…and you end up searching PEACE
So the week has been hectic and I was supposed to have been completing year sevens outstanding curriculum work… Erm, some things just never go to plan, do they?
For example, Monday came around and I should have been working hard on Africa, but instead, I had to go windsurfing….
30th May 2016
At last the day had came, and it was now time for my windsurfing exam at Koko Calis. So, at 7 o’clock I jumped out of bed and at 9 o’clock, we left the boat and mum and I cycled along the promenade, and along to the surf school. With a few minutes to spare we arrived at the The Calis surf school, and I quickly got dressed into my shorts and bouyuncy aid to go out windsurfing. For 45 minutes , my instructor and myself sailed along the turquoise sea, catching the slightest breezes, until he went back onto the beach and left me on my own out in the middle of bay. Whilst out there I practiced gibing, and tacking, whilst mum sat on a sun bed drinking Turkish tea.
It was a usual day in Turkey, the sun was out ,the weather was hot and the water was like a bath! Eventually, I came back into the shore where, after a drink, and accepting my qualifying certificate as a windsurfer, the basic licence, which enables me to hire a board anywhere in the world we set of on our bicycles again, back down the promenade and back to the boat. By the time mum had stopped in various street markets on the way back, there wasn’t much time left for anything, but I got stuck into Africa which, honestly seemed to “Never End” !
Soon, we decided that it was time for a wander, mum was on a bikini hunt. Shopped out and bikini laden we stopped for a rest, we went to an old favourite haunt of ours called the Duck Pond by the Kilimanjaro shop in the Grand Bazaar. It became apparent that the people at the next table were English and we fell into conversation with them.
Their names were Penny and Patrick, and it was alarming to me because they were both teachers!!!!! What made it worse was that one of them was even “something big” in Offstead!!!!! Visions of being bundled back on a plane to England to partake of triple maths, double French, quadruple English and infinite science, daily, ran through my head, but I must have made all the correct agreeing noises, ( as did Mum and Geoff, clearly ) because we arranged that the next day they would have cocktails on the boat with us and then find somewhere to go to have dinner.
31st May 2016
Early in the morning, I sprang out of bed and immediately got to work on Africa. In it, we were learning about Eitrea, Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti which all connect to be called “The Horn Of Africa”. For hours on end, I sat at the table studying this subject until, at last, Geography was complete. All that is left now are History, Science, Ict and….err….Maths!
As usual the sun was out, but a sharp wind Onto shore caused the sea to become quite choppy and books and pencils were rolling around the school desk! We were going to lunch with a friend of ours later that day, one of our friends, called Duran had taken us last year to a secluded and amazing restaurant over the hill and into the Taurus mountains. We had promised him lunch there again and were tripping back out of FETHIYE on the high road to ” Restaurant Bey Effato” nestled in between a valley in the “Ghost town”. (more on this later in the blog) Here the food is amazing and the views of the ghost town are stunning and there are ducks, chickens,and ducklings that are wanting to be fed bread and green grass and gardens and flowers.
After a gorgeous meal, and feeding the animals, we said our goodbyes to the owners and headed back to Fethiye were we invited Duran for a drink onboard. Soon, we were festooned with people and suddenly, we had ourselves a party boat. (again) Usef,and his friend Melek ( meaning Angel ) joined Duran and ourselves, there was a shout and happily it transpired that Hulya, ( mums dear friend ) ( who had just arrived back from Istanbul) and Hussain were at their catamaran and soon came to say their ” hellos” and all joined the party. I don’t know what Penny and Patrick must have thought when they found our boat, covered in people and languages!!!
I think they enjoyed themselves though. One by one our other guests left and we made our way with Penny and Patrick to dinner, at the chosen restaurant, a short walk ( or in Patrick’s cask stagger after not following Usefs ” raki drinking instructions ” correctly!!!) from the marina. Dinner was lovely and we will see them again!
