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Impact of Tourism Among the Cave Dwellers of Cappadocia: From Troglodytes to Modern Houses

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Cappadocia, a ‘moonlike’ landscape of giant rock cones and historic cave dwellings known as fairy chimneys, and Byzantine Churches and dovecotes located in the heartland of the Anatolian peninsula, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985. Since then, the increase in cultural tourism to the area has led to problematic relations between the cultural heritage site, the development of tourism and the self-sufficient agrarian cave-dwelling community. Thus, the fairy chimney as an architectural feature transformed into tourist accommodation replaced traditional pigeon breeding and other self-sufficiency related activities in the area. The fairy chimney experienced as a fairy tale inhabited by tourists in search of authentic experiences became an invented and idealized version of what it is to be Cappadocian. This chapter will discuss the negotiations of identity deriving from ecological, ideological and social components of life within the tourist realm of the village of Goreme.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2011

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