A TRIVET MODEL                                                    

An alternative business creation & development model through 

(in any historic village in Turkey)

The name of the model is inspired from the symbol of Tahtaci Türkmen tribe of the Mountain Ida;the goose foot print.These people still continue the tradition of camping & sacrificing animals for 10 days in every August at Gargaron peak of the Mount Ida since Aeneas of Troy.This tria reminded me the trivets that village women using for summertime cooking at their courtyard.

This trivet model especially designed as an alternative sustainable business creation & development model. The most important reasons are:

Firstly, my sample village Assos-Behram (where I stil live with my family for five years) had unsuccessful experiences with foundations & farmers’ cooperations. Second is the learning experience process of any villager is simply copying a sucessful business. Third reason explains the second one better; villagers are result oriented people & the most important result is having a succesful business with a capacity to earn more & safely. Of course success is defined in terms of earning more money But this attitude is the core of their 5000 years survival at the same settlement. In changing times, a prosperus city turned in to a small village & these days their decision is to reach the prosperity again but they still didn’t decide how to reach their prosperity dream.

This paper is the sum of my life expreience & I am very thankful lots of people who helped me writing down these ideas on this paper. Special thanks to Dr.Hakan Seckinelgin from London School of Economics to spend time for editing, English Literature & Philosophy Proffessor Clinton Vickers for helping me better my  English & my family & friends who are sharing their ideas with me & for their patience.

I am totally aware that this is a pre-paper. I am planning to apply for a tourism administration master degree focused on sustainabilty & destination management & my further aim to apply for a doctorate degree about sustainable development strategies.

S. Ovgu Demir
BS in Political Science & Public Admistration
FEAS, 1993 Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkiye

Lembas Café & Houses
PK 7 Ayvacik 17860

Canakkale ,Turkiye
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Creating an alternative responsible business model- working as a trivet & enable village communities to make better year-round living while preserving their local socio-cultural, values & ecological environment by providing them a sustainable future opportunity for a long term livelihood &.’maintain a better quality of life. (Long term livelihood: an ecologically stable, economically secure & socially satisfying future-Rees); aiming
to reduce the destruction of local ecological environment that human being causes,
people to gain environmental awareness & respect
to provide local people better financial opportunity in order to protect their cultural, historical & ecological heritage & therefore provides local people economic power for local decision making process.

How Trivet works:

This model has been designed as having three different concepts perfectly working with each other besides each concept can be considered independent from the others. This enables us to start to implement the model from any of these and, thus, aiming to reduce the risk of failure. since each would support the other one. These three different concepts as providing financial support to the model working as a trivet & would work together and/or independent of each other and enable a functioning & sustainable alternative industrial tool.

First unit is the preservation & sustainability of socio-cultural & ecological values of the chosen village by a community center.This community centre serves for the documentation & survival of the traditional knowledge of living & establishing a data centre to support local socio-economic & cultural development. This centre is the core of the Project & the use of the cntre for several purposes would alter it to an socio-cultural business tool for change.
Second unit is the creating a new definition of a job & producing organically certified niche market products so that local branding can works for sustainability. Economics of the village daily life will create a new definition to the job is using the traditional job model of local village women, a year round seasonal production for a coming season. Producing and marketing limited quantity of seasonal locally branded products (cycling in a year) from local certified organic agriculture & designing locally branded authentic & niche & products for daily life that has been produced since antiquity. This environmentally & socially responsible traditional production model will solve the unemployment problem of the uneducated people of the village & creates a productive synergy for all year.

Third unit is the organization & management of a sustainable, cultural & historical heritage eco-tourism. Creating niche tourism markets in the land of divine female (Nature) & cradle of ancient civilisation in Turkey by sustainable year round tourism organization.

‘The fire under this trivet model is designing an alternative internet marketing tool to support new consumption values which will better communicate for the needs of a more responsible life.’
As a result, this is a win-win-win project & everybody will share the cooked food on the trivet showing their trust to the cook.

Why is the village of Assos-Behram for implementing the trivet model as a business project ?

( the ancient names of the village are City of Asi, Assus, Asion & Assos.Today we use Behram village. To represent the future, I prefer to use Assos-Behram. to understand & preserve the socio-cultural heritage & carry the knowledge of a sustainable livelihood.)

