Oct 22, 2013

Tobacco Growers In Yakakent Turkey

During my travels to Turkey [Turkiye] I passed the Village of Yakakent on my way to Bafra. I saw all this tabacco being dried outside to sell. Behind the home you could see the Black Sea. It was a beautiful setting, with grapevines growing through arches. The home was quiet old, non the lest, it was a home for this family. 

They had cattle they were milking, hens running around, huge cornfield next to them, and some young children. I gave the children gifts of candies and small toys. They invited me to share their dinner on the broken porch, home made bread, with some grilled lamb, and a salad that looked and tasted so fresh. 

After wards, I helped the children learn some simple English words, while I sipped on tea. I felt right at home. Pretty soon the village had heard I was nearby, and I gave out more gifts to the ladies and children. Before I knew, another family had invited me to their home, and there I went. [No is not an option] 

The next family greeted me like close family, which I was not, but they sure acted so darn friendly, and so lovable. Within a few minutes women starting setting a long table of food, and the food kept coming to soups, breads, rice, meats, salads, pastries, to watermelon. 

I don't know how I ever even got up from that table. I could see when they open the door to bring out the food, women,  lots of women in the kitchen. Village women had come to help cook. I was in awe of the hospitality, not only had I met them like 30 minutes before, it was like I was family they had not seen in years. 

This family also provide from their farm to companies to make there earnings. Once in a life time treatment like royal you say? Its like this everywhere I went. 

Good thing I had brought extra gifts from the girls at eBay, like small soaps, keychains, purses, makeup and more. I even collected all the toys from the McDonald's meals, even some ladies provided me cash donations [I never asked] to purchase more candies.  

Being one of the most labor intensive agricultural production activities,tobacco production is an important source of employment. 

Most of its labor requirements are met through family labor. 
With approximately 600.000 tobacco growers in Turkey, 
and assuming the involvement of 2.5 persons per family, 
tobacco production employs some 1.5 million persons. 
More are employed in other tobacco-related activities, 
like transportation, storage, trade and cigarette manufacturing.

All Photos: Mine- L. Yildiz