The first activities of the Kerkenes Eco-Center in the village of Sahmuratli,
Yozgat, were initiated during the 2002 summer season and pursued in
2003 as a result of support received from the Direct Aid Program (DAP)
of the Australian Embassy. At the same time, a study of the 'Environmental
Performance of Buildings', funded by the British Council Partnership
Scheme for collaboration between the Architectural Association (London)
and the METU Department of Architecture (Ankara), provides an opportunity
for students to get involved in activities related to the new Eco-Center
venture through the selection of case studies at the village of Sahmuratli.
The new Eco-Building, funded in 2003 by the DAP, was an ideal structure
on which to focus these studies.
It has been very encouraging to have the continuous support of the Vali
(Governor) of Yozgat and all the concerned local authorities working
incessantly to improve the infrastructure and services on which the
progress of the project depends. We are most grateful to the directors
and staff of the Köy Hizmetleri (Rural Services), TEDAS and Türk
Telekom for improvements made to the water supply, the electricity network
and the telephone system thus facilitating both research and daily life
activities. We also thank the Sorgun Kaymakam (District Governor) Meftun
Dalli, and Belediye Baskan (Mayor) Ahmet Simsek for their invaluable
help. In August 2004, the Govenor of Yozgat, Gökhan Sözer,
visited Kerkenes with a large entourage, including the Director of Rural
Services, Muharrem Sengül, who can be praised for the new tarmac
road leading to the ancient ruins through the village of Sahmuratli.
Building materials and help in kind have been provided by Yibitas Yozgat
Çimento / Yibitas Lafarge, the Sorgun Belediye, Onduline, ODE,
the British Embassy, the Burdens Charitable Foundation and the Ankara
Hilton. Seedlings and trees were given by the Yozgat Belediye. Dr Sevket
Bagci continues to provide support in many ways. The Sahmuratli villagers,
the retiring Muhtar, Ali Erciyes, and his replacement, Osman Muratdagi,
continue to extend traditional hospitality to both the Kerkenes Team
and visitors. Osman Muratdagi has also made his minibus and services
available to the project on more than one occasion. In Sorgun, Kamar
Supermarket assists with shopping demands and has provided a refrigerator
for the Kerkenes House.
The Kerkenes Project research activities at the Middle East Technical
University (METU/ODTÜ) are funded by grants channeled through the
METU Development Foundation. We are most grateful for donations from
Lafarge Saglik Egitim ve Kültür Vakfi, Bell Helicopter, the
Anglo-Turkish Association, Yenigün, MESA, AKG Gazbeton and Mr Erdogan
Akdag. The METU Computer Center provides technical support and hosts
the Kerkenes web page. METU Press publishes the project's annual newsletter,
Kerkenes News/Haberler, reporting in English and Turkish on all the
different aspects of research and activities taking place at Kerkenes.
In 2004 the project was asked to vacate the office in the Faculty of
Architecture and we are most grateful to the METU President's Office
for providing new premises within the library building.
The project Web Page (Fig. 6), which disseminates results to a wide
audience of professionals, students and lay public, contains details
of the numerous sponsors, collaborating institutions and participants.