Hisarönü, a tourist resort in the mountains above Ölüdeniz, just outside Fethiye, had, during previous years, created a cheerful party atmosphere much favored by tourists and local businesses. Originally, the main purpose of the Festival was to reintroduce Turkish culture into an area that had become the reserve of package tourism; selling more ‘full English breakfasts’ and curries than börek. For those who like a good knees-up there was dance and modern music and for others a range of Türkü or traditional Turkish folk music.
In following years, Municipality of Ölüdeniz started to organize the festival calling it Ölüdeniz Culture and Art Festival. In the scope of this festival, Turkey’s several famous singers, humorists and poets met their fans for four days which was really a joy to see. Talks and shows, held mostly at Hisarönü Bazaar, attracted a great deal of attention from art lovers. Many tourists make a point of choosing this time to take their holidays. Ölüdeniz Mayor Keramettin Yılmaz detailed the advantages of the Carnival and Festival and pointed out they attracted attention to the resort from all over Turkey and beyond.
The festival is now being organized, once again, by a group of local businessman and bar owners, led by Günay Özütok, who have taken the collective name Hisarder, or Hisarönü Improvement Association, because dealing with economic problems was not easy for The Ölüdeniz Culture and Art Festival Committee. Hisarder has now assumed responsibility and combined the Festival together with the Carnival, cranking up the “Rio” effect with dancers and musicians, street theaters, Mr Hisarönü and Miss Hisarönü beauty contests, making sure there is something for everyone. It is certain that everyone in Hisarönü and Ölüdeniz have a ball during Carnival week, in a town where virtually every shop has a bar or club perched above it and alcohol flows freely in a party atmosphere, and the activities of Hisarönü Carnival will keep pleasing local and foreign holidaymakers as well as the local people in the region.