-themed festivals, ecologic tours, village market, Phrygian pottery workshop, Phrygian rug workshop and ensuring sustainable production by establishing a local cooperative where local people and especially women shall be employed. When the above mentioned ecologic/cultural tourism activities are implemented in the Highland Phrygia; an ecologic/cultural tourism model shall be established that does not harm the local ecosystem, respects the ecologic balance and makes economic and cultural contributions to the production activities of the local people. Ecotourism targets must be defined correctly, and ecotourism projects must be planned for such targets in order to realize ecotourism activities in the region. Ecotourism projects for the Highland Phrygia must be carried out by a multidisciplinary team with the necessary scientific and technical skills, supported by the public and private sector. The projects must be based on the main objectives of ecotourism, and special care must be exercised for controlling and monitoring in line with the basic principles in relation to the efficient implementation of the projects. Application of a proper ecotourism model in the region will result in the employment of the local people and improve the socio-cultural level of the public. This way, the local people will take greater than ever possession of the cultural heritage that already exists in the Phrygian region. Thus, the local people shall gain greater awareness for preserving the cultural heritage and be willing to play its part in the preservation of the cultural heritage. All kinds of approaches that are put into practice for protecting the Highland Phrygia, which is one of the rare sites in our country with its historical and geographical structure, and for transferring it to the next generations as a natural and cultural heritage may be successful not only with the support of public institutions and organizations but also with the effective participation of the local people.

Anahtar Kelimeler
Ecologic/Cultural Alternative Tourism Model For Highland Phrygia (Afyonkarahisar-İhsaniye)


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