• Camp and Caravan, Hunting and Outdoor Sports Fair
  • 5-10 October 2021
Time Left


We carry our freedom with us

Some of them are engineers, architects, and lawyers. They are leaving behind the boredom of routine work with caravan holidays.

Tahsin Özkeskin, who has bought a caravan 20 years ago, has lived in it instead of his home for 5 years.

Banker Leyla Özdağ says that the caravan symbolizes freedom, adding “We carry our freedom with us.”


We often hear people say “I’ve worked enough, now I want to travel”. However, we can never really dare to leave. So we talked to those who started living in their caravans and traveled from country to country.

Since the weather’s getting warmer, free-spirited engineers, business people, bankers, architects, and lawyers have their travel plans ready.

So we asked travelers who are members of the National Camping and Caravan Federation about the traveling homes with hot water, fridge, shower, kitchen and a bed to sleep in.


Some of these travelers started this lifestyle while working and some of them waited for retirement. Erol Candar, who’s been living in a caravan for 60 years is the oldest of them all. Candar says he finds it easier to breathe in the caravan while banker Leyla Özdağ tells that she feels like she’s carrying her freedom on her back. Lawyer İlhan Kubilay says he has summer houses around the world. Özdağ adds that the caravan is a nice tourism market and if it’s appreciated, it will contribute greatly to the economy. He says “The biggest difficulty that the caravan travelers face is that there’s not a caravan park everywhere. And another one is the SCT (Special Consumption Tax). With these numbers, lots of people have to give up on their caravans.”




We have summer houses around the world

Lawyer İlhan Kubilay, started traveling the world in 2008. Before that he used to travel around Turkey with a big vehicle. Kubilay says that someone who loves nature will surely love the caravan, adding “We never got a chance to travel while we were working. With our caravan, we have a summer house everywhere around the world. After we traveled to Europe, we traveled in Turkey. I and my wife always travel together. My wife loves nature as well. In fact, you have to love the caravan lifestyle to live it. If your spouse doesn’t love it you can’t travel like this. I had a summer house in Kuşadası but I didn’t go there, I used to stay in the caravan. We prefer the caravan instead of luxury hotel rooms.” His wife Mücella Kubilay says she supported her husband: “The caravan is much more convenient for women. It means less housework and more travel. After we bought a caravan I found my freedom.”




It contributes to tourism


Leyla Özdağ, the president of Antalya Camping and Caravan Federation since 2009, decided to travel with the caravan 21 years ago. Özdağ says she spends her holidays at campsites with her husband. “We never stayed at a hotel. We don’t like the concept. Even when we’re visiting someone, we always stay in our caravan. We carry our freedom with us. We contribute to the economy of every country we travel to, but in our country caravan travel isn’t really well known. If the caravan travelers come to our country, they would contribute to our tourism industry.”




The industry isn’t well-developed in our country


Soner Ertuğrul, vice president of the camping and caravan federation, has been a caravan traveler for 20 years. Ertuğrul says he learned to live free as a caravan traveler, spend time in nature and meet new people. “We often travel in Europe with the caravan. They value caravanning. We see caravan everywhere in Europe but it’s not so widespread in Turkey. We disregard this valuable field.”





We traveled the world by Volkswagen Beetle


Architect Necdet Tunguç bought a caravan in 1979. They connected it to their 73 Volkswagen beetle and traveled the world. Tunguç says: “No one believed we came all that way with a beetle but we did it. One time we even ended up in the Alps. Before a vacation, our child would always be more excited than us, daydreaming about it and exploring the area once we got there. I invite everyone to nature, instead of a hotel room. There’s life in nature.”





 I prefer the caravan to my home


Tahsin Özkeskin, started caravan traveling 20 years ago. Özkeskin lived in the caravan with his wife at a campsite in Yeşilköy the first 5 years after he bought the caravan. Özkeskin says he didn’t go home for a long time, “We were so comfortable at the caravan. We were free to go anywhere we want. Then the campsite got closed down and we had to return home.”

Özkeskin adds: “In the past, we used to have picnics. Now we’re reliving those days. People talk and help each other, which creates a bond between us. Everyone shares everything, it’s like how it used to be between neighbors.”




No campsites in Istanbul


Özkeskin says that a lot of people had to sell their caravans after the campsite got closed down.

“There’s nowhere to park the caravans. We have to make caravans more well-known. We made a campsite in our friend’s land. About 30-40 of our friends gave up on caravans because they can’t find a campsite. As the Camping and Caravan Federation, we want to help but we can’t find somewhere in Istanbul.”




I escape to the campsite


The oldest one of the caravan travelers is the businessman Erol Candar, who is 83 years old. He says his sons don’t approve but he goes to the campsites with his caravan. Candar tells his story: “I’ve been a caravan traveler for 60 years. I have everything I need in my caravan, it’s my life-style. It’s a passion of mine. I wait for the months of April and May so I can go to the campsites again. I’m older now, my kids don’t let me go but I escape. I can’t give up on my passion.”




Wherever the road takes


51-year-old retired English teacher Işıl Kırıkyapan, lost her husband years ago and is living with her daughter in Bursa. She says she loved the caravan lifestyle when her husband was alive. “We bought a caravan years ago. Now we travel the world with my daughter. I’m free spirited. The caravan opens a door to freedom. Wen ever had a problem on the road. We meet new people. I don’t like staying for 10 to 15 days in one place. I like a good view and being alone. I’ll go wherever the road takes me. I get rid of the stress of the city life when I have a cup of tea or coffee in my caravan. It makes me happy. I’m planning on living in my caravan in the future when my daughter gets married.   


SOURCE: Yeni Şafak