Act one: the green light
In the spring of the following year the long awaited project began.
A team of Turkish experts arrived. They specialized in stone cutting and historical buildings and worked through the long, hot summer months, slowly transforming the neglected ruins.
They had already worked on some of Turkey’s most important heritage sites and seemed to be making excellent progress.
Fethiye’s residents began to look forward to the prospect of theatre, music and other cultural events taking place at the al-fresco setting in the centre of town.
Act two: lights turn to amber
Completion dates came and went. The project was taking longer than expected but optimism and expectancy were still in the air.
Finally a date was set for a grand opening in October 2014.
Act three: a red light from ‘the gods’
A few months ago work stopped quite suddenly and since then the beleaguered theatre has taken on an abandoned appearance.
It has transpired that a couple of houses around the top of the theatre, in the area rather like the ‘gods’ or the highest seats in a theatre, were due to be demolished as part of the project.
Things have now become complicated, as the owners of these houses have decided to hold out for more compensation and have taken the matter to court.
Until a decision has been made no more work can be carried out.
All we can say is that we hope this is only an intermission and sometime soon we will be able to cover the next act in this entangled three act restoration drama.
11th November: Since this article was originally published it has also come to light that the ‘stage’, the building at the front of the theatre, requires some alterations to be made in order to comply with the latest earthquake regulations.