Cards on the table: we cannot be doing with 'Turkish Nights.' Throughout the summer, hotels in Fethiye and all along the Aegean and Mediterranean coast of Turkey will have been holding their weekly Turkish Night, persuading their guests to come along and join the fun. Last summer, in the Fethiye area, some restaurants decided to join the trend so that almost any night of the week, you could attend a 'Turkish Night' if you so desired.
We love meze. We love barbecues. Both are pretty much the standard fayre at a Turkish Night. We enjoy watching the odd belly dance performance. So what's the problem? Well, for us, it should end right there. Appreciate the talent of the dancer, round of applause, we all go home. The problem is the dreaded audience participation where people are forced to wear ridiculous outfits whilst wiggling their backsides and whatever else, much to the amusement of the rest of the audience. Call us miserable, but...
Fethiye folk dance troupeHowever, this summer has seen a welcome new trend (for us) around many of the eateries and bars of Fethiye, Çalış, Hisarönü and Ölü Deniz. Cue the folk dancing youth of Fethiye who have made themselves very visible in the area by performing anywhere and everywhere on a nightly basis. It's difficult to miss them. We went to our friend's bar a few weeks back because we knew they were performing and we wanted a nosey. They're good.
The troupe have performed all over FethiyeIf you've seen the folk dance troupes performing around Fethiye, you might be thinking, 'But there's audience participation with this bunch, too.' With this particular troupe in the photo, there's a few minutes where an audience member lies on the floor with a chopping block on their tummy. The lead dancer then throws knives into it, from his mouth, blindfolded. Now, you wouldn't catch me taking part in that (out of pure fear!) and it's also possible to slip into the background as the dancers come round at the end to try to get you to do one dance.
By and large, if you're like us and aren't big fans of audience participation, but you happen to find yourself in a bar where these folk dancers unexpectedly appear, you don't need to neck your beer and make a sharp exit. Sit back, enjoy the folk dance performances - some of the dances tell a story - and just avert your eyes when you see the knives coming out; unless of course, you fancy lying on the floor while shiny blades hurtle towards your torso.