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October News From Fethiye – Celebrate The Good Times

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Time for another roundup of our monthly news from Fethiye. The month of October.

And wow, what a month that was!

Didn’t we say in last month’s news that we were looking forward to slowing down and chilling after a crazy busy summer?

Didn’t we say we’d be enjoying a bit more indoor life by way of cooking in the kitchen and adding to our collection of Turkish recipes?

Well, clearly, October had other ideas in store for us!

It’s been another ram-jammed few weeks.

And, of course, all of that was rounded off by celebrating Republic Day – 100 years of the Turkish Republic!

100 Years Of The Turkish Republic

And that’s where we’re starting with this month’s news.

100 years of the Turkish Republic were celebrated in style around the country and Fethiye more than did its bit with those celebrations.

Couples waltzing in Fethiye town square in front of the statue of Atatürk.
Part of the celebrations – a bit of waltzing in the square

As it was a century that was being both celebrated and commemorated, events took place over a few days with various schools, societies and organisations, dance troops, sports clubs, paramotor teams – you get the picture – all taking part in demonstrations and displays.

On the day itself – 29th October – events took place in the Fethiyespor football stadium.

In Beşkaza Meydanı (the town square) throughout the afternoon, the paramotors twisted and turned over the bay and along Çalış Beach.

Meanwhile, led by the coast guard boat, an impressive flotilla of local boats and yachts sailed around the bay and Şövalye Island adorned with bigger Turkish flags than usual.

As the sun went down on the final day of the first century of the Republic, a huge flag waving, engine revving, horn beeping vehicle convoy set off around town.

The noise was something else!

Whether it was exaggerated or not, we don’t know. But some reports said the convoy was 10 kilometres long.

It certainly sounded like it was that long. Amazing!

Viewed from above, a procession of people carry a long Turkish flag along the seafront at night.
We watched the carrying of the Turkish flags from Cafe Park Teras

A bit later, the annual torch lit procession along the harbour took place.

We were going to take part in this as it was the 100th anniversary. But we’d heard there would be a 100 metre long Turkish flag being carried, too.

Decisions: Do we take part? Or do we witness from above?

We opted for the latter and headed to Cafe Park Teras to watch the procession – and the flag – from there.

And it was an amazing sight.

A red and gold firework lights up the night sky.
We were treated to a firework display before the concert

Afterwards, it was on to a packed Beşkaza Meydanı for the fireworks and a concert by one of the country’s top bands, Athena.

We love Athena.

Maybe we were just tired and a bit wiped out – we’d had a great few days – but we weren’t feeling it at the back of the crowd.

We could’ve pushed forward towards the front – we would have done in years gone by.

But it was just time for home.

We’ve been here for 20 years, now. A fifth of the life of the Turkish Republic.

We were so proud to be a part of all that’s taken place. And to take stock of all the changes, achievements, challenges throughout the young life of the Republic.

So much horror in the world at the moment. It just felt important to take that time out for a few days to both celebrate and commemorate.

Events Galore

As well as the Republic Day celebrations, we’ve also had a myriad of events that have taken place throughout the month.

Most of them sporty. But also a bit of food thrown in, too, for good measure.

The Fethiye events calendar has been crowded!

Presidential Tour of Turkey

On the 10th and 11th October, some of the best road cyclists in the world were in Fethiye as part of the Presidential Tour of Turkey.

The inaugural Fethiye to Babadağ leg on the 10th has gone on to make history as the steepest climb in road racing.

Road cyclists setting off on the Fethiye to Marmaris leg of the Tour of Turkey.
We lined the streets to cheer the cyclists along as they left Fethiye

The day after, as the riders left town for the following leg to Marmaris, it must’ve felt more like a shake out for them after the gruelling climb of the day before!

Koş, Koş, Koş! Run, Run, Run!

In theory, the weather in October is cooler. So the Turkish running events calendar goes into full swing!

Yaşam İçin Yarıs – Race For Life, Fethiye

Earlier in the month, we took part in the annual Yaşam İçin Yarış – Race For Life event that goes from the town square and along the harbour as far as Denizatı Restaurant and back.

This is always just a lovely post summer fun run / walk and it was lovely to see a good Turkish quota of participants, this year, too.

A group of people doing the warm up before Race For Life in Fethiye.
The warm up before Yaşam İçin Yarış – Race For Life

The morning kicked off with the Üzümlü Stompers line dancing troop. They completed their 5k worth of steps with a few dances to get us all in the mood.

Proceeds from the event go towards improving cancer care in the Fethiye area.

Kaş Yarımadaton

The following weekend, it was off to Kaş for us for the Kaş Yarımadaton event – a 6k, 12k and half marathon around the Kaş Peninsula.

I wasn’t running. But Barry did the 12k – great hill training!

Runners at the start line of Kaş Yarımadaton.
The 12k runners about to be set off by the local mayor

We stayed for three nights because we were using it as our chill weekend after the busy summer.

Guess we’re just not great a chilling.

Barry did the run. We did a hilly Lycian Way walk over towards Limanağzı.

And also took ourselves over to the Greek island of Meis (Kastellorizo) for the day – where we once more trundled up and down the steep hills around the coast.

