Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Kayaköy is a deserted village in south west Turkey. Terry's niece, Alison Brown joined us for this leg of the trip. She worked for the US embassy in Turkey, and this village was on her bucket list of places she wanted to see. In ancient times it was the city of Lycia, Later, Anatolian Greeks lived here until approximately 1922. The ghost town, now preserved as a museum village, consists of hundreds of rundown but still mostly standing Greek-style houses and churches which cover a small mountainside and serve as a stopping place for tourists.
At the end of the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922) Greek inhabitants, mostly elderly women and children, were forced to leave through a march of fifteen days. During that death march, the roads were strewn with bodies of dead children and the elderly who succumbed to hunger and fatigue. The exiles of the next year were no less harsh. In September 1922, the few remaining Greeks abandoned their homes and embarked on ships to Greece. Many of the abandoned buildings were damaged in the 1957 Fethiye earthquake.
Many of the exposed interior walls Still have warn coats of paint that serves as a reminder that this village was occupied not long ago. I imagined residents going about their lives in the narrow Stone alley ways. As Terry and Allison hiked ahead, I stopped to sketch on a bluff overlooking the ruins. I thought that this was a view that a painter like Cezanne would have appreciated. In September of 2014, the Turkish government announced plans to develop the village. It plans to offer a 49-year lease that will "partially open 's the archaeological site to construction" and anticipated "construction of a hotel, as well as tourist facilities that will encompass one-third of the village.