Fethiye Times News – our pick of what’s been going on in Fethiye and around the region over the last week.

Fethiye in the Independent

In last Monday’s Independent newspaper, travel journalist, Emma Thompson, wrote about the worries and hopes of the Fethiye tourism sector. Her story positively focused on holidaying in the area and featured official guide, Tolga Kanık. She also spoke with the owner of Yakamoz Hotel, Mehmet Güven and local yachting agency and tour operator Levent Ersoy. Mete Atay from the Fethiye Municipality explained how he and the municipality are working to boost tourism in the area.

While they were all seriously concerned about the decline in the number of tourists visiting Fethiye, their timely reminder about how far away the region is from the Syrian border and how beautiful it is will no doubt help to attract more visitors.

To read the story in full click here.

Simon Reeves explores Turkey

For the last two Sundays, the BBC has brought present day Turkey to British TV screens. During the two episodes Reeves travels around the country speaking with people from many different backgrounds.

In an interview with inews.co.uk he said he has a genuine love for the continent-straddling nation’s most populated city. He was looking forward to visiting the country and said, “Istanbul is genuinely my most favourite city in the world, after London. I’ve never travelled round it to this extent.” If you want to watch the programmes click here.

Antique Theatre: a restoration tragedy?

There was sad news in the local press last week regarding the antique theatre in the centre of Fethiye.

When the restoration of the antique theatre finally began, after years of speculation, Fethiye Times visited the site to see how work was progressing. There was even talk of an opening date in October 2014.

Fethiye Times News Week Ending 1 April 2017
Fethiye antique theatre – increasingly neglected since renovation stopped in 2014 www.fethiyedenhaber.com

As work continued there was heated controversy about the use of marble in the limestone structure and the removal of the original worked stone. Work on the theatre abruptly ground to a halt in 2014, since then the site has been fenced off and has no public access. It is now looking very neglected. For many, the last straw was when trespassers broke through the fencing, damaging the structure and daubing graffiti on the stonework. The local media reported one Fethiye resident as saying that the theatre is now “completely destroyed.”

Fethiye Times News Week Ending 1 April 2017
Grafitti daubed on stonework by trespassers www.fethiyedenhaber.com

They say the very future of this remarkable theatre is in question and are asking why and how this has been allowed to happen.

Booking.com “unfair competition” says Turkish courts

Last week an Istanbul court ruled that the Dutch reservations website, booking.com, should be closed due to, “unfair competition.” Now, according to Hürriyet Daily News it is not possible to book properties from the website inside Turkey. Some are concerned that this will negatively impact on the country’s tourism, while others believe that the high commission charged by the company and unregistered property is adversely affecting legally registered short-term rental businesses. Booking.com are appealing the decision.

Security cameras show masked thieves raiding shop

Last week thieves broke into a Çalış grocery store. The thieves’ hooded images were caught on security cameras as they entered the market at midnight. They entered the shop using iron cutters to get past the security grill. A total of three people were identified as they stole money, cigarettes and alcohol. In the morning the owner noticed that cigarettes and bottles were missing and called the Police. Having examined the camera recordings the police have now started an investigation to try and catch the culprits.

Turkish shops to charge for plastic bags

Plastic bags can be fatal for turtles: courtesy of cafnec.org

From 1st January 2018, if you want plastic bags for your shopping in Turkey, you will have to pay for them. In an attempt to cut down on environmental pollution and litter, a decision has been made by the Turkish Retailers’ Federation (TPF) to charge for plastic bags. It is hoped that by charging reusable string and cotton bags will once again become the shopping bag of choice.

Finally: a feel good story

A local Turkish news website was used to locate a person who left their phone on a bench in Çalış. A kind-hearted soul took a photo of the phone and shared it on social media, eventually reuniting it with its owner.

Turkish money

The British pound bought 4.55 Turkish Lira at close of business on Friday. The week before it was selling for 4.50.

Fethiye weather

Fethiye Times News Week Ending 1 April 2017
Fethiye weather

Thanks to local journalist and photographer, Özgür ÇiftçI, for this week’s headline photo of Fethiye.