Fethiye has become the second fatherland for the British People

17th, 2011
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Many British people came to Fethiye from their own countries and became the natives of Fethiye even though their nationality is different. Number of foreign nationals who have settled in this region has aready exceed 20 thousand. They learn Turkish, and love Atatürk, and make bargain, and wonder what ablution is.

While the number of the British living in the Subprovince of Fethiye is increasing day by day, the number of the families of the British nationality who preferred to settle here in Fethiye has already exceed 8 thousand.

The love of Turkey of the British people who lived and are living in Fethiye was brought to the agenda first when the imam and the pastor together attended the funeral prayer in line with the bequest of a British citizen who passed away in Ölüdeniz. This unusual event has been followed by the news of the British people preferring to put the motif of “Turkish Flag” onto the tombstones of their dead, and hanging the pictures of Atatürk, the Great Leader on their walls, and even making the Turkish folk dansing teams.

In the meantime, the love of Turkey of the British people who want to learn the Turkish language for knowing the Turkish culture, and understanding their Turkish neighbors in the best manner has been also drawing attention.

The British people learning the Turkish words and phrases such as “inşallah (insh’Allah)” (Allah willing, if Allah wishes), “maşallah (maash’Allah)” (please Allah, praise be, hullo, that’s the goods), Allah analı babalı büyütsün (Allah, may he/she have a long life with his/her parents), nasılsın? (how are you?), iyiyim, ya siz? (I’m fine, and you?), where are you from? (nerelisiniz?), geçmiş olsun (get well soon), Allah kabul etsin (may Allah accept), and so on who often hear everywhere throughout Turkey have been refreshing their memories by practising such words and phrases, which are  commonly used in the Turkish language, between each other when they find the time.

Mays Smith, who attended the language course organized by the Ölüdeniz Municipal  Art House, and has been living in Fethiye for one year, said in his speech in Turkish “I was a journalist in England. When I retired, I put down my roots here in Fethiye. I am presently working as a columnist in a local newspaper. I love Ölüdeniz and all the peoples living in this region, too much. I admire the Turkish cousine and the Turkish family life as well. Most of the British people living here in Fethiye heartily want to speak Turkish, and be buried here when they died.”

Tracy Wayte, pointing out the reason why she has attended the Turkish language course in order to know and understand her neighbors in the best manner, said “I came to Fethiye for my summer holiday for the first time four years ago.”, and continued “I have been living here in Fethiye for two years. I love to listen to Turkish songs. I have been highly effected with the family structure of the Turkish people. What we are much surprised of was the family values and friendship approaches of the Turkish society.”

And Yvowne Darwill, expressing that she has been much affected by the cultural values about which were told through the mock-ups in the Turkish Culture Museum  managed by the Ölüdeniz Municipal Art House, said that she was very happy because of the henna which was  applied to her hands in a henna night organized in Fethiye.


We have observed that Susan Lucas and Jill Patience, both of whom are the British Citizens, and went out for practising their Turkish language soon after when they gratduated from the Turkish langıage course, made a bargain with a gas (propane)-bottle delivery shopkeeper. These both British people first explained that the price of a gas bottle delivery to homes was very high, and then their following words were interestingly noted “This gas- bottle is expensive. Let’s make a bargain with you. If not, we can go to other shops.”

Şükran Güven, the shop owner, who proudly wrote up about their British customers, and told that the British citizens living in Fethiye have been attunated to this region in the shortest time, said “Some of the British guests took the receipt of the Noah’s Own Pudding, and learned how to cook it. They are getting on real well with the native people living in this region.”


David Groom, 59 years old and a specialist on the History of Religions, who has been living in Ölüdeniz for eight years and volunteerily acting as a pastor in the funeral cermonies of the British people who died here, told that he has been teaching history in England for 30 years, continued “The walls of my home are doolled up with the pictures of Atatürk.”

And he said “Atatürk is a  very respectable leader. I also knew Atatürk before I came to Turkey. Of course, nobody can deny that Atatürk made many contributions in to-day’s Turkey.

Groom, pointing out that the British people living in the town of Fethiye, especially in Ölüdeniz were being buried in some separate parts of the Muslim graveyard, said:

“The British people living in Fethiye consider that Turkey is their second fatherland. For this reason, they bequeath to be buried here in Fethiye. The British people seeing the motif of Turkish flag on the graves where the British people have been resting in peace bequeath each Brit to rest under the Turkish flag. The dead British people are happy because they are resting under the Turkish flag. Of course, all of them sincerely loved this country. Despite they are of the British nationality, for them, Turkey is a very important country, because they have new houses here in Turkey.”

Groom, explaining that the concept “tolerance” has come into their life, continued as  follows:

“We are praying me and the imam together in our funeral ceremonies being organized by us in Ölüdeniz. Many English people from the Great Britain always show their griefs for your losses, and share your feelings.

Thanks to the people living in Fethiye, we have achieved to eliminate the differences which we have encountered in our own country all the time. Can you imagine, the human beings having different ideas or thoughts, for instance, the followers of “different sport clubs” have been laying side by side in the graveyard in Ölüdeniz.

The most beautiful example for this is the graves of Ralph Molyneux, who was the one ofthe famous players of Everton Football Team, and Del, who was the votary of Spurs Tottenham. Their famlies jointly wanted the two graves to be side by side. Therefore, Turkey is a country for the both of them, where they will rest in peace forever. “


Coşkun Karabulut, the Director of Ölüdeniz Municipality Art House, explained that the Art House was put into service seven years ago, and told:

“Our main objective is to introduce the Turkish Culture and our religious beliefs to any foreign nationals in the Museum within the structure of the Art House.”

The British people visiting Turkey always wonder our culture and religious beliefs. For instance, they ask “what is an ablution and how it can be perfomed?”. They also want us to teach them what should be said to any just married couple, and those the very relatives of whom died. Frankly speaking, their aim is to develop the neighboring relations with the Turkish people, and join their daily life.”

Expresing that some British people have learned to count beats and perform ablution, Karabulut said “Some British people get married to Turkish men or women. And some of them covert into Islam.

The foreign nationalists are very respect to our religion. We have been attending the funeral ceremonies of the British citizens with the imam and the pastor; so we are ending a message of tolerance from Ölüdeniz to any places all over the world.”


Explaining that some 2500 British families bought villas and homes in Fethiye and began living here according to the 2011 year statistical figures, Keramettin Yılmaz, Mayor of Ölüdeniz said: 

“Some 8 thousand British families are living in the districts of Fethiye, Ölüdeniz, Göcek and Çiftlik, that means, some 20 thousand British people are living in the Subprovince of Fethiye.

Ölüdeniz is one of the most beautiful and natural places in our country, that represent Turkey worldwide in the best manner. The British citizens, who came to Ölüdeniz as tourists for the first time as from the year 1993, started to buy homes and live in Fethiye.

I cordially believe that the natural beauties of our region, as well as, of the  hospitality of the people of our  region are influential about why the British people prefer Ölüdeniz for the purpose of holiday and residence.

The first British family settled in this region in the year 1993. Then, many British people have started to come to the region for seventeen years. That means, there are many British people have been living in Ölüdeniz for seventeen years.

The British people already living in Ölüdeniz bequeath to be buried in the graveyard of Ovacık. Till now, we buried 16 persons of British nationality in this graveyard.

Splendid tolerence being experienced in such funeral ceremonies is worth seeing. In such ceremonies, an imam and a pastor have been praying together. ” Translated by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Turhan Kani Üçgün”

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