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Organic-Fair Farming Turkey Project

Impressions and reports from the Rapunzel Turkey project

"Once a man came to Turkey and wanted to change the agriculture there" is how an insider described the journey that Rapunzel founder Joseph Wilhelm took to Turkey in 1976. This trip marked the beginning of the Rapunzel Turkey project. A lot has happened since then and one could say that in many respects a vision has become reality.
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In the following you can find travel reports, interviews and photographs that show the positive effects that Rapunzel's commitment and that organic agriculture had on the local farmers. Experience the everyday life of the Turkey project, Rapunzel's biggest and most sustainable farming project.

Tekelioğlu – a village network shows the positive effects of organic agriculture

Early in the 1990s Rapunzel could convince the majority of the farmers in the village of Tekelioğlu to convert to organic agriculture. Neighboring villages in the Salihli region joined the initiative. From this, Rapunzel's biggest organic village project in Turkey developed.

Today, some 80 regional peasant families successfully cultivate organic sultanas, tomatoes, cotton and many other products; some of them even converted to biodynamic agriculture. The local Rapunzel office integrates all the peasant families.
Today, with Rapunzel's support, 100 percent of the vineyards in the vicinity of Tekelioğlu have been converted to organic agriculture - a great success for the entire region.

Especially the transformation of the Marmara-Gölü lake near Tekelioğlu exemplifies the positive development: when the project started, the water reservoir that borders on the municipal cadastre borders was seriously damaged by conventional farming practices. 
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The fish population was almost extinct and the fishing industry that had once been an important nutritional basis and a means of income had ceased to exist. Through the conversion to organic agriculture, the regional ecosystem could recover.

The entire area has become a beautiful biotope with a wealth of fauna and flora. Even the water of the lake regained drinking water quality.

Reports and interviews

Fair partnerships around the globe

Organic hazelnuts with passion

Turkish organic farmer Cemal Tahmaz has been working with Rapunzel since 1992. In an interview, he tells us why he has been committed to organic farming from the very beginning - and why he still appreciates the partnership in the Rapunzel Turkey Cultivation Project untril today. 

The harvest in the 2021 season

Sunburned sultanas and particularly fruity figs: by and large, the Turkey project yielded good harvests in 2021. Climate change, however, is a growing challenge for the peasant families.

Decade-long cooperation

The Börekçigil farming family has been cooperating with Rapunzel for 30 years in the Turkey project. In the interview, the family recounts why they farm organically.

A day with sultana farmers

En route in the Rapunzel Turkey project: at the beginning of the harvest season, a Rapunzel team accompanied Rapunzel's agricultural engineers for one day during their visits to sultana farmers near Tekelioğlu. 


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