Wednesday, 12 January 2011

News of well-attended lecture on the Evliya Çelebi Way in London

The podcast of Caroline's lecture to the joint Royal Asiatic Society-Geographical Club event in London on 6 January is at:
Happy listening.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

2011: Evliya Çelebi anniversary year, and the Evliya Çelebi Way

2011, the year proclaimed by Unesco as a year of celebration of Evliya Çelebi on the 400th anniversary of his birth, has arrived. Our project has gone in unexpected directions, and this year we will continue what we have started in the past two years. Ercihan will again lead equitourists on the Evliya Çelebi Way, as he did in 2010—to sign up, see:

All but unmentioned on this blog has been the pedestrian aspect of the project. The EÇW will be a route for walkers and bikers as well as riders, and in summer 2010 Kate Clow, who set up the now well-trodden Lycian Way long distance path, and Caroline (once with Donna), made several walking expeditions to establish a GPS'ed route in EÇ's tracks that humans—with their fewer legs, and less tolerance for getting lost—can follow. The English version of the guidebook (which includes history of EÇ and of the area) to the EÇW will be out in the spring from Kate's Upcountry (Turkey) publishing company, in series with her other books ( The Municipality of the city of Bursa, one of EÇ's destinations, will publish the Turkish version.

The EÇW project is now working with Bursa Municipality towards establishing a further leg of EÇ's travels as a riding, walking, biking route. This will follow EÇ's 1659 itinerary in the region, beginning in Bursa and heading west to the Dardanelles. Ideally this route will then cross the Dardanelles, and run up the Gallipoli peninsula to meet the Via Egnatia in Thrace. Kate and Caroline (and any who want to join us) intend to walk this new route in stages in 2011, and Ercihan will lead an exploratory Ride as he did in 2009. A second guidebook will result.
The EÇW has taken on a new life, as an essential link in the cross-European cultural route that the European Institute of Cultural Routes hopes to create, to Jerusalem and beyond, to Mecca. We, and other creators of cultural routes in Turkey, are engaged in discussion with the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism about how best to activate the Turkish routes established by us and similarly obsessed individuals. It has always been the hope of the EÇW team that a predictable, GPS'ed route would result, in order that modern travellers can find food and lodging in villages along the way, and the villagers thereby profit. The EÇW is also, like other non-motorised cultural routes in Turkey, a sustainable route, and the Ministry is recognising its merits.

Some events:
Caroline will give a lecture on the EÇW in London on 6th January:;
Mac and Donna and Caroline are on an EÇ panel at Şehir University, Istanbul on 23rd February;
Under the auspices of the British Council, Caroline is talking about EÇ, and the Ottomans in Europe, at various Turkish universities—Dumlupınar University, Kütahya is done; Gaziantep University is scheduled for 17 February; more dates to follow.

May your Evliya Çelebi anniversary year be full of good things; we await you on the Way, whatever your means of (sustainable) locomotion.