This is the third year for the biannual Taste of Fethiye fair in Kayaköy and once again, on 31st May, the valley’s old meydan or village square, overlooked by the ruins of Livissi, became a bright and bustling celebration of local food, crafts and bric-a-brac.

The weather was perfect for the event, which was organised by Taste of Fethiye project managers, Vicky Erdoğan and Şemsi Toprak.

Members of the Taste of Fethiye
Right to left – Dilek Dinçer from FETAV, Şemsi Toprak and Vicky Erdoğan from Taste of Fethiye, Hasan Şahın headmaster of Kaya School, and Ilker from the Art Camp

It is part of a five-year project, funded by the Travel Foundation, to develop sustainable tourism in the Fethiye region of Turkey, the fair is becoming popular with the resident community and tourists alike.

A Firmly Established Event

Şemsi Toprak, speaking after the event, said that overall the fair was a success and now presents a regular occasion for local networking as well as a sales and marketing opportunity for locals.

The Taste of Fethiye fair is now a date firmly established on Kayaköy’s social calendar. We will have another fair in September, when there will be more local food products on sale, following the various harvests. We also plan to have more diversity in terms of the products for sale but both the May and September fairs are now popular events for tourists and the local community.

Money for Good Causes

For the second year running, the village school had a stall selling food made by local mothers and crafts by the school’s children.

Taste of Fethiye stall school

The head teacher, Hasan Şahin, said that their efforts had raised an impressive 495 TL, which will be used for school equipment.

I think this is a really good event for promoting Kayaköy and it gives local people a chance to earn some money and tourists a different way to experience life in our village. I hope that in the future we can hold these fairs more frequently.

Vicky Erdoğan was pleased with his response, which represents that of the Kayaköy villagers generally. “I am delighted that Kaya Village is committed to the concept of the fair.

The Taste of Fethiye project was established in the region to encourage and promote sustainable tourism, with local farmers supplying hotels with local produce. The fair is an extension of this, giving local people a chance to sell their crafts, homemade wares, food and homegrown produce. If people in Kayaköy decide to take over organising and running of the fair in Kayaköy, we feel that Taste of Fethiye will have succeeded in its aim.”

Official Recognition

This year the fair had several official visits too: the Deputy Governor of Muğla province, and Acting Governor of Marmaris, Kamil Köten; Fethiye Governor, Ekrem Çalık; and two representatives from FETAV, Mustafa Şıkman (also the chairman of the Muğla City Council) and Serdar Oğuz.

This is surely a clear sign that the reputation of Taste of Fethiye and its fairs is now spreading far and wide.