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Fethiye News May 2022 – A Month Of Festivals

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In the month where the inci kefal (pearl mullet) of Van Lake begin their difficult journey upstream to spawn, the summer season really begins in earnest here in Fethiye.

After the last couple of years, we’ve got to say, it’s great to see so many people around, enjoying their holidays (despite the awful struggles of getting through busy airports for those in the UK).

For us, personally, it’s been a really busy month, spending time with friends who have come over for their own holidays.

We’d almost forgotten what it feels like, dashing around, trying to fit in daily life with playing out with friends.

But that’s not a complaint. Tired as we may be, we count our blessings that we’re all able to be together again!

May News From Fethiye

So, without further ado, let’s get cracking with our monthly roundup of news from Fethiye.

Highland Retreat, Nif

In May, we spent a glorious two nights, getting away from it all at Highland Retreat in Nif.

It might only be a short drive away, just up the road to the higher pastures of the mountains, but it felt like a million miles away from town life in Fethiye.

Highland Retreat, Nif
Escape to Highland Retreat for peace and tranquility

While we were there, owners Nichola and Doğan were hoping one of their egg-laying hens would get broody and give them some cute little chicks to celebrate.

Well, since we left, one hen has obliged and is currently sitting on her eggs. We can’t wait for the photos and videos of those little yellow bundles of cuteness!

We wrote a full article about our stay at Highland Retreat.

Whether you’re here on holiday – or you live here and you fancy a real countryside break in the mountains – we can recommend this place.

Click the link for more details and info on how to book.

Events Galore

May has certainly been the month of festivals and celebrations.

Because we’ve been with friends, a lot of events have happened around us, really.

We fully intended to go to some of them. But before we knew it, we were in a completely different place doing completely different things!

That’s summer life in Fethiye.

  • Up in Üzümlü, we had the return of the Dastar & Mushroom Festival, which, these days, also celebrates the village’s dastar weaving. The famous morel mushrooms (kuzu göbeği) were selling for a whopping price per kilo! Wonder if anyone bought any?
  • Yörefest was a coming together of local dancers and artisans selling their crafts and foods at Beşkaza Meydanı between 11th and 12th May. As well as local honey, there was gözleme and çiğ köfte amongst other goodies. Local chefs also gave cooking demonstrations.
  • Turkish Cuisine Week (Türk Mutfağı Haftası). The first ever Turkish Cuisine Week was held internationally between 21st and 27th May. Here in Fethiye, the occasion was marked with a parade along the harbour and events on Beşkaza Meydanı with local folk dancers and cooking competitions.
  • Fethiye Culture Festival And the Fethiye Culture Festival has been a festival of free music events both in the square (Beşkaza Meydanı) and culture centre. Some events have taken place in Kayaköy, too. Orchestras, jazz musicians, DJs and a carnival parade through town. It’s all happened.
  • Çalış Spring Craft Fayre And the Çalış Spring Craft Fayre took place on May 29th. Rows of stalls along the promenade at Çalış Beach with local artisans showing off their talents. Food, bags, jewellery, crockery, ornaments and crafts were all on show.
Handmade Turkish carpets and kilims for sale at the Çalış Spring Fayre

The spring fayre was one event we did manage to attend. We felt for the stall holders – it was a hot day – but lots of people were there to browse. And, hopefully, buy.

I was on the hunt for a much needed new bag and am now the happy owner of a handmade one, bought from the craft fayre.

Hopefully, it will be hardwearing. But it’s also very pretty!

Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth & Sport Day

And if all that wasn’t enough, we had 19. Mayıs Atatürk’ü Anma Gençlik ve Spor Bayramı. This is the national holiday that is a Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth & Sport Day.

This year’s commemorations in Fethiye were perhaps the biggest we remember. Convoys, a parade along the harbour, sports displays (of course).

And then – huge for Fethiye – Turkish group, maNga , did a free live concert on the 18th. Of course, that, too, was in Beşkaza Meydanı.

We always said at the time Beşkaza Meydanı was being built, it was going to come in useful.

You can see just how useful with the size of the crowd that arrived to watch one of Turkey’s biggest rock bands!

2. Lig For Fethiyespor

After finishing second in 3. Lig at the end of the season, Fethiyespor headed for the playoffs.

Much excitement around town when the team reached the final, to be played in Ankara.

Coaches headed up there, Fethiyeli living elsewhere headed to Ankara. And supporters of other teams sided with Fethiyespor or their opposition, İçel İdmanyurdu Spor to make up the numbers in the ground.

Local Ankaragücü fans showed up to boost the Fethiyespor supporter numbers.

All the effort was worthwhile because, after a 0-0 finish after extra time, Fethiyespor then went on to win 5-4 in the penalty shootout.

