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April 2009




A little more about Turkey








Fethiye, the town were the marina is located, was originally named Megri. The name was changed to honor a famous Turkish aviator, Fethi Bey, a Captain in the Turkish Air Force who in 1914 attempted to fly non stop from Istanbul to Alexandria, Egypt.  The aircraft was lost somewhere near Damascus. Fethiye is not only a beautiful seaside resort but has historic significance that can be seen by the Roman amphitheater, the Lician tombs, the Roman fortifications and the ancient roads that travel through the area. These are not grandiose tourists attractions but they are within a short walking distance of the marina. A small museum in town has been closed for the nine months we have been here but the courtyard has a nice display of well worn stone carvings from the Lician, Roman and Hellenistic period. Another nearby attraction is a deserted Greek village, Kaya Koyu (also known as "ghost town"), abandoned when the Greeks and the Turks exchanged citizens in the mid 1920s. About 1.3 million Greeks found their way back to Greece as Ataturk formed a new nation out of the remains of the Ottoman Empire. The village is now a UNESCO world heritage sites and tourist wander the grounds during the summer months.






Located five miles south of Fethiye is the tourists village of Ovacik. The town is several thousand feet above sea level and consist of hotels, restaurants, gift shops, real estate offices, tour operators, barber shops and tattoo pallors.  The higher elevations provides some relief from the mid-summer heat at the shore and is half way to Oludeniz, the most recognizable beach in the area. Aerial photographs of this spit of sand and pebbles adorn millions of postcards and it is here that you can find para gliding rides, a very popular attraction. 


There are some 20,000 Brits living along the Mediterranean shoreline of Turkey and about 2,000 to 4,000 in Fethiye depending on the time of year.  This creates a market for European (?) housing and bi-lingual services for legal assistance, real estate, home repair, repatriation of remains, language instruction and medical assistance aimed at ex-pats.  Rene went to the local hospital to have a wellness check-up and there was a whole section dedicated to foreign guests.  The hospital assigns an interpreter to expedite you through each station and at a very reasonable price you receive a very thorough check up and consultation. 



During the winter it is cold and rainy and most hotels and restaurants are closed but come summer the shore walk is full and everything is crowded.  Even with a worldwide recession locals believe there will be no slowdown to the double digit growth rate Turkey tourism has experienced in the last ten years. The rational is that Turkey is close to Western Europe and affordable so that the tourists will still come. We will see.


When we arrived in Turkey the exchange rate was 1.16 YTL to the USD and today it is 1.62 YTL.  This 40% increase in the value of our dollars which has changed our opinion about the cost of living in Turkey. 


While in Fethiye we have made local friends and acquaintances. Our next door neighbor in the marina invited us to his house to meet his family.  Mehmet Yilmaz, president of the local Rotary Club, has limited English skills but likes to practice his English and for the most part we understand each other.  In the picture you will see Mehmet and his family the night they had dinner aboard Shiraz. The two daughters speak English beautifully and their Mom teaches German at the local high school.






And of course we cannot say enough about the hospitality of our friends from My Chance.  Kian and Alim have been most gracious with their time and attention.  We have been guest at their house on many occasions, have been included in family and neighborhood outings and even spent the night at their house.  They are frequently stopping by Shiraz to see if they can help with anything and it is embarrassing when you ask where you can buy something and the next day they show up with the item and will not take any payment.  As we prepare to leave Turkey, it is these good friends we will always remember.  My Chance, until Trinidad, Allahaismarladik.



To view our Flickr set of photos of Fethiye just click on the "smiley face".   





If you're headed our way: 


  • ECE Marina is not the place for cruisers to winter, our opinion.  Although everything is new and well maintained the focus is on charter fleets and mega yachts.  There is hardly anyone here during the winter and very few live aboards. 


To view more pictures of Fethiye please click on the slide show below.  Also, you can go to Photo Gallery and click on the camera to go to Flickr to see all of our pictures of Fethiye and the surrounding area.




Sunset reflecting on the incoming clouds



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