The Fairytale Of Fethiye & James Bond

Long ago, in a faraway corner of Southwest Turkey, the residents of Fethiye were going about their daily business as usual, when, all of a sudden, from out of the blue, some startling news appeared before them….

Oh, how excited the Fethiye folks became when they heard that the new James Bond film Skyfall was going to be filmed in Turkey. But that wasn’t all. Not only was it going to be filmed in Turkey, but part of it was going to be filmed along Fethiye’s very own Çalış Beach.

Surf Cafe, Koca Calis, Fethiye

The beach scene is filmed along this stretch of the Çalış coastline

Mutterings started around Fethiye. Well, it’s not every day a Hollywood blockbuster is filmed in your local town and it’s not every day, James Bond star, Daniel Craig graces that very town with his presence. Where was he going to stay when he arrived to do the filming? Would the locals catch a glimpse of him? A unique buzz filled the atmosphere around the town and James Bond took over as the main topic of conversation.

Months passed and then one day, as if the announcement of filming wasn’t exciting enough, it was announced to the residents of this Mediterranean town that the film producers would be auditioning for extras for the Çalış Beach scene. Oh wow! Now was the chance to actually appear in a James Bond film, if the Fethiye folks so wished. Messages shot around the social networking sites between those who were eager to be involved. Auditions, rejections, acceptance, costume fittings. The winters are usually relatively quiet in Fethiye, and so, last winter was consumed with James Bond fever…

James Bond Film Set, Calis Beach, Fethiye

The film crew arrive in Çalış

By and by, spring came along…and with its arrival came the marquees, camper vans, walkie-talkies, film sets, film crew, security guards. Curious onlookers were given the classic, “There’s nothing to see here,” as they tried to peer through and catch a glimpse of something, anything, that might be to do with a James Bond film – and one of our locals, Güven’s Bar & Restaurant, proudly announced to all who were listening that people from the set had been to borrow some of their tables and chairs.

Yacht Classic Hotel, Fethiye

Yacht Classic – the chosen residence of James Bond

Right about this time, with their usual impeccably bad timing, Barry and Julia took themselves off to Italy for a few days and, as such, missed the arrival of the lovely James Bond star, Daniel Craig and his Bond Girl co-star, Berenice Marlohe. They were staying at one of Barry and Julia’s favourite haunts, the Yacht Classic Hotel. But this was the era of modern technology so they continued to follow events in Fethiye from their rural base in Italy.

When they arrived back to Fethiye ten days later, the marquees were gone, filming was complete and it was as if nothing had ever happened – bar the odd clue, that is. The residents of Fethiye settled back into the their daily routines, enjoyed the summer and waited for November for the film to come out…

Skyfall, Hayal Cinema, Fethiye

A cinematic view of Hayal Cinema and James Bond

November finally arrived and Fethiye’s local cinema, Hayal, proudly displayed the Skyfall banner. Once more, excitement filled the town and the residents filed in and out of the cinema in shifts to watch the film that showed Fethiye…and maybe someone they knew.

Barry and Julia chose an afternoon sitting. The lights went down in the salon and, once the piercingly loud adverts and film trailers had finished, the long-awaited Skyfall began. Scenes from Istanbul flashed before them in a whirlwind of the ridiculous far-fetched action that James Bond films do best. Then came the Çalış scene. “Oh look, there’s such and such, oh and such and such. Where? There, just to Bond’s left. Is that it? Is Turkey done now?”

Months of Fethiye excitement were over in a matter of minutes, but there was no damp squib because everyone then settled into enjoying one of the best James Bond films in a long time. And hopefully, in true fairytale fashion, everyone lived happily ever after…

The Fethiye & James Bond After-Story

  • Istanbul looked like the amazing overcrowded mass of historic and modern that it is – although Shanghai maybe steals the how-to-look-stylish-in-a-film award.
  • Fethiye residents got to see their Çalış Beach with Fethiye in the distance.
  • Fethiye residents got to see, if only for a split second, familiar faces – and they got to whisper excitedly about the fact in the cinema.
  • The people at Güven’s were very pleased to spot their borrowed chairs and tables in one of the scenes.
  • The people at Yacht Classic Hotel were very pleased James Bond stayed there because they can now boast a 007 suite – and no doubt guarantee themselves a good few bookings.
  • Film buffs might be interested in this bit of behind-the-scenes info about the deserted island in Skyfall.
  • Barry & Julia now want to watch the film again, minus their Turkey goggles, AND they might need to update their Fethiye Must Sees page – there’s a James Bond Çalış Beach scene to re-enact!

