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Economic Development

Bedriye Berber Engin

Bedriye Berber Engin, who is a villager in Kurşunlu, Bilecik, has been honored as the best reader by the Governorship of Bilecik and as an "extraordinary reader" by the Ministry of Culture. Bedriye Berber Engin started pondering about eco-tourism that she learnt from the books. She transformed the village to eco-village with the help of the other women villagers.

Bedriye Berber Engin and other women villagers started to sell their products in the local bazaars. The women villagers were preparing food for the visitors with their products and selling the rest in the bazaars. Moreover, they started to organize camps for the visitors. Bedriye Berber Engin and the women villagers' effort started to be heard by many people via internet.

After a while Kurşunlu became a frequent destination for domestic and foreign tourists. Dough workshops, fruit picking activities according to season, walking tours and entertainments like henna night are being organized for domestic and foreign tourists.

Due to eco-tourism, income from the domestic and foreign tourists, who came to experience the village life and the sale of agricultural products, provided additional income to women villagers. Due to eco-tourism carried out with the help of Kurşunlu villagers, rural-urban migration decreased, even 4 families came back to the village.

Bedriye Berber Engin read a book and changed the destiny of a village. With the activities she initiated, she was able to stop rural-urban migration, and even started backwards migration. She supported women to participate in production process and gain economic independence. She became a role model for thousands of villages in Anatolia and made a huge difference in women villagers' lives that will not be forgotten for generations.

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