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.
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.
A great start for the summer…
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.
Promoting local products
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.
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.
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.
Music: morning, noon and night
From the beginning of the festival music played an important part in bringing the town alive.
Supporting local shopkeepers and traders
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.
Cars, sheep and goats
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.