Incredibly stormy weather over the previous days (yes, it does rain from time to time) certainly increased
the tension and excitement in Fethiye, as the town waited on tenterhooks for the climax to the 15th Ölüdeniz Air Games.
Rain, rain, go away!
People looked at the gathering clouds and despaired… would it or wouldn’t it happen?
Everyone was waiting for the Turkish Stars. They are Turkey’s crack team of aerobatic pilots,
who fly at breathtaking speed in their red and white jets.
Four jets (see headline photograph) had already tested out the area at noon on the Thursday but bad weather had
prevented the Turkish Stars from putting on their full show later in the day.
The main event by the Türk Yıldızları (Turkish Stars) was scheduled for the afternoon of Saturday 25th October.
Would the Turkish Stars fly?
Studying meteorological websites and weather forecasts, it became less and less likely
that the weather would improve sufficiently for Saturday’s display.
But Fethiye’s weather can always produce surprises, and this was no exception.
Finally, after thunderstorms, rain, wind and low clouds for the previous 48 hours…
the storm clouds cleared just enough…
Crowds began to gather on the beach in Koca Çalış…
First there was an official Turkish Stars shop selling merchandise,
which was particularly popular with children and baseball cap aficionados…
Then there were two motorized paragliders, who flew past bearing enormous Turkish flags…
And finally, what everyone had been waiting for…
The Turkish Stars arrived!
For more than 30 minutes the Turkish Stars soared, wheeled, spun and zoomed above Çalış, Fethiye, the gulf and islands,
performing some incredible feats of aeronautic ability.
It was an awesome spectacle for Fethiye too…
It wasn’t quite the same, as the symmetry and focus of the display was designed to be seen from Koca Çalış beach.
Nonetheless it was incredible.
A magical day
Finally, as the incredible Turkish Stars headed off towards the setting sun, a rainbow appeared over the town; marking a magical end to a wonderful afternoon.
The FT team thanks everyone involved in making this a truly awesome day for Çalış and Fethiye.
Many thanks also too Si Cunneen and Sarah Akkaya for letting FT use their brilliant photographs.