In the UK, today is August Bank Holiday Monday – except in Scotland, according to our calendar. Why is that then? Anyway, 30th August is also Zafer Bayramı in Turkey.
Zafer Bayramı is an important national day and you’d be hard pushed to travel anywhere in Turkey today and not notice the abundance of Turkish flags (many displaying an image of Atatürk) dangling from balconies and windows, fluttering from cars, draped over restaurant roofs…and even attached to the paragliders!
The belediye of each town or city also displays hundreds of Turkish flags, crisscrossing the main streets; public buildings will have huge flags covering a not insignificant portion of the frontage and statues of Atatürk are likely to have wreaths laid around the base.
Zafer Bayramı is Turkey’s Victory Day and commemorates the day the Turkish War of Independence ended with victory for the Turkish forces at the Battle of Dumlupınar in 1922. We’re not going to launch into a big history lecture here but, needless to say, this Bayram is dedicated to the Turkish armed forces. If you’re interested in more details of the battle, there’s loads of information on Google if you do a search. As usual, Wikipedia comes out top of the list but it’s actually quite a detailed passage.
We went to Hisarönü this morning to see our friends off who left this afternoon. Before we set off we realised it was a special day both in the UK (hey, it’s a day off work in the UK) and Turkey so we thought it only right we mark the occasion by heading down the hill to Ölüdeniz for a little unplanned day out. Events are going on there tonight to commemorate Zafer Bayram; alas, we are now back in Fethiye.
The sea along the Belecekiz Beach stretch is just fabulous now. It’s really cooling and I actually managed to get in! I usually paddle along the edge while Barry goes off swimming because I just find the waves too ferocious for my liking. Today though, as I headed towards the water, there was a calm spell so I took my chance and waded straight in. Get me. So, over the last few days I’ve visited the hamam for the first time ever and been in the sea at Belcekiz for the first time since I can’t remember. It’s all go here, let me tell you!
(We’ve been meaning to do the Hamam post for the last couple of days but in the excitement, I completely forgot about taking any photos of the hamam. Hopefully, I can get some tomorrow and do the post then...or the day after.)