TUI Colourful Cultures Turkey

In partnership with Fethiye Lycia Women's Cooperative, the project supports local female weavers with training and marketing strategies to revive the weaving method 'Dastar'.

This traditional weaving method was previously long forgotten – but has now received an official Geographical Indication and acts as an important cultural element in the villages of Yeşilüzümlü and Incirköy villages where the project takes place. It dates back thousands of years and, in contrast to more recent popular textile products, has survived by keeping its originality and is still in production. The project also improves the livelihoods of the women and families living in the villages.

With agricultural land in Yesiluzumlu and Incirkoy villages mostly shared and fragmented over a long period of time through inheritance, a gradual decline in viable farming operations in the region was inevitable. This made it increasingly difficult for families to make a living from agriculture alone. They also had little knowledge or experience of any alternative income-generating activities other than agriculture. Also, due to relatively lower access to education opportunities for women and girls, the opportunities to find employment are very limited.

Dastar is a traditional weaving method that has long been forgotten and is a cultural element in the villages. With the demand for qualified handcrafted touristic gift products in Fethiye and the surrounding tourism destinations, Dastar weaving has been revived.

Through the TUI Colourful Cultures Programme, Fethiye Lycia Women’s Cooperative trains 50 local women and encourages 20 new artisans. They  promote and revive Dastar among locals and encourage the young generation to keep up with their tradition. The cooperative starts sourcing organic cotton yarns by joining more sustainable supply chains and receives technical advice from a fashion designer to modernise Dastar to develop contemporary and innovative products.

Through the reinterpretation of this traditional weaving technique, contemporary designs and products are developed which are suitable for today's trends, and improved marketing strategies help make it more sustainable to secure the livelihoods of the women involved.

The project also aims to increase income possibilities for local women and their families through the tourism sector - products are marketed in four different outlets close to tourism hotspots, and corner displays are set up in five hotels. In the same way, the tourism sector also benefits from the supply of local handicraft products.

Dastar items can become popular tourism products which are synonymous with the region and convey its culture and traditions.

Project Partner

The aim of the cooperative is to meet its members' economic, social and cultural needs and facilitate the production and marketing of goods and services produced by them. Opens production-oriented skills courses for partners and non-partner women, such as sewing, embroidery, ceramics, glass making, handicraft design, fashion design, jewellery design, cooking, and bakery. Organizes various training programs for its partners. Provides consultancy and training services to its partners to establish and develop their own businesses.


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