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  1. now i must see that film!

  2. I’ve been waiting to see how Turkey looks in the movie! They fooled around with the geography a bit I heard, using scenes from Adana as the “outskirts” of Istanbul 🙂 And I will keep my eyes peeled for Fethiye!

  3. @ Jaz: Yes you must. Fethiye is famous. 😉

  4. @ Moe: Istanbul looks great in the film but then it would struggle not to. Yes, lots of playing around with geography. Istanbul became Adana became Çalış. Don’t blink or you’ll miss Çalış / Fethiye’s moment of glory. 😉

  5. It’s definitely the best Bond film ever and the lovely Daniel is the best Bond ever. Fabulous!

  6. @ Jack Scott: Well we’re in agreement about the lovely Daniel. Loved Skyfall and definitely want to watch it again. Good James Bond fun. 🙂

  7. Some very cool scenes from Turkey in Skyfall. When I noticed it said Fethiye in the credits, I thought of you guys 🙂

  8. @ Sophie: Aww, thanks for thinking of us. 🙂 Fethiye will take a long tine to get over the James Bend excitement, and rightly so. 😉

  9. We loved it! However brief, it was great to see the Fethiye pier all lit up with lanterns, (We watched that being set up from our balcony) it was somewhat embellished in the film with extra back lighting in the film, but hey who cares! Loved seeing the islands in the Calis scene. Fab film worth waiting for – brilliant ending too. Shhh. .

  10. I haven’t still found a chance to watch the movie but I am sure it depicted Turkey far better than that incredibly ridiculous movie Taken 2.

  11. @ Connie: I know, we had to be so careful not to really talk about the film because we didn’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it. Think the main point of it was to set up future films – if you know what I mean. AND Fethiye got a look in, too. 😉

    @ Jedi Lost: Does that mean we don’t need to bother watching Jedi Lost, then? 🙂 Skyfall is worth watching with or without the Turkey scenes.

  12. Lovely timing on your part re missing all the action when the stars were in town. But what fun to go to the screening. I’ve heard good things about that James Bond movie.

  13. When I saw the “Skyfall” trailer, I was almost jumping in my chair seeing that there are some scenes shooted in Turkey 🙂 very exciting, though I haven’t had a chance to see the movie yet. But it’s an absolute plan for the next week!

    Oh, and when it comes to Daniel Craig, (now I will make a boast 🙂 ) he also starred in Defiance, and this one was filmed in Lithuania. So, when Craig was staying here for a while, one evening he came to the restaurant I was working at that time. It was just amazing! Just to see him sitting and eating from so close 😀 😀
    well, it’s funny… :)))

  14. @ Leigh: we do stuff like this all the time! but we weren’t about to miss out on our Italy trip just to try and catch a glimpse of a famous bod. 🙂

  15. @ Migle: Wow, can’t believe you saw Daniel Craig in the restaurant you were working in. I bet that made your evening’s work much more pleasant than usual! Oh, and the Bond film is really worth watching! 🙂

  16. I’m sure it is! That’s why I can’t wait! 🙂

    By the way, there is another one that was filmed in Istanbul. “Taken 2”, I guess. With Liam Neeson It’s also in theatres right now 😉

  17. @ Migle: Yes, we’ve heard about Taken 2. Want to watch it just to see Istanbul in a film but have heard mixed reports about the story. It’s not come to the Fethiye cinema – we’re only little. 🙂 – so we’ll have to get the DVD I think. 🙂

  18. Well, you can always skipe the story and simply admire the city captured in the movie 🙂 just like with many other Hollywood movies 😀

  19. @ Migle: That sounds like a good idea to me. 😉

  20. Mr G J Pearson says

    I still remember when the hotel yacht classic was named the hotel yacht plaza , very much a Turkish family run small hotel . The current owner Fezie- Cakmark – Bulvan was a waiter along with his delightful sister . How things have now moved on and this upmarket hotel caters for the rich wealthy Russians and Americans along with a lot of rich Europe most notably rich Germans who love the warm sunshine and drink the local beer .
    When i finally paid a visit in 2012 they still remembered my mother as a Mrs Pearson and made me most welcome , its a wonderful place to have a relaxing holiday and at the hotel reception you will note a picture of Daniel Craig who stayed there whilst filming Sky – Fall in Callis Beach . i highly recommend this hotel that backs onto a delightful marina with views of the bay of Fethye and the owner will arrange a local taxi from Dalaman Airport that will cost you in the region of £20 pounds .

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