Thumbnail Image

Panel 10. Paper 10.3: A Multi-layered Rural Settlement Resisting to Sustain the Rural Habitat: Gaziköy, Turkey

The most important features of rural settlements are the fertile agricultural lands satisfying needs of people, the connections with the regional transportation network and proximity to natural resources such as water and fresh air. These features are important for the continuation of rural life and Gazikoy, which is known as Ganos in ancient period, has always been a rural settlement since antiquity because of them. Throughout time, Gaziköy (Ganos) in Thrace was inhabited by different cultures. The inhabitation in the village continued all through the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods. The Gaziköy (Ganos) which had a Rum (Ottoman-Greek) population in Ottoman period was subject to population exchange at the beginning of Turkish Republic; as a result of which the Turks living in Greece and Bulgaria were replaced with the Greeks living in Anatolia with the agreement between Turkey and Greece. Despite the change of population in early republican period, the rural life has always continued in Gaziköy, due to the fact that the land is very fertile. However, as there are archaeological remains in the area as a result of continuous inhabitancy, there are restrictions for new interventions. Villagers who deal with agricultural activities are not allowed to make any interventions to adapt the traditional houses and infrastructure. As a result of the lack of maintenance and repair, traditional buildings are being damaged in Gaziköy day by day. Although this situation forces the villagers to leave the village, the villagers resist to stay in the area due to continuity of agricultural activities. The problem of conservation in Gaziköy (Ganos) is to protect all layers of the multi-layered rural landscape while providing the continuity of the rural life. The responses provided to solve these problems focus on the preservation of both of archaeological remains and traditional buildings dating back to late 19th century, the continuation of rural life and agricultural production contrary to strict conservation policies emphasising only the preservation archaeological layer.