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Youth meeting with nature: On the way to discovering a common culture

The purpose of this project was to document Yörük and Turkmen culture in the Alara valley. The valley, within the boarders of Antalya, was one of the most important areas of the Silk Road, and has cultural and historical heritage dating to civilisations as far back as the Romans, Byzantines, Seljuk, and the Ottoman Empire. Using video and photography, youth rediscovered the valley where they were born and raised. They learnt about their ancestors’ Yörük culture, which they had not known about before, and which they were inspired to help keep alive. They also rediscovered historical artefacts, such as a Roman bridge and road, which furthered their understanding of the connection between their own civilisation and that of Europe. The project made a big impression on the young people, who, by the end, felt a true reconnection with Turkey’s and Europe’s common culture. The general feedback on the project was that the young people consider themselves exceedingly as citizens of Europe and that they would like to contribute to the European Union with their new ideas.
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