Brief Summary
The village of Assos-Behram has been continuously inhabited on the current site for 5000 years. It is located on a hill above Edremit Bay on the northern Aegean coast of Turkey adjacent to the Greek island Lesvos.In the past & today (because of the rising economic value of the area) the area along the coast from Babakale (Lekton) to Kucukkuyu (Gargara) is generally called as Assos. Geographically, this area is controlling the strategic sea passage south of the Dardanelles between Lesvos and the mainland of Asia Minor. Remains of a human settlement dated 3000 BC have been found here.The Greek city of Assos was built on this site in the 8th century BC, 50 kilometres south of Troy. A city of 5000 people flourished here for a thousand years.Aristotle taught for three years in Assos and married here.Atop the hill are the ruins of a temple of Athena built in the 6th century BC. Below are the ruins of the ancient walled city with amphitheater, stoa, gymnasium, and necropolis.A 14th century Ottoman mosque shares the hilltop.
On the hill, the old village is architecturally protected and controlled by the Turkish government through General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Monuments.& has registered 208 houses & 4 monumental buildings reconstructed from the 3000 year old building stones of older houses on this site. About one third of the houses have been or restored within the last twenty years.
Below the old village on the hill through to the west is the new part of Assos-Behram. Here new houses are built and village sons’ are given land to build houses when they marry. At south two kilometres down the hill is the Iskele, an ancient trade harbour now used as a small boat harbour and several large tourist hotels and restaurants. At the East, four kilometres from Assos-Behram toward Kucukkuyu is Kadırga Bay which was a Ottoman shipyard , now a long stretch of relatively unspoiled beach with a few hotels.
The town of Altinoluk, 40 kilometres east of Assos-Behram on Edremit Bay, forms a clear contrast to Assos-Behram and an image of what Assos-Behram might well become if villagers continue to sell their land for economic development because they are unable to make a living on it in the traditional ways. Once Altinoluk was also a small historic village on a hill overlooking the coast. Now it is a sea of vacation condominiums; hundreds of large apartment complexes cover the hills and the coastal plain below them..The streets and the beaches are crowded with summer residents. The original villagers are vastly outnumbered by summer residents. Most of them make their living working in large stores, tourist shops, hotels, and restaurants, not by harvesting olives and tending sheep and goats.
Most of the villagers of Assos-Behram make their living from the animals they own, from harvesting olives on their land & tourism. There are a few small shops, but no grocery store, hardware store, or bank.You can buy bread and snacks, souvenirs and daily newspapers in Assos-Behram, but not clothing, construction supplies and tools, medicine, or electronics. Trucks come through occasionally selling local fruits, vegetables, bartering clothing & kitchenware & with olive oil & olives. Assos-Behram has no doctor or medical clinic and no pharmacy. There is no ATM machine.Villagers shop in Ayvacik or Kucukkuyu. Many visitors come to Assos to view the ancient ruins and enjoy its spectacular beauties, but most stay only a few hours or a few days..Tourists climb to the acropolis past village women trying to sell local herbs, olive oil soap, hand knit socks, and crocheted lace. There are a few condominium complexes close to Assos-Behram, but so far Assos-Behram has escaped the extensive development of summer and retirement homes which have spoiled other communities along this coast.
The danger is that villagers will sell both their land and their life style to developers who will reproduce the escalating growth seen in other towns in the region. Villagers prefer a traditional lifestyle, making money by selling olives and sheep milk.But property values are high, some will be tempted to sell. Land development grows exponentially and is irreversible. If the unique character of Assos-Behram is to be preserved, villagers must be able to earn more money from their olive trees and animals than they do now and achieve a sustainable year-round income rather than the fluctuating, seasonal income most now have.

There are many reasons why sustainable socio-economic & cultural development is both possible and desirable for Assos-Behram:
1) No chemical pesticides are currently used on crops in the area. Tariş, a well-known agricultural cooperation, collects organic olive oil from this village& the area.
2) Villagers cannot afford to use chemical fertilizers. Their crops are grown organically out of necessity but uncertified.
3) The older villagers resist to change and prefer to live and work in traditional ways rather than selling their land for large scale development but younger generation has a desire to live as a city people & unfortunately they don’t have jobs & proper education .
4) The area does not interest big hotel owners and investors since it has a rather short summer season –from July to September (4 months)
5) The closest big towns and major commercial or industrial development are more than 25 kilometres from the village.
6) Assos is the home of endemic flora and fauna because of the location at the outskirts of the mountain Ida range, which is protected as a national park.

How do we want to implement the trivet model to a running project?

In order to keep villager’s traditional life styles as an existing value & carry this to a better future as a knowledge of 5000 years survival is only possible enable them to a sustainable livelihood & creating the factors that will provide a year round sustainable cultural, historical heritage eco- tourism activity. To initiate sustainable, ecologically sound development for Assos-Behram, I envision three separate projects working as a trivet for Assos-Behram village, independent but mutually supportive.