Three trips to Kaş this year, in total.

We’ve got some updating to do on our guide to Kaş and we’ll also be updating our Meis guide, too.

Fethiye Ultra & Babadağ Ultra

Two ultra running events over the same weekend (Republic celebrations weekend) in the same town.

Hopefully, next year, they’ll be on different dates so that people don’t need to choose which to take part in.

Runners stand behind a starting tape waiting to set off in a race.
10k runners at the Fethiye Ultra start line

Anyway, as we’re road runners and the Fethiye Ultra has a 10k road run, Barry opted to do that, this year.

The route goes from Şehit Fethi Bey Parkı, up along the Karagözler and back again.

I’m just not match-fit at the moment – Yaşam İçin Yarıs was enough for me – so I’ve been a dutiful supporter and holder-of-bags rather than participant.

As for the Babadağ Ultra, it was the inaugural event. And that took place over the full weekend.

Judging by the photos and videos we’ve seen on Instagram, it looked to be a great success.

And therefore, hopefully, a potential regular on the calendar.

Foodie Treats

And October was also the month where we had a regional food festival held at the parking area at the back of Çalış Beach.

It wasn’t as big as the events we’ve had in previous years. But it’s always nice to see the queues at the Black Sea Trabzon cheese stall.

As for us, we visited the cooked food stand where foods from the east were for sale – cağ kebab, içli köfte and pepper bread amongst others.

A lovely takeaway of içli köfte and pepper bread kept us going at home for a few days!

‘Tis The Season

It’s so easy to eat seasonally in Fethiye. And autumn heralds the arrival of oodles of seasonal treats.

Saffron Milk Cap Season

In mid October, we got the first reports of saffron milk cap mushrooms (çintar) growing in the higher mountain areas.

A batch of Saffron Milkcap Pine Mushrooms.
How will you cook your Saffron Milk Cap (çıntar) mushrooms?

Now that November is upon us, we’ve seen some çintar for sale on the Tuesday market.

We’ll definitely be buying some from the Çalış Sunday market if we see any tomorrow.

We already have the sucuk in the fridge, ready to pair up with them for this çintar and sucuk recipe.

Pomegranate Season

Lovely, big juicy pomegranates are also adorning the stalls of the local markets.

Many villagers are busy making their nar ekşisi to last them throughout the year – and to sell.

A pile of pomegranates on a market stall.
We love pomegranate season

Fresh pomegranate juice is also on the menu. Sooo lovely mixed with fresh orange and carrot juice.

Washes your gözleme or tost at İksirci Tezcan down perfectly!

And Lots Of Other Seasonal Treats

This is also the time of the olive harvest.

We’ve had a hand at helping with this in the past in Yazıköy on the Datça Peninsula. No easy task!

We’ll be on the lookout for locally produced olive oil over the coming weeks.

Huge broccoli & cauliflower on stalls at the market.
Plump cauliflower and broccoli on Fethiye Tuesday market

Cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli are also looking amazing on the markets at the moment so we can’t wait to get stocked up and get cooking!

On The Blog

Between being out with friends, going away, taking part in running events and various other things, we’ve also managed to add some new articles to the blog.

A rooftop circular table shaded by a parasol, overlooking Fethiye bay.
The views from Casa Margot Hotel are fabulous

A visit to Casa Margot Hotel on Aşıklar Tepesi in town definitely merited its own article.

Still in the Fethiye area, we also completely rewrote our article about the Olive Garden, Kabak after we spent the afternoon there with friends in late September.

Olive Garden infinity pool looking out over the Mediterranean. A forest clad cliff face is to the left.
As are the views from the Olive Garden

And, away from Fethiye, we added to our slow travel collection of articles by telling you about our visit to the exceptionally pretty Aegean town of Alaçatı when we were staying in Çeşme.

Fethiyespor

All of a sudden, things are looking a tad more rosey than they were since our last news update.

Here are the current league standings and upcoming fixtures.

We’re coming to the time of year where the weather in Fethiye feels more autumnal. Temperatures are more comfortable. Afternoon matches will once more be on the agenda.

We shall mosey on along to the stadium when that happens and lend our support.

In Other News

We’re in Istanbul for this month’s news extra…

Hagia Sophia Entrance Fee

Across the Golden Horn in Sultanahmet, it’s been announced that tourists wanting to visit the Hagia Sophia will have to pay an entrance fee from 2024.

This is unusual for a mosque visit where donations are usually encouraged.

Muslims going there to pray will enter via a different door.

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul with fountains in the foreground. Blue skies in the background.
A fee rather than a donation

We haven’t been to Hagia Sophia since it once more became a mosque. But we have seen the mind-bogglingly lengthy queues for entrance.

Hopefully the fees will be used to repair damage that is happening to this precious building.

And Finally…

And finally, if you use Pinterest, we’ve been paying more attention to our Pinterest account of late and are pinning regularly.

Give us a follow over there if you don’t already – and if you already pin our photos directly from the blog, thanks a lot. Always appreciated!

Right, let’s crack on with the rest of November…

Maybe that chilling at home and cooking will happen…

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