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January News – Welcome, 2024

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Hello! Welcome to our very first monthly Fethiye news update of 2024!

How’s January been for you?

A vibrant pink cloudy sunset over hills and the bay in the foreground. A monument of a bar of a music is on the shoreline.
The fabulous sunsets have been revealing themselves thick and fast throughout January

As I type, the very wet and mild Fethiye winter has suddenly turned on its heels and done a very fast runner to make way for icy breezes and Real Feel temperatures in minus figures.

Maybe we’ll get more a of traditional Fethiye winter after all.

The current dusting of snow over the shoulder and summit of Babadağ suggests that could be the case.

When the weather is like this, we still get some amazing sunsets, however!

Makes wrapping up warm and venturing outside much more pleasurable when we can marvel at – and photograph – our local, natural surroundings.

And that’s how 2024 has started for us, really.

All very quiet and peaceful. And just appreciating local life.

A market stall selling carrots and oranges. Two custoımers are choosing oranges.
Glowing winter orange as well as winter greens at Çalış Market

Walking, running, shopping for winter seasonal produce at the Çalış Sunday Market.

On a cloudy winter day, this stall of carrots, oranges, tangerines and clementines really adds a bit of sunshine to the shopping process. We’ve been buying from this guy every week, recently.

A few jobs around the house, cooking, a bit of tv…and blogging!

We have been sooo busy with the blog.

If you’re an email subscriber , you won’t have received many new articles to your inbox throughout January. But that doesn’t mean we have been neglecting the blog.

January has been all about getting set up for the year ahead and making sure our guides are up to date. This is where we’re up to:

  • If you’re travelling or holidaying and using Fethiye as your base, don’t miss our best things to do in Fethiye.
  • If you’re staying in the local beach resorts, we’ve also updated our guide to Çalış Beach and our guide to Ölüdeniz.
  • If you want to be in the country (or not, as the case may be) during national holidays, Ramazan or for famous festivals, we’ve listed the 2024 dates on our top Turkish festivals page.
  • As for local events, our Fethiye events calendar is all ready to go. Sunrise and sunset times are on for the whole year so you can plan your sunset meals and photographs when you’re in the area.
  • And for those of you that like to run, we’ve completely updated and revamped our Turkish running events page. Already lots of confirmed dates around the country, including later on in the year.

Sticking with the running theme, we’re training at the moment for one of our favourite running events. So we’ve also updated our article about that.

Runners on the route of Runtalya. Historic sights are in the background.
We love the annual Runtalya event

Runtalya takes place on the first weekend of March, annually, in Antalya. We’ll be there again, this year.

And lots of our cooking in the kitchen has, naturally, involved lots of stews and casseroles and soups.

We added a brand new recipe to our Turkish recipes collection: A real winter warmer of regional beyran soup.

A bowl of soup with a spoon lifting out pieces of lamb and rice.
A meaty steaming bowl of comfort – beyran çorbası

If summer holidays seem a gazillion miles away for you, here are some little rays of sunshine news.

We’ve already spotted some summer prep going on around Çalış! People here obviously don’t think the season is too far away.

The Çalış Fishermen’s Cooperative is constantly changing. And, recently, they’ve made another new addition.

If you’re dining there, rather than being sheltered by a tarpaulin roof, they’ve now added a much smarter frame around the wooden terrace.

A jetty of restaurant seating running along the edge of a straight canal. The photo is taken from above.
More comfortable dining

The roof cover and terrace rails all just look a bit more permanent. Less likely to blow off along the canal after a gust of wind.

A recent morning run was accompanied by a strong whiff of spray paint in Çalış.

Colourful basket-weave parasols along Çalış Beach. Plastic sunbeds with blue mattresses are stacked underneath them.
There’ll be some freshly-sprayed parasols for summer 2024

A glance across the road to see where the smell was coming from revealed a couple of guys with spray paint.

They were respraying all the colourful parasols that line the beach each summer.

And if you love to use the Çalış to Fethiye water taxi or do a boat trip from there, you’ll be able to buy your tickets and book trips in the new office.

A row of Water Taxis lined up along the canal in Çalış.
A new office en route for the ticket guys

Same place. They just smashed it up and built a more sturdy, more attractive office.

That’s still having the finishing touches put to it so we’ll post a pic when it’s finished

Well, if you’ve read this article from the beginning, you might have worked out that we’ve really not moved very far this month. And it’s been lovely!