Restoration of a traditional Assos-Behram village house ‘A Community Center’

‘Perfect tool for socio-cultural change’

The aim is to rent/purchase and restore a house in the old village to make it possible for visitors to see a real village house that reflects villagers’ traditional life style.. This house underpins the other units of the project. Establishing a live centre that has a socio-cultural importance will certainly enhance to reach in the goals mentioned below,
a library for books & photography
an ecological agriculture information & certification office
a print house to produce publications on Assos-Behram & ongoing project
a small shop to sell locally branded products
a cultural-historical heritage eco-tourism information & advisory Office
a place for field studies, seminars & workshops

Production plan: Determining and renting/buying a village house is the main priority. Restoration project of the house is required to be prepared and presented to the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Monuments at Canakkale since the village houses& monumental buildings are registered as a first grade archeologically important urban site. Opening a tourism information centre and a cultural-historical heritage eco-tourism agency and ethnographical gallery will be carried out after the approval of the project and restoration of the house.
Duration of the realization of the restoration has been estimated to be varied from 3 months to two years depending on the house’s ownership situation.
Calculation of the budgeted amount of the cost is in process.

To create an economic value for sustainable development

‘Traditional production since antiquity to modern life themed local branding works for sustainability.’

Objective: To create a local branding which will indicate profitable certified organic agricultural products and designed handicrafts & producing them preserving traditional models and processes and to create a targeted market to sell these products.
Certified organic food production facility: Registration of a local brand name and logo & a proper production place that can be shared for everyone. All villagers producing food for themselves but they are made at home and cannot be sold through grocery stores and to the restaurants because of the lack of certain production standards
A certified food production facility could produce different high quality organic products in different seasons, yielding a year-round income stream. The village could produce cheeses in the spring; homemade-style jams, tomato sauce, fig and wine vinegars in the summer; olive oil and cured olives in the fall; olive oil soap and body lotions scented with local herbs and flowers in the winter. Production would be in fairly small quantities, but of highest quality and marketed to maximize the income to the villagers. A single local brand name and logo would become identified with top quality products from Assos-Behram. Products could be sold locally to tourists and in specialty shops in Istanbul and Izmir & other cities & from internet.

Production plan: Involving the villagers one by one In order to initiate organic certification .In order to follow traditional production process which is according to the season and establishing a proper food production centre that can be used for different food production facilities. Considering the Assos-Behram House as the centre of the project enables participation of the women of the village in the production that continues as a natural process of their daily life.

The list of the original themed niche products:
Organic certified foods: jams, salad dressings, cheese, tarhana, pasta
Organic certified daily life consumption products: cosmetics, soaps, hair rinses, shampoos, creams
Ceramic & wooden plates & bowls & liquid containers
Clothes: . socks, underwear, swimsuits
Home textiles: towels, sheets, felt making

Duration of the the realization of the project estimates 2 years. Calculation of the budgeted amount of the cost is in process.

A Year round sustainable cultural-heritage eco-tourism activity & its organization

‘Creating a niche market; cultural-heritage eco-tourism'

Objectives: To recognise Assos-Behram village as a fundamental part of our heritage which should be preserved for current & future generations.
To develop & manage sustainable tourism policy, strategy & action plan.
To ensure that tourism supports the quality of villagers life
To increase benefits from tourism to the local economy

Action plan: To use the tourism information Office deliberately as an eco-tourism agency and to set 12 months sustainable eco-tourism policies which will get involved in the joint organisations communicating with those of having similar goals and activities.
To obtain all required national and international certificates that will prove the agency’s reliability and respect.
A working tourism information office gives the the most accurate information about the village & the area.
The library in the community centre makes the tourism information office a source of traditional knowledge.& folklore ,
Announcing the organic certified production activity as a year round sustainable eco- tourism activity;
To present archaeological heritage of Assos-Behram and its environs as cultural & historical heritage -tourism .
To activate the antique roads used especially by St Paul during his missionary journeys and organize pilgrimage walks from Alexandria Troas to Assos-Behram,
To provide guided archaeological tours accompanied by the archaeologists who have been excavating the ancient site.
To organize seasonal thematic tours and cooperate with the worldwide organizations working on the same field such as olive harvest tours , follow the footsteps of Iliad tours,
Preparing & presenting an informative slide show for visitors
To create public interest to establish a local Assos-Behram archaeological museum to exhibit the objects which is stored at excavation house, in İstanbul Archaeological Museum & in Canakkale Archaeological Museum.
Assos-Behram is the place where Aristo established the first philosophy school in history. An activity called ‘Philosophy in Assos ’ have been being organizing by Dr. Örsan Öymen in Assos-Behram for 4 years. Organizing -Aristo Philosopy Summer School.
Selling the guide books, maps, illustrations & photographs.

