The usually sleepy town of Yeşilüzümlü, nestled in the mountains above Fethiye, certainly became the centre of attention at the weekend with the three day 8th Morel Mushroom Festival with the authorities in Fethiye estimating total attendance over the three days in the region of 40,000.

Crowds filling the streets
Crowds filling the streets

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A perfect start to the summer season, with bright, wall-to-wall sunshine, temperatures in the high twenties, blue skies, bunting and brightly decorated stalls, selling local food and products, everything was perfect and certainly encouraged hundreds of people to head to the town.

Morel Mushrooms (Küzügobeği) Aysema Leblebici Kalaycıoğlu
Morel Mushrooms (Küzügobeği)                                                photo: Aysema Leblebici Kalaycıoğlu
Searching for edible mushrooms
Searching for edible mushrooms

A great start for the summer…

Fethiye's Municipality Band getting the Festival under way
Fethiye’s Municipality Band getting the Festival under way
The FETAV Children’s choir

Organised by Fethiye’s Municipality, the event was opened by the mayor, Behçet Saatçı and the Town’s Governor, Ekrem Çalık and many other officials, it has over the past eight years become a popular event to start the summer season.

A huge banner hung in the town square gave all the details of the events, so people could either be busy with various activities or sit in the sunshine people watching.

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Folk dancing
8th Yeşilüzümlü Morel Mushroom Festival: a great start to the summer season
Music in Cadianda
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Dancing in the streets

Promoting local products

Selling local products
Selling local products
Morel mushroom soup for 200 people
Morel mushroom soup for 200 people

It’s been a dry winter in the region but even so there were enough morel mushrooms for local chefs from the Chef Mavi Association to make enough soup for 200 people.

8th Yeşilüzümlü Morel Mushroom Festival: a perfect start to the summer season

Local women, many of whom were sitting outside their houses, were doing brisk trade making and selling traditional gözleme (Turkish pancakes with herbs, cheese, potato and morels) for the hungry visitors.

Local red wine was also for sale.

Dastar - Yeşilüzümlü's traditional woven fabric.
Dastar – Yeşilüzümlü’s traditional woven fabric.

Stalls selling local products, ranging from dastar, the town’s traditionally woven cotton goods, and various arts and crafts created a cheerful ambience and music throughout the day into the night.

8th Yeşilüzümlü Morel Mushroom Festival: a perfect start to the summer season

Music: morning, noon and night

From the beginning of the festival music played an important part in bringing the town alive.

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Aysema Leblebici Kalaycıoğlu
Photo: Aysema Leblebici Kalaycıoğlu

IMG_9053

Adem Kazan in concert
Adem Kazan in concert

8th Yeşilüzümlü Morel Mushroom Festival: a great start to the summer season

Supporting local shopkeepers and traders

Yore Yaşam - Living Local
Yerel Yaşam – Living Local

The Fethiye based Yerel Yaşam (Living Local) Association were also there, encouraging visitors to support local independent traders and shop keepers, helping to keeping the money people spend in the town, strengthening the local economy.

8th Yeşilüzümlü Morel Mushroom Festival: a perfect start to the summer season

8th Yeşilüzümlü Morel Mushroom Festival: a great start to the summer season

Cars, sheep and goats

A busy weekend for sheep and goats too
A busy weekend for sheep and goats too

All the roads around Yeşilüzümlü were chockablock with hundreds of parked cars filling every available nook and  and cranny, as well as thousands of people milling around, on the Sunday there were also herds of sheep and goats on the move to their summer pastures, adding an extra rural dimension to the festival atmosphere.

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