FETHIYE


Fethiye , known as Telmessos in the antique period, is the most important city of LYCIA -one of the oldest Anatolian Civilisations- at the western borderline with CARIA. Despite lack of information regarding its establishment, it is stated in the history of the city reaches far back to 5th century BC. A Lycian legend explains the source of the name Telmessos as follows:  "God Apollon falls in love with the youngest daughter of the King of Finike (Phoenike), Agenor. He disguises himself as a small dog and thus gains love for the shy, withdrawn daughter. After he reappears as a handsome man, they name their son 'Telmessos' (the land of lights). The city, with its name believed to have come from that of Telmessos, -son of God Apollon-, forms the first state of the Persians after being invaded by the Persian King Harpagos in 547 BC. Along with all other Lycian and Carian cities. Telmessos then, joins the Attik-Delos Union established in mid. 5th century BC. and, although it later leaves the union as an independent city, continues its relations till 4th century BC.  A rumor that the city, invaded by the Alexander the Great on his Asian cruise of invasion in the winter of 334-333 BC. has yielded to him with his own will. Another legend says that Alexander the Great on a mission to invade Anatolia, enters Telmessos harbour with his fleet. 

Their commander Nekros asks permission of Antipatrides, ruler of the city, for his musicians and slaves to enter the city. On getting the permission, the warriors with guns hidden in the flute boxes capture the acropolis during the feasts held at night." The city has been handed over to the son of Lysimachos in 240 BC. by Ptolomy III. By the treaty signed in 189 BC. After the Magnasia war, the Romans have left the city to Eumenos, the King of Bergama (Pergamon) Kingdom collapses, Telmessos, in 133 BC., joins the Lycian Federation and is one of the six most important cities in the group. In the 8th century its name as Anastasios II. The city, taken over in 1284 by Menteseogullari, receives the name MEGRI, meaning far city, after its inclusion in Ottoman land in 1424. In 1934, the city has been renamed as FETHIYE to the honour of Fethi Bey, a martyr Pilot. Amynthas Rock Tomb, one of the most splendid examples of the Lycian civilization, lies noble with its long years, coupled with the grandeur of the mountain whose slope it rests upon, and seems like a volunteering guide to your journey through history. This tomb is in the form of a temple built in Ion style, and has a landing with adjacent pillars at the two sides, with four steps leading to it. In the middle of the leftmost pillar, "Amynthas: son of Hermapias" is engraved in 4th century BC. letters. At the top, there is a headpiece with three actoters, one in ruins, and at the bottom there is a dentil fresco. 

Three stone benches go along the three walls of the flat-topped tomb chamber, with a door leading into it that has iron nail-like joints carved out of stone at its four corners. Although two of the numerous other tombs at the left of the hill look like the Amynthas tomb, they are much smaller. Within the town and in the vicinity a lot more tombs may be found, some sarcophagus tombs and some cutout pieces of rock. One of the best examples of these sarcophagi, is located to the east of the government building. Both sides of its arched, Gothic style lid are decorated with war scenes and the two-story front face has carvings that look like wooden, square joists. At the high acropolis hill behind the city a mediaeval castle, believed to be the remains of Saint John's knights, catches the eye. There is not much in the castle except some writings carved on the walls and a cistern of unknown origin.  Another old building in Fethiye that has remained up to this day is an ancient mosque that Cezayirli Hasan Pasha has ordered to be constructed in 1791. An ancient peculiarity of the city is that it has been famous for its soothsayers. It is known that soothsayers of this city that has been devoted to God Apollon have had great impact on the course of history.
 


Climbing to the Mount Babadag (1400 - 1700m.) with the jeeps, you'll prepare for the flight, which will take about 30 - 45 minutes. The qualified staff and the pilots will take the care of you and you'll be flying with a pilot tied with you to the parachute. You don't have to be experienced and although you didn't do this kind of thing before, the only thing you will do during the flight is, just to enjoy the scenery and take photos of the unbelievable beauty and charm of world famous Oludeniz Beach and Lagoon. Then you will land on the white sand of Oludeniz Beach. You'll probably live your life’s most unforgettable experience.

