Friday, August 28, 2009

Sirince vs Kayakoy

While we are busy with packing, visiting and saying our good byes to all those loved beaches and places, let me take you today to two very different villages, we have visited this summer. The Greeks living on these villages were rapatriated after the 1923 population exchange between the two countries. Close to 1 million Greeks and 400 thousand Turks affected from this policy and changed their countries and homes in those days.
First one is Sirince.. A 600 year old village about 30 km from Kusadasi. Famous with its fruit wines and olive oil production. According to newspapers Oprah Winfrey who visited Turkey this summer, selected Sirince as her favorite place in Turkey which reminded her the Tuscany region of İtaly. Although heavily populated with tourists, it is still a very charming place..

Second village is Kayakoy or Levissi as they called in those days. It is located close to Fethiye, visited often by the tourist as it is on the famous Lycian Way. It is probably one of the saddest places that I ever visited. After the repatriation, Turks coming from Greece who were mostly farmers did not want to live in this village. They preffered the valley. Greeks living on these hillsides were dealing in crafts and trade. According to locals there were also rumors in those days about the poisining of the water sources by the departing Greeks. Whatever the reasons, first Greeks than the Turks left this village which was a beautiful place once upon a time. So today its like a ghost city.

I visited Kayakoy couple times before and every time I was there, I always remember my father's great grand parents who left their houses and properties in Crimea-Russia and my mother's parents who left their beautiful houses and gardens in Romania. I tried to imagine their pain and desperation without success.


  1. What a gorgeous post. I too can't imagine your family's pain and desperation having to leave their homes. I love the picture of the woman sitting down, its beautiful.
    Have a wonderful day

  2. Very nice post wtih lots of historical info! What a contrast! That would be the hardest thing to have to leave your home. I bet there was an eery feeling there. The first place was gorgeous and your photos are spectacular!

  3. i love the look of the homes in Sirince

    but Kayakoy is intriquing, sad but interesting to feel and see the history

    i would love walking around with the camera here as well

  4. So sad to see! A really amazing photo op though. Loved your post!

  5. I'n falling over and over in love with Turkey... It's ancient charm is so beautiful... :)
    My Travelogue

  6. Wow - so sad & beautiful.
    I enjoy reading everything you write & you're a wonderful photographer.
    And to think I get excited over my photographs of historical sites that are just 100-200 years old! Nothing compared to your photos!
    Thank you for visiting my wedding blog. My personal blog is MyRubySlippersLife.
    To satisfiy my craving for historical travels I'll be following you to see what else you post.
    Thanks again,

  7. I like seeing the women in these photos.
    The ghost town is really difficult to imagine. It's like when I walk the hills around my village, lingering at the stone rubble of some of the Arab houses from 60 years ago. A very bad feeling.

  8. The photographs in this post are really outstanding. I agree that there is something so charming about these locations.

  9. The tales you share of this last place are sad. Yet the ruins are quite appealing to me. I suppose there is something about old dwellings that makes me and so many others lean in wanting to know more. Still it is more, the archways and stone are so attractive. Thanks for sharing this.



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