Olive museum in Turkey’s south enlightens visitors
Olive Oil Museum, which was brought to tourism with the restoration of the three-century-old olive oil facility in the southern province of Hatay, exhibits old and traditional tools used in the extraction of olive oil back in the time.
The museum that has been converted from a 300-year-old olive oil facility in the Altınözü District, which has an important place in olive oil production with its nearly five million olive trees, has hosted 60,000 visitors since its reopening in 2017.
Featuring the old and traditional tools used in olive oil production, the museum depicts the journey of olive oil making. From the use of horses to crush the olives to wells where the oil was stored, the museum well describes to visitors with information about the olive cultivation activities during the old times.
Olive and olive oil varieties exhibited in a room in the museum are also offered for sale, creating a revenue opportunity for the residents of the district.
Altınözü Mayor Rıfat Sarı has said that the facility has been making a considerable contribution to tourism as a museum today.
“We tried to show the visitors how olive oil is extracted and how it is produced with old techniques by hand labor,” Sarı said, adding that he is waiting for more visitors to the museum.
Early in the morning, neighbors pick olives from their gardens and press them under a one-ton rotating stone.
After the fresh olives are crushed by the horse-powered press, the dough-like material is rested in bins for a certain time until its ready for extraction.
Then, olives are hand-squeezed, pouring the oil into boiling water.
After the oil has been refined, it is collected from the surface of the water and bottled.