You can join the scuba diving tours in Fethiye, which will take you to the magic of the depths with the staff all licensed and experienced courses available!. During this tour, -if you are lucky- you have the chance to see the dolphins and even the sea turtles passing by. But the common thing is to hand-feed the fish! While doing all these, don't forget to smile at the cameras taking your pictures! A great feeling to see the Mediterranean also under the sea. And another important thing is, to see the historical wealth of Fethiye Gulf also under the sea!

Would suggest you a White Water Rafting tour on Dalaman River, which is only 60 minutes to Fethiye. Don't miss this tour, if you want to fight with the strong bubbles, paddling down the river (sometimes falling and capsizing!), and if you don't mind getting wet. The distance is 12 km. and the lunch is given on the shore, nearly midway.

Gobun bay, is placed in the south-western coast of the Fethiye Gulf, and is a very calm bay with the crystal clear water, 7-10m depth, and the quietness of a lake; just like all the other bays in the Fethiye Gulf. There is also a small cafe - restaurant that is run by a local family, and the bay is one of the certain places where the sailors stop for an overnight. Gobun has another alternative called the Cavy Bay, which is just next to the Gobun Bay. Here is also a fascinating place with its pure waters, and calm sea, which will charm everyone who sees. On the shore, there is a small cave in the rocks, and a stairway leading the cave the strange thing is both of them are natural. So, you can now understand why they called here the Cavy Bay.

Cleopatra's Baths, is a large bay full of lots of pine trees, and has a dark blue sea which goes to light blue, as you reach the shore. In the south - western part of the bay, there are some ruins, which came down because of the earthquakes in Fethiye. According to the myth, in one of the visits of Cleopatra to Anatolian coasts, her close friends decided to build a Roman Bath for Cleopatra as a present. Because, they found a hot water spring in this part of the bay

Flat Islands are a group of islands so close to each other, located just at the opposite of the Gocek town. The property here is the salty lake in the middle of the long sandy part of the biggest island in the group. Here is also a charming place with the clear, dark blue, and very deep waters. But there's a passing from the biggest island to the smallest, which you can easily walk (1.5m depth). On the biggest island, further to the north, there's a long, sandy beach leading to the lake. On the shore, there are two families selling pancakes and pastries, which come every morning from the Gocek town, and leave in the evening. And there's a big boat used as a restaurant on this island.

Kaya Köy is a ghost village located about 18 km/ 11 miles in the south of Fethiye near Hisarönü. The village (ancient Karmylassos) was deserted in 1925 by its Greek inhabitants after the great exchange of population following the establishment of the Turkish Republic. The Turkish people who came from Greece didn’t get used to the houses, and they built new houses in the lowland, so that the village was abandoned by both Greeks and Turks in a few years time. The church of the village, which is thought to have been built in the 17th century, was restored in 1888. The frescoes were covered by the Turkish people who used the building as a mosque during some time.




 Ölüdeniz
A favorite excursion out of Ölüdeniz is a boat trip to the surrounding bays ... Five stones ... Camel Beach ... The cold Springs and St. Nicholas Island, with its Paleochristian churches. From the summit of the island there is a marvellous view over the crenelating local coastline, which provides fine anchorages for smaller boats. And indeed, in early Christian times, this part of the coast was a trading stop-off for pilgrims, eager to visit St. Nicholas on their way to the Holy land. Remains of small settlemets and cisterns cover the surrounding hills.