The local council advertised the celebrations

An organised vehicle convoy through town, culminating in a concert and DJ set at Beşkaza Meydanı (of course), was held on May 30th.

Flag waving mopeds and motorbikes led the way. Cars, lorries and open top bus, followed – and the video I did is struggling to upload at the moment. Technology is a frustrating creature, sometimes!

So, TFF 2. Lig for us next season, then!

Once the groups are drawn and fixtures are out, we’ll be updating our Fethiyespor information and pages so you can keep up to date.

And if as many people make it to the stadium next season as have been at the celebrations, it’s going to be a big atmosphere.

New Wood Panels For Kuş Köprüsü

If you’re a regular visitor to Çalış, you’ll know Kuş Köprüsü (aka Utku Işık Yaya Köprüsü). This is the steep metal pedestrian bridge that goes over the canal.

The green metal is adorned with bird decorations, hence the nickname ‘kuş’ (bird).

Anyway, if you know this bridge, you’ll also know that the wooden slats we pedestrians walk on to cross to the other side had seen better days quite some time ago.

Çalış Canal Bridge
Brand new wood for Kuş Köprüsü

Well, two days ago, work began to replace the bridge surface. And this morning, council workers were hammering away, placing a brand new wooden surface over the bridge.

Out & About The Area

The month has flown by, really, and we’ve been to different bars and restaurants around Fethiye as well as some regulars.

Gustorante Cafe Bistro, Fethiye
We updated our Gustorante article

Gustorante always features just because we’re always in that area. That was an article on the blog that we need to update. And we’ve finally done that.

A new look for the place and a new menu. If you missed it, click on the link above to check out the updated article.

In The Kitchen

Our efforts in the kitchen have mainly been quick dishes this month, just because we’ve been coming and going so much. And eating out, too.

Our current obsession is with poached village eggs. And that means we’ve been able to indulge in one of Turkey’s most famous egg recipes; poached eggs on a bed of yoghurt; çılbır.

Turkish Poached Eggs Serving
Perfect poached eggs for your çılbır recipe

We’ve also made a few salad dishes and meze plates from our list of vegetarian and vegan recipes just for light bites.

Turkish broccoli salad has been on the menu, as has Antalya style piyaz. Nothing vegetarian about the grilled köfte we served with the piyaz.

We have a new recipe coming up soon, the ingredients for which are sitting in the fridge as I type.

Hopefully, the dish can be made tomorrow and we can get the recipe up on the blog. Another addition to our list of Turkish recipes.

Victory For Serkan Özdemir

And finally, we just want to say a big congratulations to local Enduro motorcyclist, Serkan Özdemir.

We actually know him more from the running track – he’s a man of many talents and also happens to be a decent runner, too. Of the ultra marathon description.

However, he is more well known for being a Dakar Rally rider, 7 times Turkey Enduro Champion and 3 times Transanatolia Cup Champion.

Congratulations are in order this time because he’s just been in Greece, taking part in the 7 day long Hellas Rally.

This is apparently one of the toughest races in Europe. And Turkey was represented by Fethiye’s Serkan Özdemir in the Adventure category.

7 days and 1,700km through the mountains later, he won the event!

Well done, him!

If you like Enduro and/or trail running, you can follow Serkan Özdemir on Instagram.

Into June

We’re busy with visiting friends until the second week of June. And then after that, it will be back to our own little explorations for a few weeks and a bit more sensible cooking.

In the meantime, we’ll still be sharing our online jigsaws and local weather forecasts.

And if you’re flying to Turkey soon, we really hope your journey is as smooth as can be and you get to enjoy your break!

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Friday 3rd of June 2022

Up in Üzümlü, we had the return of the Dastar & Mushroom Festival, which, these days, also celebrates the village’s dastar weaving. The famous morel mushrooms (kuzu göbeği) were selling for a whopping 300-500 TL per kilo! Wonder if anyone bought any? Are you talking fresh or dry? Thank you.

Turkey's For Life

Monday 13th of June 2022

Hi Oliver, thanks a lot for your comment. The morels are fresh and grow in this area at this time of year. :)


Thursday 2nd of June 2022

Great informative bulletin which I enjoyed reading. The mushroom festival looked fantastic and its,something we would like to visit. I never knew about the fish migration and that too must be something special to witness. Thanks again for such good articles and for the effort you put into this.

Turkey's For Life

Monday 13th of June 2022

Thanks a lot for your comment, Will. Glad you like the updates! :)

Erkin Baker

Thursday 2nd of June 2022

Enjoying and envious as I read your articles about Fethiye and the environs.

Mrs. Baker, near St. Louis, US

Turkey's For Life

Monday 13th of June 2022

Glad you enjoy the updates and hope you get to come to Turkey some day. :)

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