READERS ASK AUNT JULIA
a regular advice column, hosted by our resident agony aunt, Julia..
Aunt Julia 20. June
Dear Aunt Julia,
They paved Paradise and put up a Parking Lot – are they all crazy here in Fethiye? What do people want in the heat of summer? Nice shady places with lots of trees and green – cool and easy on the eyes I would have thought. What do we get? A huge open space paved with shiny marble and maybe a few potted plants and fountains that probably will soon stop working. And why? What for? Military parades? School children’s marches? I would have thought the desire for parade grounds went out of fashion with the Napoleons, Stalins and Hitlers. Or are we planning for a Turkish Spring? I would hope not. And why are we always starting building work in the middle of the tourist season? Is it a secret dislike for all them foreigners coming to our town? make them suffer?
But maybe I am missing the point and “it will all be very beautiful”.
I can only imagine that it all has to do with the desire to grow into a city. Fethiye’s population exploded from 20,000 in 1990 to 80,000 today. The overall picture of the town doesn’t look exactly like neat city planning; it rather mushroomed all over the place. So I think the fathers of the city must have looked for a center, a heart for that conglomerate and found that a scruffy green area wasn’t it, it needed something rather more grand. I’m curious what will be at the center of the place, certainly not another Ataturk, you could hardly beat the already existing Ataturk on Horse one.
Personally I might be tempted to unpack my rollerblades, foolishly acquired a few years back and never used, and break my ankles on that new shiny surface.
We have an apartment in Ovacik and like to escape the tourist razzmatazz to beautiful rural Kaya in our holidays. But it seems that the Minister of Tourism decided that Kaya is now ready to be fully exploited for mass tourism and to firmly put it on the map it needed wider roads. That’s what they are doing now, tourist season or no tourist season, and the big busses have to negotiate their way around the breakers and diggers to finally clog up the narrow road in Kaya. What’s gonna happen when this wide road finally arrives in Kaya is anybody’s guess. We could either wreck a few dozen of old houses and continue it through the village, we could smash a new wide road through the middle of the valley and forever destroy the peaceful Kaya valley or we could just stop it there, sorry mate, you’ll have to slow down now.
Has anybody any idea, what the final plan for Kaya is?
All we had for the last 20 years are wild rumours and I think we will learn what the “plan” was when it happens, after all this is Turkey. What Kaya would need urgently in my opinion is certainly not a wider access road but a big public parking place, preferably somewhere at the entrance to the village, so that visitors could stroll through the village in peace and the guests in the restaurants could enjoy their meals without eating dust and inhaling diesel fumes. It is sad that whilst Kaya made a name in soft tourism, alternative tourism or however you want to call it, the mass tourism is encroaching and destroying the very things that make Kaya interesting to nature lovers, walkers and people who like to holiday in a peaceful place. Maybe somebody could enlighten the Minister of tourism so that his orders could better fit the place.
Dear Julia Teyze,
I am ashamed to walk on the Kordon in Fethiye. I am 17 years old and I see so many half naked men and woman. I don’t want to look but when I see I feel ashamed. I am Muslim and it is not right for me to see. It is my town but I can not go places like that any more.
It is not you who should be ashamed but the people who are not aware that they offend others by their behavior. Tourists should not walk through towns and villages in their beach wear, they should not go shopping just in swim suits outside the beach areas and resorts and they should be polite enough to dress when they enter a restaurant. Not everyone likes seeing exposed fat when eating. I wish restaurant and hotel owners would tell their guests that – in a very polite way of course – and I bet that 95% of the people would comply, embarrassed that they hadn’t thought of it themselves.