Fethiye has many shops selling gifts and mementos but if you’re looking for
something authentically Turkish, handmade and guaranteed to cause a sensation
wherever you go, why not buy a traditional sipsi or Turkish whistle?
The sound of Anatolia
These whistles are played by Yörük (nomads), and are particularly famous in
the Burdur region of Central Anatolia. However, they are also very well known
in the Fethiye region.
Fethiye’s sipsi are made from reeds harvested from wetlands in Fethiye’s Çatalarık district.
This unique musical instrument is an authentic and long lasting reminder of your Turkish holiday.
Bahri İşlek and his son Kutlu make the whistles from reeds, cutting them all to the correct length
before burning holes with a hot skewer to create the right musical notes.
They then add a mouthpiece whittled from another piece of reed and bind the whole thing together
with brightly coloured tape.
Whistling in the dark
Of course, playing it harmoniously is a different matter entirely but anyone who learnt to play the
recorder at school could make a rather pleasant sound with practice.
World class whistlers
To get an idea of how it should be played, here is a short film showing
the world champion sipsi player, Hüseyin, playing in the Beşkaza town of Elmali.
There is some dancing too, to add to the fun. Why not give it a try?
Where to buy a Fethiye sipsi
The father and son team sell sipsi at their little shop in Çarşı Caddesi,
called Orkestra Doremi Organizasyon, and also at their tiny hut opposite the Fethiye Chamber of Commerce
but for most people the best known place to by a musical memory of Fethiye is at the Tuesday market.