Madra Geopark is located in Bakircay Basin of Izmir, west part of Turkey, very close to Lesvos Island. The local municipalities of Bergama, Dikili and Foça participate in the RURITAGE project.
This fertile agricultural Bakircay Basin of Izmir has been home historically to many ancient civilizations, including the world-famous historical heritage site of Pergamon. At the outskirts of this heritage site, there stands Asclepion – a healing center of the ancient world, where natural treatments like sport, theatre and music were used for the first time.
The main source of income of the area is agriculture, offering such famous products as the grapes and the pine nuts from the highlands of Kozak and the local olive oil. The highlands offer spectacular forest and mountain tourism opportunities. Economic wealth has been declining at the villages due to the impacts of urban migration and loss of the young population, decreasing value for agricultural products via globalization in agricultural markets, little or no subsidies to the local agriculture. Particularly damaging has been the loss of income via declining yields in pine nuts. Not sufficient alternative economic alternatives are available to maintain income levels in villages, which are losing their younger population to local mid-size towns Bergama, Dikili and Foca, where tourism provide more income opportunities.
Highlights and Key facts
Rural Heritage Hub
The physical location of the Rural Heritage Hub will be an old primary school building in the village Yukarıbey. The Hub will house a variety of functions that will include for instance e-marketing capabilities for local food products and info and monitoring of such topics as the pin e nut disease; an important problem in the region, etc.) Yukarıbey is also home to an active local tourism and and local rural development society.