It’s a Wednesday in late March and the weather is bright and sunny; it’s a perfect spring day and ideal for the table top sale being held at the Special Needs Learning Centre (Özel Eğitim İş Uygulama Merkezi). Lyn Ward went along with her camera and notebook… 

opposite Fethiye's Türk Telekom building
opposite Fethiye’s Türk Telekom building

The Centre, located opposite the main Türk Telekom office in Fethiye, opened a year ago. Managed by Müesser Yılmaz, the Special Needs Learning Centre caters for young adults between 16 and 23 years of age with a range of additional needs.

Engelsiz Kafe: Fethiye’s café that focuses on ability

The programme concentrates on Life Skills, including cookery, artwork and vocational training at Engelsiz Kafe.

Changing the perspective

Engelsiz Kafe: Fethiye’s café that focuses on ability

Engelsiz means unimpeded; not obstructed or hindered (Oxford English Dictionary) and is a term being used in Turkey to give confidence to youngsters with disabilities not to feel limited in or excluded from society.

An inclusive community project

Owned by Salih Çetinel, from the popular King’s Garden restaurant, Engelsiz Kafe occupies part of the centre’s grounds and provided a dynamic opportunity for the centre’s young adults to put their life skills into practice.

With this in mind, it gives the youngsters a great opportunity to have the experience of working in the café for short periods; they can work in the kitchen or wait at table, providing them with a safe environment to interact with members of the public.

Great food

What’s more, the Kafe has a simple but delicious menu at fantastic prices!!

For more information on Engelsiz Kafe please visit:

Raising awareness and funds

Engelsiz Kafe: Fethiye’s café that focuses on ability

The stalls were manned by the students, teachers and helpers and included a variety of delicious home made foods and craftwork items all made by the pupils.

Everything is made at the centre
Everything is made at the centre

Engelsiz Kafe: Fethiye’s café that focuses on ability

After wandering around the stalls and making their purchases, people sat around in the beautiful sunshine and chatted with friends, while drinking çay and enjoying Gözleme prepared by local volunteers.

Engelsiz Kafe: Fethiye’s café that focuses on ability

The Fethiye Director of National Education, Hasan Doğan and Fethiye Mufti, Oğuzhan Kadıoğlu also attended along with Sheila Tongue, the Chairman of FIG and other committee members.

Engelsiz Kafe: Fethiye’s café that focuses on ability

FIG and the Üzümlü Charity Group (working with Salih) have recently funded an extension to the school that now houses a dedicated cafe area for the children.

For more information about FIG visit their website here and visit their Facebook page here.




  1. […] Engelsiz Kafe opened in April of this year. A few weeks later the café received a surprise visit from British Ambassador, HMA Richard Moore and his wife, Maggie, when they were visiting the town. At a lively and spontaneous gathering, the couple drank ayran and met and spoke with the Centre’s Director, Muesser Yılmaz and some of the young people who attend the centre. […]