1st June 2016
What was supposed to be a heavy duty working week was now turning into an exercise in social meetings! Today, we had planned to go and see our Russian friends called Jenia and Sveta, who had a berth in our previous marina in Marmaris, called Nestel Marina. We had to visit them today as they are due to sail to Greece, we had no other chance of seeing them!
We planned to leave Fethiye at 9 o’clock, and return in the afternoon ,so at half past 10 we left! The road to MARMARIS was, in 2012 the worst road I had ever been on, but now, it was super, but still the drive was long. We had thought the drive was only 1 hour, but I turned out to be 3….yes, 3! And since we had planned to have lunch with Jenia, Sveta and another friend called Murat , Geoff drove extra quick!
At 12 o’clock, We had reached Marmaris and, after a big welcome drink, ( chai and Khava!!) we walked into MARMARIS and went for lunch at a restaurant called Bonos meeting MURAT on the way! The dogs turned heads, but so did my loud singing with Jeania too!
Jeania and SVETA let us know that Ismail ( another old friend in MARMARIS ) was making us an authentic village meal and had proposed for us to have dinner with him that night. We couldn’t refuse! We changed our plans and booked a hotel to stay in that night, not far from the Marina.
After lunch, mum, Geoff and I all walked into what seemed to be Kayakoy 2. Our previous home was as dead as night, not a tourist in sight. Even the Grand Bazaar was empty!
This was not like how it had been in previous years. Already by this time of year, the streets would be bustling with tourists, tradesmen and locals! As we walked through the town, I thought back on how this once kind, exuberant place, was the making of my young life’s memory’s…
That night, we went out to the middle of what seemed to be nowhere, a village in farmland, surrounded by mountains, not far from Cleopatras Island. Ismail hosted a party full of Russian traditions, and lots of vodka, lots of languages and lots of toasts…. before coming back to the apartment in Marmaris.
“this social scene is really becoming rather hectic you know!!”
2nd June 2016
From head to toe the mosquitos had got me, it was as if I had just come out of a thorn bush! Red lumps covered me on every part of my body, and I couldn’t stop myself from scratching! Mum still won though with seventeen bites to my rather meagre six! Today, we were planning on heading back home and to continue school, but before we left we had chai with Jenia and Sveta. The previous night was noisy, loud, and contained lots of shouting, but it also had lots of alcohol. the ladies stayed refined with champagne, but the boys ( excluding Geoff who was driving and stuck to water all night!) did lots of Cossack style toasting and this morning ” big j ” had a headache!!!
we had to go and say ” hi ” to two more of our friends who had just arrived from England at their boat in MARMARIS too, TC and TREVOR, and after a quick catch up with them At 12 o’clock, we left MARMARIS and got back to FETHIYE in the late afternoon, enough time for us all to sit in the sun!
3rd June 2016
“Scratch that” mum said this morning, and she was right, since we are in turkey, the land of much history, why should I be learning about the Black Death and the princes in the tower. I know it’s important but studying the history relative to where I am is far more interesting. There are some fascinating stories here, this area is steeped in wonderous tales of history and valour. She decided instead that I should research and study the famous ghost town of Kayakoy! ( I mentioned earlier that I would fill you in with the details…) For 4hours, I sat and planned, and wrote, and edited a large and detailed information essay on the ghost town….,
Here it is!
The Ghost Village Of Kayakoy.
In the region of Lycia in the South Western part of Turkey, an ancient ” ghost village ” lies in a valley surrounded by the Taurus mountains and between the bustling resorts of Fethiye and Oludeniz. With some 3000 buildings, it has been deserted since 1923 and is now in ruins. It’s name is Kayakoy.
In the year 1900, the population of this once thriving town was a meagre 2,000 people. The town was split between 2 main groups of inhabitants; The Turkish Muslims and The Greek Christians, they lived side by side very happily, each helping their neighbour when required. The Turkish name for the village was Kayakoy while The Greeks called it Levissi.
