Serpil Kurtay / DUVAR

In a joint effort between Gökçeada mayor Ünal Çetin and bio-architect Merve Tekin Sezgin, a ‘children’s village’ is planned to be established on the island, and will function as a place for children to take part in decision-making and creating infrastructure together.  

Land which belongs to a university on the island has already been landscaped and pruned in preparation for the establishment of the village. Sezgin and psychologist Azime Tekin prepared a survey that was sent to 45 children living on Gökçeada and 35 children residing on the mainland regarding their interests and dreams for the village. 

The responses that came back were varied and creative, and indicated that the children wanted to create natural habitats for a variety of animals to live in, the ability to use electricity generated from solar energy, establishing a wood-fired oven to bake bread and pizza, and an observation tower or terrace from which they could see the stars. 

“The children will grow up and memories [of the village] will remain with them. Our village, which will be filled with the unique ideas and boundless dreams of our children, will come to life as a living space for them based on their own efforts and initiatives,” said mayor Çetin. 

“In the first year I am envisioning the establishment of a council together with the children in shaping how things work, in other words we will accompany them during this process as a seed blossoms into a fruit,” Sezgin said.