Duration of the project estimates 2 years. Calculation of certain cost is in process

The attitude of the villagers towards the project & the risks

The idea of creating a local brand to the original production using traditional methods which is mentioned in the project will only be possible to create awareness about sustainability .As an example; Tariş, which is a powerful farmers’ cooperation in the Aegean area, has certified my neighbour’s olive trees and purchases all his products. When we came to the village for the first time knowing this, we publicized that we were planning to run a traditional olive oil factory in the village & this factory will be used as an olile oil museum for visitors . The response was surprising. The villagers supported our idea saying that finally some people came to their village who are planning to invest not on tourism but their inherited olive oil production .This attempt could not be realized because of personal reasons, but 2 years later the first olive oil museum in Turkey was established in Kucukkuyu, a town which is 25 kilometres far at the East. This proves us that the area is ready for these kinds of entrepreneurship.
However, this example is only valid for olive oil. Dried fig is also one of the main products of the area, which is given to animals to get more milk from them instead of using it as an industrial fruit. This shows that one product that proved its success as an industrial product cannot be an example for the other ones since there has not been any attempt or a centre to encourage the use of dried figs. Traditional handicrafts have the same problem. Almost half of the women do embroidery to be sold to the visitors on side-street stalls for pocket money thinking that this material can support them financially. The material that they produce is not authentic and have no name or brand or model. Olive oil soap and white cheese are the other products that are considered as materials for pocket money for the same reason.
The only way to break this vicious circle is to show the villagers how to earn money to make their living while respecting the existing values. The villagers’ conservative and protective attitude carried the village to today although they cannot use all their product as a financial resource. But the young generation most of them currently are unemployed is spending their families’ money for electronic appliances, mobile phones & better cars.. After the disappearance of the today’s middle aged generation, Assos-Behram will turn into a ghost town whose houses are inhabited only in summer as in the example of ADATEPE village , since no economic value except from tourism has not been realized yet.
Avoiding destruction of these values is possible only if people earned money from these values. Financial success will encourage other villages in the area, which would be a greater achievement of the project. Alternative industry can be created, sustained and a better can be copied from others. Alternative industry reduces the destruction that human being causes; it causes people to gain environmental and socio-cultural awareness and respect; it provides better financial opportunity in order to protect what exists and it therefore provides local people economic power .

Measuring the efficiency of the project

The periods and initial costs that will be proposed to realize this project are determined separately for each unit. Therefore, to what extend we have achieved predetermined goals within the given period is subject to periodic evaluation of every 3 month, besides, this achievement should be utilized as a self-control mechanism to create public interest. As a result of this contact the interest and reaction of the people who do not have direct connection with the project will have utmost importance and benefit for the development of the project.
‘The idea of creating a local brand to the original production using traditional methods bur certain standards which will be mentioned in the project will only be possible provided that we had awareness of existing values.’
Avoiding the destruction of the values of a village is possible only if people earn money from these values.

References & sources

Serdaroğlu, Ümit Behramkale-Assos,1995
Strabo, Geography, Books 13-14 Transl. Horace Leonard Jones, pg:101,115,117,129
Clarke, Joseph T., Bacon, Francis H.,  Koldewey, Robert:  Investigations at Assos,1902

Architectural features of Assos-Behram houses

There are 208 houses & 4four monumental buildings in the village registered as first grade archaeologically important by the Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Monuments in Canakkale. What makes this House so important is, its design & the use of red andezite stone blocks in its construction as a continuation of a 5000-years old tradition.  An Assos-Behram House would be a model of a house construction that is common in all of the Northern Aegean region.
The entrance of courtyard of the house is a two sided high wooden gate & house is surrounded by high walls. Generally a cord used to hook them. This cord is tied in knots if there is nobody in the house. When neighbours see this they do not even knock on the door since they know there is nobody in the house. In the courtyard there is small toilet, building a stable, an oven to cook and a stone furnace to bake bread. One of the corners of the courtyard is occupied by a vegetable garden .Life is spent in the courtyard when the weather is good. Indeed, Assos-Behram House is a shelter both in winter when it is very cold and summer when it is very hot. A landing meets you when you enter into the house. A tiny room without any windows facing North is used as a pantry. The large room connected to the landing is the main place where most life spent in which there is a hearth and cooking utensils. This is the place where they live, cook in winter; and sleep on the bed taken out of closet for bedding. In two-storey houses second floor is used as bedroom or guest room. Wooden material is used between the floors which ease the floor heat .In some houses when looked from a distance there is a cupboard at one of the corners of the room that is used as a bathroom in winter. In Assos-Behram houses there is not any furniture except from a sofa and closet for bedding. There is no dinner table so they it on a large tray they put on the floor. In two-storey houses second floor is used as bedroom or guest bedroom room. Wooden material is used between the floors which ease the floor heat .
In some houses when looked from a distance there is a cupboard at one of the corners of the room that is used as a bathroom in winter. In Assos-Behram houses there is not any furniture except from a sofa and closet for bedding. There is no dinner table so they it on a large tray they put on the floor.

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