You may have seen this familiar Fethiye Face in the vacinity of FETAV in town, we find out a bit more about eco-architect Ahmet Kizen, one of the original founders of FETAV.
Ahmet was born in Istanbul in 1949 and graduated as an architect from Istanbul Techinical University in 1974.
In 1980 he left Istanbul and settled in Içmeler village near to Marmaris where he stayed for ten years practising as an architect, and also setting up Marmaris’ first ever ‘apart hotel’.
During this period he saw tourism bring rampant development to the coasts of the Aegean and the Mediterranean, and realized what a disaster this was in terms of the environment and the social and cultural life of local people.
Also during this period he became involved with various environmental organisations. Over time he began to plan for a way of life which would accommodate tourism, but still preserve the environment, sound agricultural practise and traditional culture. In the early 1990s he began to create the model that would turn his vision into reality when he settled in Yanıklar village near Fethiye, and began his eco farm called Pastoral Valley.
He continued to work as an architect building ecologically sound houses in traditional materials in villages around Fethiye, work which he still carries on.
Ahmet was one of the founders of FETAV (Fethiye’s charity dedicated to tourism, culture, education and environment) and has led several projects in his role as FETAV’s Environmental Coordinator. In particular he has been instrumental in introducing organic growing to the villages around Fethiye. He helped set up Fethiye’s Association of Organic Fruit/Vegetables Growers and also leads an organisation called FETDER (Fethiye’s Eco Tourism Development Organisation).
Ahmet believes Fethiye and its environs can escape the concretization which has blighted so much of Turkey’s beautiful coastline – we hope he is right.