After the First World War and the demise of The Ottoman Empire Turkey was stripped of all its European territories, so began the decline of Kayakoy. The Greeks were no longer wanted in Turkey and the Turkish people in Greece were to be expelled back to Anatolia. This meant that Greek people residing and farming and growing their families in the town of Kayakoy had to drastically change their whole lives.
When the Treaty of Severes was created in 1920 not only did it lose Turkey its European countries, it gave Armenia independence and allowed Kurdestan to have autonomous rule. Perhaps because of Turkeys size and strength, though, ( unlike other countries ) Turkey was allowed to re-negotiate terms and in 1923, some three years after the treaty was signed British, French, Italians and Turkish Government and Nationals met again this time in Laussane, to discuss what had happened Severes. The outcome was that Turkey duly recognised the loss of the Arab states Syria and Iran. The plans for the independent state of Armenia were abandoned as were plans for Kurdestan. In short, the government achieved what the National Party had dreamed!
The Turkish / Greek war had not been a pleasant one and Greeks, who were once neighbours to Turkish families in Kayakoy were treated as an enemy. Savage exchanges had occurred over some years, families made to leave town only with whatever they could manage to carry and lots of the able bodied male Greeks made to work in labour camps for the duration of the war in squalid conditions, so, When the Turkish/ Greek exchange took place in 1922 Kayakoy was already virtually empty.
A few female residents remained and were given short notice to get out of the villag and the country!
All the Greeks leaving South West Turkey had to get to Izmir ( known then as Smyrna ) Here they would be able to board ships to help them complete their journey which would get them over to the nearest Greek Islands. Izmir was one of the wealthiest Ottoman cities, strategically placed in the North Agean and loaded full of booty from the Turkish claim to land and properties once belonging to their neighbours, now enemies, the Greeks! Izmir had become a storage place for all manner of wealth and ammunition that the Turkish soldiers had collected during the warfare and Undisputedly, this town and gathered wealth was theirs.
While the Greek refugees waited for the ships, Attaturk ordered the Turkish army to approach the City. This approach was made tentatively. Reports from the fire marshalls in the city at the time confirmed that, as the majority of the cities fire fighters had been Greek men, ( and these were now enemies and had been sacked (!)) the fire brigade was stretched to the max. Reports of fires ” breaking out” all over the city as many as five times a day, as opposed to the usual once every few weeks, the risk of serious blazes which could not be controlled by the man force were high. This risk made the soldiers advance hesitant and measured. The boats coming to port for the Greek refugees were also concerned, their advance to collect the Greeks stopped and the rescue boats anchored 700 meters off shore……….
Arguments and violence broke out between the Turkish soldiers, Armenian refugees and Greek refugees, the situation was frustrated and volatileEven though Turkish soldiers had by this time been deployed to work with the chief Fire Marshall, the level of incendiary devices being found in abandoned warehouses and even places where the refugees were seeking shelter were too high for the soldiers and fire department to contend with. A battle raged first in Izmir.
As the wind blew sharply from the east, ( the likes of which was not usually seen at this time of year ) a fire started and the quayside became festooned with refugees making a desperate plea for their lives. The ships which had not come in to dock were the refugees sanctuary and many Greeks jumped from the quayside in an attempted to swim to their safety. The ships still did not come closer and it was two days before the British began sending in rescue ships to aid the problem. The city burned for four days. In history this catastrophe was recorded as The Great Fire Of Izmir.
We drove back out to the village this afternoon and finally climbed to the top of the hill where one of the old churches still stands. It seems funny to go there knowing the story and the history behind the desolate place, it’s a sad area and walking between the ruined houses it seems difficult to believe that such happiness ever existed here.
There has been a lot to catch up with in this blog this week… It feels like I’ve been typing and writing and editing all day! I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I’m going horse riding! You remember I told you that mum had located stables here, well on the way back from Marmaris we found them, the place is idylic the horses are gorgeous. Tomorrow I’m going riding with Usef ( another Usef, he owns the ranch ) and I can’t wait……With all the people we have seen ( and met, and partied with! ) this week, I’m a bit ” socialed out” I’m off to my cabin!