İzmir ‘model village’ takes visitors back in time
İZMİR – Anadolu Agency
AA PhotosA retired teacher living in İzmir’s Selçuk district has established a “model village,” featuring a Central Anatolian village from the 1940s, but more help is needed to ensure the replica has a chance to grow.
“We started recreating our village and then wanted it to become a museum. We increased the number of compositions. When we first started, we created the whole village with small-size people and their customs,” said Ayhan Çetin, who established his village on a field that he rented from the Treasury.
Çetin said that after retiring, he started establishing the model village by working 15-hour days with his wife, finally finishing it after 25 years.
Çetin said he wanted to add new sections to the model village, which is located on a field in Pamucak on the Selçuk-Kuşadası highway, adding that he established 70 percent of the village on the field.
Çetin was born in Akviran village, currently Akören district, in 1940 in the Central Anatolian province of Konya, and depicts the daily life of villagers there in his model village.
He said they had first prepared a model village composition in a 1/6 scale depicting the daily life of villagers on a closed area of 500 square meters, and then created life-size movable sculptures of village artisans and shops in the garden.
Çetin said the idea of recreating the village emerged when he and his wife started making small dolls as a hobby.
He said they had created everything in the model village without any support.
“We created the shops of my village in the garden. Nobody helped us. I brought the tools here from my village. Even the containers you see here were the ones used in my house between 1940 and 1950. You can see my village here in all its aspects; from our saddle-maker neighbor Tevfik to our shoe-maker, blacksmith, hammersmith and barber, as well as all things that our mothers used to do. I tried to depict our mothers weaving carpets, kneading dough and the like. I put motors in the chests of the sculptures,” Çetin said.
He said the model village had slowly grown in fame, now hosting visitors from throughout the Aegean and as far away as Istanbul and the northwestern province of Tekirdağ.
Noting that he served as a guide for visitors, Çetin said: “Student groups have particularly shown great interest. We are very busy from March to April and May. It ends in the first week of June. Now the schools are closed and we are calm. I am very pleased to introduce this place to children because there is information of three or four books here. The number of visitors sometimes reaches 50,000.”
More space needed to finish village
Çetin said he had projects to extend the model village but was encountering difficulty because the space is limited. The creator said he had spent the last five years unsuccessfully attempting to rent or buy around two decares of land belonging to the Treasury next to the village.
“I will create a rendering plant, tailor and a coffee house. Preparations are done. I started creating a mill and it will be done in the coming days. I have problems of space and nobody helps me. I offer more money for rent but nothing happens. I hope someone helps me rent or buy this land. And visitors will be able to see all elements of our village,” he said.