Muğla’s Belen Café calls on tourists to take step back in time
MUĞLA – Anadolu Agency
Muğla, Çaybükü Village’s Belen Café welcomes tourists with ballads from Muğla and Ormancı, where the ballad involves two friends playing checkers and villagers play a more traditional game, which many people end up playing. DHA PhotoA café in Muğla is continuing to pack in the visitors with its ability to take visitors back in time to the time of a ballad that continues to resonate in local folklore.
Restored in 2005 by the mayor of Muğla, Belen café hosts a total of 40,000 people annually. The place around Belen, Çaybükü in Muğla, also reflects the past and the ancient culture in Turkey’s Anatolian villages.
Belen Café is famous for a particular Turkish song by the name of “Ormancı” (Forester). The song is a ballad that tells a story set in the 1940s, at the Belen Café itself, on the Çaybükü road and the surrounding village. The ballad was based on a real-life event in which two friends in the village who were fighting over a matter related to the government of the time. The fighting escalated, leading to one of the friends killing the other.
The Belen Café still depicts this event by way of the exhibition it has on display, including documents that it has hung around the café itself. The ballad is still played out at the cafe.
The mockups of the ballad’s heroes, Tevfik Cezayir and Mustafa (Mustafa Şahbudak), bring the characters to life as they wander the café today, attracting tourists and visitors from all over the world and also from Turkey.
The various interesting pieces hung on the walls each tell the story of the heroes and two friends involved, while the mockups and models in the café enliven the environment, adding a real and historical effect to the ambience.
“In the past, the event would sadden us all, so much so that we are still trying to forget those difficult times,” said the village headman, Necait Cezayir. “As the café becomes a touristic attraction, the destiny of the village will also change.” The café has been restored to be able to reflect the events that occurred in 1946, he added.
Cezayir said many people come to listen to the story of Belen Café.
Noting that the café has changed many facets across the village, he said the villagers would be able to comfortably profit from the tourist activity.
The café welcomes tourists with ballads from Muğla and Ormancı, where the ballad involves two friends playing checkers and villagers play a more traditional game, which many people end up playing.
The visitors are able to observe how checkers is played, in the café. The café is open 12 months a year, and the climate is suitable for visiting 12 months of the year.
“There is breakfast here and a lot of traditional dishes; we also have many traditional handmade clothes and accessories available for purchase. Tourists are attracted by such products,” Cezayir added.
The place is of great value for Turkey, said tourist Fatma Aksoy, adding that it was very important to protect and preserve such places.