Wednesday, 7 November 2012

And the winner is...


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.


16 comments:

  1. Well done!!:) The books look amazig, will look into them, thank you:)
    Ozlem

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    1. It's rare and refreshing to see a truly altruistic project.

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  2. This sounds like a very good book, one to get I think. And how lovely that he makes such good use of the proceeds. Well done for winning a copy!

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    1. You'd enjoy the villagers' stories too. Most of them only left the village to do military service.

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  3. thanks for sharing.

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  4. Thanks, Annie. We are completely confident that this book is as wonderful as you describe, knowing as we do how this passion for Okçular shines through in Alan's blog. We will definitely try to make up for this deficit in our reading.

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  5. . . thank you Annie, you have been very kind - I, and the Book Project appreciate words and support :-D

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    1. . . but you give me too much credit! There's no doubt J and I were able to act as a catalyst in certain respects, but the villagers and some inspired locals who understood how the 'system' works here were the real heroes. I rather think that as the only really active foreigners we acted as a lightning rod and drew the villains away - they took their eye off the ball and this bought time for actions on our side to take effect.
      Won't ask you to change anything though, feeling too smug for that :-)

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  6. Well, some 4-5 years ago, I happened to see this magnificent book on the desk of a local grocery shop, piled up.. asking what the book about, grocer said it is about the area of Dalyan and was for sale.. I grabbed one.. as some other commenter have said, drank it up, breathlessly.. Great great work.. very valuable.. Of course, I had meet these guys, Alan and J.. meet and make friends.. luckily again, I met them somewhere in Dalyan.. and since than, its my pleasure and privilige.. Hugs Alan.. my very very dear friend.. Youve done a wonderful job.. as you always do...

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  7. Well done! It's always fun to win something and even more so if your prize is as interesting as this obviously is. What an achievement to get a beautiful valley protected like this.

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  8. This book sounds wonderful and I hope I get to read it one of these days! Well done to you and also to Alan and J!

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  9. I think I had to pay for my copy (or did I? Alan will know). Anyway, as you know I'm not really into all this trekking malarky so I donated it to a Bodrum Belle who I know loves to wander up hill and down dale.

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  10. The world needs more people like Alan ( a job well done)...and his book sounds like a good read. Will look into it :-) what a nice gesture to do with the proceeds.
    Thanks for sharing. Take care XX

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  11. This sounds like a truly interesting book. And I'm so impressed with this man and his fellow protestors just as I was impressed with your neighborhood villagers. The fight is worth the effort. Peace.

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  12. Thanks for all your replies - Blogger is not letting me reply individually again - is anyone else having this problem?

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