A close up of a slice of Mexican Pizza at Calisto along Çalış Beach. Jalapeno peppers are in abundance.
Creatures of habit – always the Calisto Mexican Pizza

We did have a sunny pizza at Calisto earlier in the month when it was t-shirt weather.

And we have had a pide and beyran çorbası at Can Çekti en route to the market one Sunday.

Never fear. We will be out and about more in the coming weeks.

So many new restaurants around Fethiye that we’re yet to try.

A chilled January was just what we wanted.

If you’re anything like us, you’ve got bookshelves filled with loads of cracking cookery books that rarely get opened. Because – life.

This month, we’ve been making an effort to cook something at least once a week from any of our books. It’s been great to leave the comfort zone of cooking what we know and to make and eat some different dishes.

Granted, it being January and all, the casserole pot has been very busy!

In our more familiar Turkish food and Middle Eastern food world, green lentil soup (yeşil mercimek çorbası) has warmed us up. And homemade falafel has filled us up!

Last month, we also shared our Turkish potato cake recipe – tuzlu patatesli kek.

Two cubes of potato cake stacked on top of each other. A sprig of dill is in the foreground.
Swap a potato for cauliflower – lovely

Well, I decided to experiment with that and swap out one of the potatoes for some small cauliflower florets. It was great!

Let us know what you think if you try it.

And for National Pie Day on 23rd January, we shared a Turkish pie made with yufka (phyllo pastry) – tepsi böreği.

Two slices of phyllo meat pie, one resting on top of the other. Both slices are topped with black nigella seeds.
Satisfying comfort food – that’s tepsi böreği

We just love a good börek!

First of all, congratulations to 32 year old football referee, Emre Kargın.

In January, he became a Turkish Super League referee. Big news here because Emre Kargın also happens to be from Fethiye.

Let’s tumble down a couple of leagues now to League 2 (2. Lig) and the local team, Fethiyespor.

Well, let’s work on a motto of ‘new year, new beginnings.’

Their league position isn’t great (and they’ve lost 3-1 today) – but they do currently have a game in hand over the four teams immediately above them.

Here are past results and future fixtures for the second half of the season if you want to go along and lend your support.

Our little section of random news away from Fethiye – but that jumps out for us.

And how better to kick off a brand new year with a feel good story like this?

A Guardian article about Ebru Baybara Demir; an award winning Mardin chef in southeast Turkey.

‘Chef’ doesn’t go anywhere near describing the work and deeds this amazing woman does.

A great read!

January 6th marked Epiphany in the Greek Orthodox religion.

The Golden Horn estuary viewed from above.
Swimmers dive into the Golden Horn to retrieve a wooden cross

Each year, to mark the event, a cross retrieval ceremony takes place where the Istanbul Greek community and those who have travelled from Greece, dive into the Golden Horn to retrieve a wooden cross thrown into the water by Patriarch, Bartholomew I.

Rather them than us! More here.

Two firsts for the country in January…

As I type, the first Turkish astronaut is in space at the International Space Station.

Turkish Air Force fighter pilot, Alper Gezeravcı is in space for two weeks conducting experiments.

You won’t be surprised to know he took his Turkish flag along with him.

And big congratulations to Muhammed Bozdağ who won Turkey’s first ever medal at the Winter Youth Olympic Games.

Bozdağ won the silver medal in the 1000 metre short-track speed skating event in Gangwon, South Korea.

Have we started the year as we mean to go on? By getting this monthly news out on time? Let’s see…

We both turn 50 this year and we’ve got lots of vaguely pencilled ideas of what we’d like to do throughout the coming months; some of it, weather permitting!

Naturally, all will pan out on these pages as we go along…

Let’s all hope for a good year ahead!

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Rosemary McDonald

Wednesday 31st of January 2024

We love to keep up with what's happening in and around Calis area ... thanks for another fabulous update & great pictures!

Turkey's For Life

Saturday 3rd of February 2024

Hi Rosemary, thanks a lot for your comment. Glad you liked our news update. There's always something to report from this area! :)

Rachel

Wednesday 31st of January 2024

Thanks for sharing the link to the excellent Guardian article about Chef Demir. Lots of other good things in this newsletter too!

Turkey's For Life

Saturday 3rd of February 2024

Hi Rachel, Thanks a lot for your comment. So glad you liked the article we shared. It certainşy brightened our start to the new year! :)

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