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April In Fethiye – Open & Closed

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No surprises there, then. Just a meagre roll of the eyes in what is yet another twist and turn in the Coronavirus History Of The World.

We’re referring to last month’s news where we told you about Fethiye restaurants reopening to sit-down diners.

We commemorated the event with a burger at Denizatı Restaurant (we’re adventurous like that!)

And here we are in this month’s roundup of news from life in Fethiye. As I type, we are on day 2 of a 17 day lockdown…

Ending Where We Started

It just felt right. We did the rounds of our favourite bars and restaurants and April continued in the same vein.

A stroll into town with the aim of catching up with Deep Blue friends and a lunch at Büyük Ev Pub & Kitchen, first.

Büyük Ev is a lively spot and the socially-distanced tables soon fill up, so we found ourselves sitting on the terrace area that lines the street. No worries.

Completely personal choice – and this can change at any time – but this is probably the best burger in Fethiye. But we were determined to order something different.

Büyük Ev Pub And Kitchen
A lunch at Büyük Ev

Chicken curry for Barry, Mexican chicken for me. The meals came with hot rolls and a dressed salad (not photographed).

Just a great place for a lunch in a bar with a student vibe.

But what about that end?

When the government announced that restaurants would once more close their doors and revert to delivery and takeaway (for those that offer the service), we and a couple of friends decided it would be fitting to spend that last Monday at Denizatı.

Denizatı Fethiye
Lunch at Denizatı before restaurants had to close again

On my part, I just had an urge for some fried calamari and some homemade potato wedges.

Meals are served with warm village bread and spiced garlic butter with olives so, for me, that all combined perfectly.

The Çalış Beach Project

It’s going to be interesting to see if Çalış Beach promenade will be completed once we re-emerge from lockdown.

End of lockdown and projected completion dates tally, so we shall see…

Calış Beach Project
Çalış Beach promenade paving in early April

At the beginning of April, we took ourselves off to Bahane – one of our regular watering holes and the area where lots of the promenade activity has been taking place.

It’s here where you can see why progress has been a tad on the slow side.

The finished product is going to look great but we’ve got various shapes and sizes of paving and we’ve got the ‘piano’ pattern running along the beach wall.

All of this needs to be set out in wooden frames, the concrete poured in and then the paving laid over it.

Fast forward a few weeks and this was the scene a couple of days ago. The top end of the beach was the first to be concreted.

That concrete then disappeared and now, thankfully, it’s reappearing again. We hope that means whatever the problem was is now sorted.

Çalış Promenade
Work has moved to the main entrance of the beach

With regards the complicated paving, some of that is making its way towards the beach entrance, as you can see.

There’s still a big gap midway along the beach, along the Calisto and Motif Restaurant stretch – and still lots to do – like those piano concrete shapes.

But, 17 days with no one around. Uninterrupted progress. A few more people on the job.

We really are curious to see what the promenade will look like…

The Little Things

So, daily life has plodded along.

We do our thing (well, we did until lockdown) of keeping fit outdoors – walking, running, fitness classes. And, of course, lots of time in the kitchen, too.

Not so much ‘the little things’ as being part of the slowed down lifestyle we’re currently living.

We took in the last of the mimosa blooms. So vibrant in their sunshine yellow as their branches are weighing down over the footpath that winds along the shoreline at Duck Island.

Fethiye Wisteria
Taking a moment to enjoy the wisteria

And – always good to have an excuse to stop and take a breather and appreciate your surroundings when out on a morning run – the sights of wisteria have brought bursts of joy along regular routes.

Kitchen Treats

When we’re talking about food, I often tell people we’re having leftovers for our meals that day.

That is true – but not strictly true in the sense that, whichever one of us is cooking, we usually make enough to eat for evening meal and then have for lunch the day after.

If it’s already cooked and it’s going to be eaten the day after either as it us or reheated, that could be described as leftovers.

But, is it leftovers if you make too much and you don’t cook part of it – you save it for the day after?

Street Food In The Home

Anyway, that’s what I did with homemade köfte a week or so ago.

Recent times have seen us develop a strong appreciation of the flavours of Jamie Oliver’s balsamic potatoes recipe.

We decided to pair them with köfte for dinner one night.

And, well, if you’ve got the meat and the ingredients and you’re going to the effort of making the meatballs, you might as well keep going til you’ve used all of the meat!

The result of that was 7 leftover meatballs.

No second best for those precious treats. Off to the shops for a fresh loaf, some fried onions, a bit of rocket and fresh mint, a generous drizzle of chilli sauce.

