In the touristic district of Silifke in Mersin province, historic homes are gaining widespread attention for their cultural and historical heritage. The unique houses, which are registered examples of “civil architecture,” have been under restoration and will soon be integrated into tourism. After the owners of some of these historic homes applied to the Adana Regional Directorate of Cultural Heritage Conservation Board to have their houses integrated into the region’s tourism industry, the approval of their applications paved the way for owner-launched renovations of the homes, which will soon open to serve as cultural tour houses and cafes.
Visitors to these historic homes are given the chance to observe a wide range of extraordinary, historic artifacts, in addition to the old photographs that tell the story of the district’s local history, complete with displays of antique photography machines and simple household items. One of these homeowners, Taner Çabuk, spoke to Anadolu Agency (AA) about the experience of turning his historic home into a cafe after restoration and integration of the house into tourism, saying that he renovated his home to share some of the examples of Ottoman-Turkish architecture in the region with tourists. Stating that the structure of his home dates back to approximately 130 years ago, Çabuk said, “The elder members of our family lived in this house until the end of their lives.
Then, we renovated the house and turned it into a facility with aims of preserving our cultural heritage and presenting it to the public. Here, we serve with a tourism operation license.” Kerim Parlatan, who renovated the house that was built in the early 1900s, has turned it into a cultural house that features photographs of old family members and historic places from those years as well as various household items used by the people of the period. “We have turned the house we inherited from our elders into a culture house with the aim of preserving the family tradition. Hence, we have brought the lively days of the Saray neighborhood back to life. Here we display antique typewriters, photography machines and household items belonging to our ancestors. Modern-day society is a stranger to these pieces. Our main aim is to give back to society in a spiritual manner rather than using the house to make money.”