The village of the woodcutters
Knowing a bit about the complexities of religion and ethnicity of Turkey, is a prerequisite to find Akçainiş interesting. Well, it is a cute village, simple, yet well-maintained, but not unique.
Unlike what many believes and says, Turkey is far from a 99% plus Muslim society. The Alevis are not Muslims, and represent about a quarter of the total population. Even within Alevism, there are sub-groups, and the Tahtacis represents a population of slightly more than 100,000. Their culture is liberal, moderate and tolerant, but their religion is suppressed. They are called wood-cutters, a name that tells about their fate, having sought safety in the mountains.
Akçainiş is a 100% Tahtaci village, nobody here are Muslims, but the only religious building you see is still a mosque. It shouts out loudly across the population five times a day. Ask for directions for the "tchem evii", and you will see comprehend the rest of the story. A çem evi is the congregational building for locals here, and it is unsigned building looking like a normal house, except the metal door and lack of windows. Should you be so lucky, the keyholder will let you in. Ceremonies of lute music and ring dances are acted out here, popular as ever.
There is a good hotel in the village, that also has a restaurant.
Getting to and from Akçainiş is fairly easy with public transport, minibuses connect with other villages, and with Elmali, the main transport hub in the region.