A couple of weeks ago, an obscure grammatical question was posed by Alan on his blog Archers of Okcular. It was the sort of question that only pedants or those with too much time on their hands would be able to answer and (I'm not proud of myself) I was able to supply the solution immediately. Alan very generously offered his book or a T-shirt as a prize. I went for the book. "Okçular Village - A Guide " turned up in my mail box yesterday and I've already read all 112 pages. Hats off to you Alan, this is a great read. The Kocadere Valley, where Okçular is sited, was also threatened by a cement company's mine almost exactly 10 years after our village was similarly attacked and Alan, putting himself in considerable personal discomfort if not outright danger, played the major roll in fighting off the developers and ensuring that his valley gained special protected status. I assume the idea to write this book was generated by the huge relief one feels when one's home is saved from the teeth of commercial monsters. Divided into 4 sections, the handy pocket sized volume gives a general history of the area, the people, walks and a detailed description of the flora and fauna. I was delighted to read the life stories of oldest inhabitants, some of whom were born before the Republic of Turkey existed. The history of the man in the field in 20th century Turkey is sadly under-recorded and this is a welcome historical resource.
Even though I live 3 hours drive away, the lists of birds, plants and reptiles will come in very handy as I'm travelling around. I also now have a very good incentive to get in the car and drive down Dalyan way and try out some of the walks.
The attachment Alan feels to his adoptive home and neighbours shines through in this book and Alan donates all the income from sales to projects that improve the lives of the villagers.
This Okcular Book Bazaar page gives much more information on the scope of the enterprise and has a mail order link.