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January News

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Welcome to our first monthly Fethiye news update of 2023.

January is the month when, in the UK at least, people start to think about where to spend their well earned break (or breaks) throughout the year.

For many of you reading this article, we hope the Fethiye area – or the country at large – features somewhere in those plans.

In the UK, the first non-office day after the big post-Christmas holiday return to work is known as ‘Sunshine Saturday.’

This is the day when millions of Brits traditionally book summer holidays. That next big thing to look forward to after the return to the daily routine.

Obviously, the pandemic put a ginormous spanner in the works for the Sunshine Saturdays of 2021 and 2022. So there was big hope for 2023.

This year, Sunshine Saturday fell on January 7th and holidays galore were indeed booked.

Happily, Turkey is in the top 3 destinations where people have booked holidays, so far. No big surprise that Spain and Greece are also up there.

So if you are planning on a trip to this little neck of the woods in 2023, check out our list of the best things to do in Fethiye.

Fethiye Things to Do
Lots to do and see in the Fethiye area

Ölüdeniz is, of course, part of the wider Fethiye area, but if you’re staying in the resort, we also have a guide to Ölüdeniz for your perusal.

And, especially significant for 2023, make sure you make some time for the village of Kayaköy. The significance of which is mentioned in the bottom ‘Other News’ section of this article…

2023 – It’s All Happening

2023 is a huge year for the country because this year marks 100 years since the proclamation of the Turkish Republic.

Whilst there are always celebrations for Turkish national holidays, local municipalities around the country are gearing up for extra special celebrations.

Our local Fethiye council has already suggested they have big plans for events in the town.

90 Years Torchlit Procession
Republic Day torchlit procession in Fethiye

National Sovereignty & Children’s Day in April; Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth & Sport Day in May and Victory Day in August will all be extra special.

However, we’re guessing Republic Day in October will be the big one!

Restaurant & Hotel Renovations

We’ve noticed something this year. Maybe Fethiye is anticipating a good summer season because it seems lots of businesses are already looking towards the season.

Usually, this time of year is all a bit sleepy for those businesses that close during the winter months.

And then, in April, it’s like they suddenly wake up having slept through the alarm clock and start smashing bits of wall down, hastily trying to prep for the season that’s all but upon them.

Not this year. Not in 2023!

No sooner had the New Year celebrations ended than the work began for the season ahead.

Along Çalış Beach, the bar area at Mutlu Hotel has been demolished and a new one is being erected. Neighbouring Mia Casa Hotel is also getting a new outside area.

Further down the beach, Hotel Idee is having a complete facelift and is looking much smarter than it did, previously.

Along Fethiye harbour, Çarıklı Et Restaurant closed its doors for kitchen renovation right at the beginning of the month.

We’ve been saying for a while that we need to update our Çarıklı article. Well, we’re glad we were late getting round to it, otherwise we would have been updating it again in the next few weeks!

Çarıklı Et Restaurant Birthday
Çarıklı Et Restaurant does a mean steak and meze selection

The target for them was to be ready for reopening by the end of January. But as we always know with construction, these things rarely ever happen.

So they’re still ‘under construction’ and things look very busy whenever we walk past. And we just know it will look great when they do reopen.

Lovely aged-look brick paving has gone down around the outside bar area. And that outside bar has been rebuilt.

They do put the odd Instagram Story up to give some clues and it’s looking like they’re not too far behind schedule…

Out & About

After Christmas and New Year, January is pretty much about getting back into routine for us. So eating out has been a matter of grabbing a quick snack lunch rather than heading out for substantial restaurant meals.

We had friends over for New Year until January 7th so we shared a couple of pizzas with them at Calisto.

For seafood, a treat of scampi and chips at Lukka Bar & Restaurant was in order. And whilst we were in town last week, a balık ekmek (battered fish sandwich) at Mezgit Cafe filled more than a corner.

Nefis Pide Kordon Seating
Nefis Pide Kordon is our latest review on the blog

And our current favourite place in town to stop for a really nice pide is along the harbour; Nefis Pide Kordon.

That was one of the new articles we added to our list of places to eat and drink around Fethiye, in January.

In The Kitchen

In January, we indulged in lots of old favourites from our repertoire of Turkish recipes and there was also some experimenting, too.

We’re really in the midst of the winter seasonal produce on the local markets. now. The Sunday Çalış market has had some fabulously plump, locally-grown avocados for sale so Barry has been making guacamole.

Broccoli and cauliflower are also in abundance, so Turkish broccoli salad (brokoli salatası) and broccoli soup (brokoli çorbası) have been on the menu.

Turkish Cauliflower Stew Recipe
Our Turkish cauliflower stew – Karnabahar Yemeği

Karnabahar yemeği (Turkish cauliflower stew) and roasted cauliflower florets with yoghurt sauce have also gone down well! Roasted cauliflower is just the best!

On a particularly cold day, we made a good old winter dish, tavuklu nohut yemeği. This is the chicken version of our Turkish lamb and chickpea stew recipe.

Turkish Chicken And Chickpea Stew With Rice On The Side
We swapped the lamb for chicken breast to make tavuklu nohut yemeği

Rather than mashed potato (patates püresi), we went for Turkish rice. Bulgur pilaf is also a good accompaniment for this dish.

We also had a version of kısır (bulgur wheat salad) in the fridge for a couple of days as it served as an accompaniment to some chicken shish kebabs I made.

And for a winter sweet treat, we shared our recipe for many people’s favourite; sütlaç.

