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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fresh pomegranate juice is also on the menu. Sooo lovely mixed with fresh orange and carrot juice.
And Lots Of Other Seasonal Treats
This is also the time of the olive harvest.
We’ll be on the lookout for locally produced olive oil over the coming weeks.
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 three new articles to the blog.
We can’t wait to go there again for a leisurely meal.
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.
All of a sudden, things are looking a tad more rosey than they were since our last news update.
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 couple of news extras…
Acts Of Kindness
First up, a lovely story about a church in the Galata area of Istanbul that we didn’t even know existed. We’ll definitely be looking it up next time we’re in the city!
Christ Church was built as a memorial to the Crimean War.
The church has been restored. But the 112 year old organ, built in the UK’s Lincolnshire by William Hill & Son (who also built the organ in King’s College Chapel in Cambridge) still lay in pieces.
Nobody knew how to rebuild it until…read here.
A heartwarming story of acts of kindness being repaid!
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.
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, 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…