Turkish Backpackers Society
Early Days – First Dream
It all started with a dream shared by 3 young people. To improve the independent travel culture while bringing together travelers from all around Turkey in a mutual platform and creating an atmosphere of motivation and inspiration for future generations. This was needed for Turkish people and someone should have taken the initiative. February 2008. Sırtçantalılar (literally Backpackers) was officially founded.
Engin Kaban, together with his 2 friends Onur İnal and Ömürden Sezgin started to announce the idea of The Backpackers Society within their circle of traveler friends. By time, more people were involved. Starting by e-mail groups, moving to a forum on the website; events followed. There have been many meetings in different cities, presentations of different countries from travelers to travelers. Several competitions were held and prizes like flight tickets, travel equipment were distributed.
Turkish Backpackers Society quickly became the largest network of travelers in Turkey. Several campaigns were conducted for the freedom of travel for Turkish citizens. These campaigns were against regulations like Turkish passport fees (being the most expensive in the world), visa issues and the like. Many of the campaigns ended with success which affected the whole population.
The power of the network and all the activities conducted also received the attention of the media. The founders of the society as well as members have been countless times on TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and on the internet. More coverage brought more popularity and the Turkish Backpackers Society kept on growing both in quantity and quality.
The Turkish Backpackers Society cooperated with several companies and organisations for different projects. Products and destinations promoted, review articles introduced, campaigns executed. Hundreds of special design t-shirts with the logo of the community were prepared with the sponsorship of EXPO-Turkey and members took photos wearing them in remote distances; which created loyalty. The national flag carrier Turkish Airlines shared the dream of The Turkish Backpackers Society and agreed for a sponsorship early 2013. Many destinations have been promoted by Sırtçantalılar team for Turkish Airlines. Being the airline company flying to the most number of countries in the world, there are many more destinations to go to.
In December 2013, the official website of Sırtçantalılar joined a competition conducted by the largest newspaper of Turkey. 1700+ websites were competing. Among all, the society received ‘The Most Expert Website‘ award. This has been another milestone for the following steps of success.
The Future – Keep On Dreaming
Beginning of 2014, The Turkish Backpackers Society is introducing new projects to fund travelers in Turkey via different methods; sending their members to different countries and cooperating with them for promotion of the destinations around the world.
Being the founder of Turkish Backpackers Society, Engin Kaban is holding the position of Coordinator General of the organisation. He is working with an enthusiastic team to elevate the culture of travel in Turkey for everyone. Currently with thousands and thousands of members, followers and fans, Sırtçantalılar is a strong society both in real life and in social media in its 6th year of existence.