Colder temperatures have greeted us on February 1st as I type this article so kuru fasulye (white bean stew) is definitely going to be on the menu in the coming days!

And if you’re feeling the need for some comfort food by way of pastry and pies, we also shared our tepsi böreği recipe in January. A tray pie of filo pastry filled with minced beef and vegetables.

In January, we also added a brand new (and long overdue) recipe to the blog.

Homemade Lahmacun With Salad Topping
We made lahmacun and added the recipe to the blog

After a few experiments in the kitchen with different recipes for flatbread dough, we finally found what we were happy with. And that paved the way for our recipe for lahmacun.

So now, you can take your pick, depending on what mood you’re in. Will you make pide or lahmacun?

On The Blog

Updated Running Events

As well as the new articles mentioned above, we also kicked off the new year by updating our page of some of the running events taking place around the country throughout 2023.

A view from above of thousands of runners at the start line of the Runtalya event.
Runtalya is one of the biggest events on the calendar

Whether you’re a road runner or a trail runner, there’s something on there for you.

Dates are yet to be confirmed for some events. And brand new events sometimes crop up, too, so we’ll be updating the page intermittently as the year progresses.

A New List Of Turkish Festivals & Holidays

Along with that, we’ve also added a brand new page listing the top Turkish festivals that take place throughout the year.

Turkish Festivals And Events
Festivals in Turkey are plentiful

As well as the big famous festivals – some of which are recognised by UNESCO – we’ve also added some that are local to our neck of the woods around the Muğla region, just in case you want to attend any of them.

For smaller local events that will take place throughout the year, also keep an eye on our Fethiye events calendar.

A New Look For The Blog

And no big announcement this time but the hawk-eyed amongst you have probably noticed that the blog has a new look again.

Lots of practical reasons for this:

  • Most of you look at the blog from your mobile device, these days. This new set up allows you to do that more efficiently.
  • We’ve also shifted to a set up that keeps the blog working at higher speeds so you get to what you’re looking for, quickly.
  • Many years of blogging means lots of writing and lots of photos. That all adds up to lots of gigabytes. Free space was getting tight. We’ve now got lots of extra space for articles and photos. I love a photo-filled article, so this is my favourite bit!

I’ve taken the liberty of using the royal ‘We’ with regards the new look. Of course, Barry is the one who has sat up late at night wrestling with all of this.

But all done, bar a few tweaks here and there, and now we’re ready to rock n roll our way through the coming year!


Turkish football takes a little holiday over the new year period until the second half of the season begins.

We’re now three matches into the second half season. And let’s just say things are not going swimmingly…

It could be worse, we guess.

And we were speaking with a Turkish friend the other day. Eternal optimist that he is; some of the signings that have been made over the new period have been good choices, he says.

Of course we’re going to get into the playoffs, he says.

Of course we are… Have you seen how many points are needed for such a thing to be possible? Never say never.

In Other News

Centenary Of The Population Exchange Agreement

At the beginning of this article, we said you should make time to visit Kayaköy if you’re in the Fethiye area this summer.

January 30th was the 100th anniversary of the signing of the agreement that set in place the population exchange between Greece and Turkey.

The upheaval and devastation of this is still felt today in places like Kayaköy and other towns and villages around the country. Likewise in areas of Greece.

Kayaköy Upper Church
Make time for Kayaköy in 2023

Today, Greeks and Turks alike whose grandparents and great grandparents were forced to move to a new, unfamiliar country in 1923, trace their experiences.

In the centenary, the discussion for this current generation is more visible, online. Ancestors of those people, whether Greek or Turkish, sharing a common history.

A good article, here, by Kenan Cruz Çilli for Middle East Eye with the Aegean town of Ayvalık as the focus.

On Twitter, he dedicates the article to his grandfather and great grandparents who were forced to move.

Flowing Water

In the Burdur Province, not too far away from Fethiye, is the spectacular archaeological site of Sagalassos.

One of its crowning glories is the ancient fountain that has been restored to working order and has water flowing from it.

Antonine Fountain, Sagalassos
Flowing water at the Antonine Fountain, Sagalassos

Now, also in the Burdur Province, it has been announced that the fountain at the nearby Kibyra ruins will also be restored and have flowing water again.

This is due to happen in 2023 and we can’t wait to see it.


No, not a UFO but a stunning Lenticular cloud over the city of Bursa in January. The Guardian compared it to a UFO-shape.

Many others had alternative suggestions as to what it resembles. We’ll leave you to ponder that one in your own time…

It’s Winter

We’ve waited a long time, this season, for winter to arrive. In January, it started to make its presence felt.

On the yayla (highland) roads, the snow fell and the snow ploughs were hard at work clearing it to try and keep the roads open.

And poor old Marmaris got the brunt of storms that were recently forecast for the Muğla Province, which also includes us here in Fethiye and right across to Bodrum in the west.

Sunbathers On Marmaris Beach In Summer
Marmaris Beach in more familiar summer action

Whilst we got the wind and the rain, it was nothing compared to Marmaris.

The Bozburun Peninsula and neighbouring Datça also felt the force.

So, a big clean up operation for them following floods and damaged buildings.

And no doubt, by the time the summer season is upon us, it will be like nothing ever happened…

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derek agnew

Monday 27th of February 2023

just tried to donate to your appeal fund, but I do not have online banking. However I will donate via another charity org.

Turkey's For Life

Saturday 11th of March 2023

Hi Derek, thank you very much and no worries. If the money is going to help people, it all counts, whoever you donate to. :)

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