Hello! My name is Onur Altayli. I live with my husband in the wonderful village of Seki. As a family we lived in Germany for nearly 25 years. Our three daughters are now young adults and live in various parts of Europe following their professions.
How we started Seki Cottages
We bought our property in Seki in the year 2000, where we first build our own home, and afterwards initiated the restoration of the old Seki Cottages. While we were renovating the cottages, the thought of renting them through the internet did not seem very practical. Moreover using the internet was initially not without concerns, for I was surely an amateur when it came to matters related to advertising in a global market place. Apart from that, Antalya was already very popular and well known for mass-tourism, far less was it known as a place for alternative holidays.
Would I be able to attract individual travellers to a ‘lost’ small village lying at the edge of the Taurus Mountains? Would visitors be comfortable and feel at home in the village? I eventually dared to venture, and I think I even became quite successful. Seki Cottages are now almost a brand in themselves. I now receive enquiries from all over the world, and my guests tend to leave Seki with beautiful memories and impressions. My academic training in political science would have led me to have pursued a carrier in diplomacy. However now, with so many guests from various places throughout the world, I feel that I am now an ambassador for my home country?
Seki Mon Amour
Now, I would like to tell you a little about my great love for this small village.
The first time I came to Seki to visit the property was in September 2000. The first thing that attracted my attention was the hospitality of Seki’s residents; their shining sun-tanned faces and constant smiles. At once I felt at ease with the village and its residents, and immediately felt at home. That day, we walked up the hill to have a proper look at the village. I remember that it was just before sunset, the afterglow settled itself everywhere and the sounds of the village appeared from more and more distant. It was, and still is ‘paradise’. At the same moment, the muezzin, with his so melodic voice, started the call for prayer. I was so very excited, that my heart began to beat wildly and I just thought: That is it. I have finally found home!
Yet, love also means responsibility, dedication and duty. Many people have recognized the beauty of Seki but some would seek to change it and erect more buildings for tourism. Surely, we all have to change and modernize throughout time, installing new power poles, telephone and internet cables, constructing new canal systems. I work hard to resist larger roads and concrete holiday resorts.
It is necessary to guide the official authorities with sensitivity and understanding, so that they fulfill their tasks in the region and protect those things that are precious. You have to scream, in order for a village called Seki to continue to exist. It is only 6 km from the beaches and hotels of Evrenseki by the coast but in terms the culture and the atmosphere it is a world away.