Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Ghost Town & The Blue Lagoon

One afternoon we drove to see the ghost town at Kayaköy. The town, located on a mountainside, has a very interesting history.

Kayaköy -- the ghost town.

You may recall from my Hanging Out in Thessaloniki post that we visited the birthplace of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk when we passed through Greece. At Atatürk's birthplace, I learned about the compulsory population exchange that occurred shortly after the Republic of Turkey was established. As part of the exchange, the Muslim population living in Greece was exchanged with the Greek Orthodox population leaving in Turkey. The purpose of the exchange was to achieve ethnic-national homogeneity.

Up until 1922, Kayaköy was a thriving community of Greeks. As part of the compulsory population exchange, however, the Greeks were forced to leave Kayaköy and move back to Greece. As the number of Greek Christians who left Turkey as part of the exchange far outnumbered the number of Turkish Muslims who migrated from Greece, the village of Kayaköy was not repopulated with Turkish repatriates. Instead, Kayaköy became a ghost town.

In present times, the town of Kayaköy has been set aside as a museum village. The village consists of more than 500 homes and churches. Though roofless and run-down, most of the buildings still have standing walls.

This tree was growing against the wall of an old home,
and cyclamen were poking their heads through the rocks in the old roads.
I love how nature had taken over the ghost town.

Layers of paint were visible on some of the buildings.
Blue, white, and red were the most common colors.

Mom and I look out over the ruins.

As we walked through the abandoned village, it was hard not to imagine the people that used to live within the village. And it was hard not to imagine the difficulties endured by the Greeks in abandoning their village.

Beyond the gate was a church from the 17th century.
I wanted to get through this locked gate to see the church.

Having fun at the ghost town.
I was a gate, and my mom needed to pay a toll to cross beneath me.

Me & Ferit Bey.

We spotted a waymark (the yellow and red "equals sign") for the Lycian Way.
These waymarks will become important when we hike the Lycian Way in a few weeks.
(See " A Three-Day Trek Along the Lycian Way.")

"The" yoga pose, in the ghost town.

Days after visiting Kayaköy, Ferit and I learned that in early September of this year, the Turkish government announced plans to develop the village. The government was offering a 49-year lease that will open part of the Kayaköy ruins to construction catered to tourists. What a shame to destroy some of these ruins -- they have such a rich history!

After visiting Kayaköy, we drove a short distance to the beach at Ölüdeniz, located where the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas join.

Ferit's mom and Ferit, at the beach.

Feet, shoes, and sand.
From left to right: Me, Ferit, Ferit's mom, Mom.

Me and Mom enjoying the surf.

Us again...

...and again.

For a good part of our time at the beach, our eyes were affixed to the sky...

...where we saw a number of paragliders flying about.

Mom and me on the beach,
with a few of the paragliders lingering in the sky.

Me and Ferit, with the setting sun in the distance.

Ölüdeniz is one of the most photographed beaches in all of Turkey. While the beach is certainly gorgeous, the views of the beach are even better when viewed from a higher elevation. Stayed tuned for future posts that show the Ölüdeniz beach in all of its glory.


  1. Do I see our Sarah taking wing soon? Great history lesson, I love how you covertly weave learning into your entertaining posts!

    I gotta ask, was mom getting fresh there? Watch those hands mom :):)

    1. Glad you are enjoying the posts. :)

      Taking wing would be fun, but I think my mom would be way ahead of me in line; she was practically drooling as she watched the paragliders.

      Are you referring to Ferit's mom getting fresh with Ferit? :)

    2. Damn! Got my moms confused!

  2. I love the photos of you and your mom. It looks like you had such a wonderful visit together!

    1. Thanks for your note, Kelly. Yes, we had a wonderful visit. :)


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