Ölüdeniz bay itself possesed five churches, Gidrak beach had a fine mosaic churc-floor till 10 years ago. From Gemile Bay's Monastery, an open water-channel ran six kilometres down to the sea, to carry water to passing ships. The locals may even elaborate and mistakenly place Cleopatra in a Byzantine Bath! They might have their dates wrong but a beautiful woman is always admired in Turkey.
Early Christianity hugged the coastline of Asia Minor (Turkey), but when raiding Arab pirates plundered their sanctuaries, the Christians moved inland... today you can visit one such settlement 5 km. from Ölüdeniz, Kaya village, the Lycian "Karmylasson", later re-inhabited by their Christian descendants as Byzantines, and called "Levisii". Here Greek and Turk lived side by side in hormany, each practicing his own religon, until 1922, when the exchange of peoples between the two countries brought Thracian Turks here and transported the local Greeks to Thessalonika.

Hopefully the old understanding will return and Greek and Turk will again be seen side by side in Kaya... A Peace Village

 

 
Fethiye is a departure point for various boat tours like for example to:

- the Twelve Islands: Sövalye Adasi, Kizil Ada, Deliktas Adasi,Tavsan Adasi, Katrancik Adasi, Göcek Adasi, Yassica Adalari, Haci Halil Adasi, Seytanli Ada, Tersane Adasi, Domuz Adasi.

- the village of Kargi, famous for its trees.

- Katranci cove.

- the Butterfly Valley is an interesting canyon with steep cliffs where, among others, a species of butterflies called “Jersey Tiger” is seen here from July to September.

- the Dead Sea or Blue Lagoon (Ölü Deniz) can be reached either by sea or by road (17 km/ 11 miles from Fethiye). This sheltered lagoon with incredible hues of blue and green, is almost totally cut off from the sea. Next, stretches the beautiful and well equiped wide sandy beach of Belcegiz. Nice hotels are nestled among the surrounding lush greenery. The place is ideal for water sports and paragliding off the top of Mt Babadag which towers above Ölü Deniz at a height of 1,975 m/ 6,480 ft.
 
Those getting to Ölü Deniz by sea should drop anchor at Gemiler Island also known as St nicholas Island, from one of the churches named after the saint who came or lived here for some time. The place is, like Karacaören Island, full of Roman and Byzantine remains. Owing to the fact that an earthquake caused the island to sink a little into the water in the year 240 AD, some of the remains, like those of a quay and warehouse, are partially submerged. Until the 12th century, the island was an important port of call especially for the pilgrims sailing to the Holy Lands in Palestine. The remains of various churches, tombs, small houses, mosaic floors and a long tunnel can be seen on the island. From the top one will enjoy the spectacular views on the surroundings.
 




Tlos
(Yakaköy),
Located 36 km/ 22.5 miles south of Fethiye, was one of the six major Lycian cities. An axe found in Tlos and belonging to 2000 BC, makes it one of the oldest cities in the Lycian region. At Tlos, one can see the Temple-type tombs cut into the face of the acropolis hill. The most interesting tomb features a relief of the hero Bellerophon riding Pegasus: according to the mythologic legend, the king of Lycia wanted to punish gallant Bellerophon who had been involved in an uncertain love affair. He sent him to kill the Chimaera, the daughter of Echidnae and Typhoon who was a three-headed creature with the front section looking like a lion, the middle section looking like a goat and the tail looking like a dragoon. The Chimaera spat fire and terrorized the region. Helped by Athena, Bellerophon captured Pegasus, mounted the winged horse and attacked from above. He drove the lead tip of his spear into the mouth of the monster, where the lead melted and choked the creature. Thus he drove her back into the earth where she still spits fire on top of Olympos.
Crowning the top of the acropolis is a fortress which was inhabited in the 19th century by “Kanli Ali Aga” or "Bloody Chief Ali", a notorious Turkish lord.The view from the top is spectacular. The lycian sarcophagi are contained within the walls that encircle the acropolis, while almost all the main buildings of the city are situated outside: the remains of the stadium, the palaestra and the gymnasium near the magnificent baths with a circular terrace, the Byzantine basilica, the agora, the theatre and a Roman tower and sarcophagi of various periods.