|Tribute to Victor Ananias: 1971–2011, Eco Pioneer|
It is with sadness that we share our condolences to friends and family of Victor Ananias who passed on 2nd March 2011 at the age of 40.
Victor was six when his family moved from Germany to the Bodrum, a beautiful seaside town in Turkey, to grow organic foods, grind their own wheat with a traditional windmill and live self-sustaining lives. At eighteen, Victor travelled to Chile and Europe working in vegetarian restaurants and spiritual centres, including the Findhorn Ecovillage where he worked in the bakery and kitchen.
On returning to Turkey Victor helped a local farmer sell products to English-speaking tourists in exchange for space to sell organic products. This was the first of a long series of alliances with shop owners and farmers to promote organic foods and local products.
In 1992 he opened Bugday (‘wheat’ in Turkish), Turkey’s first Vegetarian Restaurant with an organic health food store and environmental and cultural centre. He also started a newsletter, which later became a bimonthly publication, distributed nationally, containing articles about local products, organic and sustainable farming techniques, ecovillage info, spiritual practices, etc. He later established the Bugday Association for Supporting Ecological Living NGO (www.bugday.org) and initiated the first open organic farmers’ markets in Istanbul, the latter which have grown in popularity all over the country.
Victor received many awards including the ASHOKA – Change Makers. He was father to an 11-year old son and a dedicated vegan. He was buried in Bodrum where he grew up.
It is his passion, integrity, and vision that has changed how thousands of people think about the ecological agriculture movement and organic markets in Turkey. We celebrate his life with respect and admiration.