It’s June 2011 and the events are continuing to come thick and fast to Fethiye. In April, Fethiye was one of the finishing points in the Presidential Tour of Turkey cycle race. In May, author of Birds Without Wings, Louis de Bernieres dropped by to give a few talks, the Acroludeniz World Paragliding Championships took place in Ölüdeniz and let’s not forget that the mighty Dolapdere Big Gang closed the 2011 Çalış Carnival.
Today is the start of the Turkey leg of the 2011 World Enduro Championships and the site for this is just a few kilometres up the road in Esenköy. Strange how you’re never particularly interested in something until it’s right on your doorstep. All of a sudden, we’re into noisy, muddy motocross bikes. Unfortunately, we can’t make it to the track today but we did manage to go to the site of the Fethiye Tuesday market yesterday.
We’d seen posters dotted around Fethiye, advertising the Enduro Championships and a bike display on the site of the Tuesday market so we thought we’d have a walk up to see what it was all about. I was expecting to see a few motocross bikes parked up, engines revving, that type of thing.
But when we got there, it turned out that we were being treated to a display by Uçan Türk (The Flying Turk). Judging by the fuss going on around him, we can only assume he’s pretty famous in Turkey in Enduro / motocross circles and this is probably why…
Amidst the ‘ooohs’ and the ‘aaahs’ and the clapping, we couldn’t help but start wondering how on earth you decide you fancy having a go at flinging yourself and your heavy motorbike from a tiny ramp and then throwing a few shapes in the air before landing perfectly on the ramp opposite. Where do you practise and how many bones do you break in the quest for the most impressive jumps? And why do you want to do it in the first place?
Some people are just like that aren’t they? Uçan Türk is certainly one of those people. Then there are people like us who would much rather just stand and watch and admire. I mean, why would you want to do this…
The last place you would have caught us yesterday was standing on top of the ramp while Uçan Türk came hurtling towards us with his feet in the air! All part of the show, it made for a good spectacle and I guess the guy with the camera got some fantastic action shots. I’ll just have to be content with my distance shots because that’s as close as I was getting.