Köfte In Bread
The best – a köfte half bread with chilli sauce

Bringing street food into the home. Köfte arası ekmek. That was a satisfying lunch!

Al Fresco Brunching

And we know the weather’s changing when we can open the terrace up (we’re west-facing in a breezy area so these things take time) and feel the urge for a leisurely simit brunch.

Al Fresco Eating
Simit on the terrace

As you can see – a simit is not just a simit in our house. If that decision is made, it’s a leisurely affair with lots of added extras.

We’ve had two of these, now, which just shouts out to us that summer is around the corner.

We love this time of year! A little bit of hope for all things new and better to come.

The Heat Of Hummus

There’s a bit of a trend at the moment in some of the restaurants around Fethiye.

Whilst hummus has long been a regular feature of the meze fridge, some places are now offering hot hummus topped with either pastırma or sucuk.

We’ve become quite a fan of this over the last couple of years. Motif Restaurant serve up a hot hummus with pastırma whilst Çarıklı Et serve it with their homemade sucuk.

Hot Hummus Recipe
Our sizzling hummus with pastırma

As we can’t go to restaurants at the moment, we make our own at home.

This recent one, topped with hot entrecote pastırma and sizzling chilli oil was quickly mopped up with fresh chunks of Ramazan pidesi!

On The Blog

If our slower pace of life over the last 12 months has done one thing, it’s given us the opportunity to really sit down and give some articles on the blog the time they deserve.

We’ve still got a long way to go and these two articles have been a long time coming.

April was the month where Turkish pickles – turşu – took their rightful place as a standalone article on the blog.

How to make them, how to eat them, why you should eat them. It’s all there.

And April was also the month where we celebrated all things Turkish sucuk!

Sucuk Turkish Sausage
A feast of Turkish sucuk for sale at a local food festival

Seasonal Food Abundance

As the weather starts to warm up, springtime brings with it an abundance of seasonal fruits and vegetables.

April has been a month of broad beans. And, in the fruity department, the branches of trees are weighed down with loquats and mulberries.

We use loquats to make this fabulous yeni dünya kebabı and black mulberries (dut) are perfect for making refreshing, fruity, frozen yoghurt.

Mulberry Frozen Yoghurt
Our frozen yoghurt made with seasonal black mulberries

Local strawberries are also out at the moment and this strawberry tart, using local ingredients is a light treat.

Puff Pastry Strawberry Tart
Our puff pastry strawberry tart

No local markets allowed during the current lockdown which is a shame – they’re much missed by us – but we can still buy from elsewhere.

Sporty News

Guess what, Fethiyespor’s last match of the regular season was today.

And the boys enjoyed a massive 6-2 win at home against Atlas Maden Çengelköyspor! It seems like this season has gone on forever.

For now, though, the matches continue as the team have finished in the playoffs. Click here to see the league standings.

So, if we’re allowed to go to matches next season, let’s hope we’re watching them in 2. Lig rather than the current 3. Lig they’re playing in.

Earlier in the month we had the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey.

One of the legs is the Fethiye to Marmaris leg so a smattering of people stood by the roadside to cheer the cyclists on as they left town.

And in wrestling news, earlier this month was the Wrestling European Championships in Poland.

Gold medal in the 57 kg category was won by Fethiye’s very own Süleyman Atlı.

The event was also an Olympic qualifier so Turkey will be represented by Süleyman Atlı in this category.

Ending On A Happy Note

And, just to end on a feel-good happy note. Earlier in April, it was, of course, Easter.

The Guardian posted a great article about paskalya cöreği (Easter buns) and how, in one patisserie, they unite different communities in Istanbul. You can read the article here.

We really hope, at the end of May, we’re telling you about the end of lockdown, the reopening of restaurants and markets. And maybe even a few travel plans!

Let’s see…

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Sunday 2nd of May 2021

I visit Fethiye every year at least 2 or three times and I would like to say I love what you do it really lifts my spirit and makes my tummy exciting for my next visit...keep up the good work thankyou once again

Turkey's For Life

Tuesday 4th of May 2021

Hi Rebecca, thanks a lot for the lovely comment - it makes writing the blog worthwhile! :) Really glad you like it and hope you get to come back to Fethiye soon! :)

Dennis McGrath

Saturday 1st of May 2021

Good evening from beautifully sunny but very cold Scotland, hope you are all safe and well. I've been following Fethiyespor's progress this season, is that the season over finishing 3rd or is there a play-off procedure for promotion? Look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks Dennis

Turkey's For Life

Tuesday 4th of May 2021

Hi Dennis, thanks for the comment. Yes, Fethiyespor are in the play offs so fingers crossed for them. :)

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