In this weeks round up of the local news:

  • British walker still missing,
  • Thieves Thwarted,
  • Ramazan in Full Swing,
  • Wet Bandits,
  • Paragliding Safety Meeting, and,
  • Tourist Numbers Down

Still Missing

As this is being written, John Kirkham, the 68-year-old from Fleetwood who disappeared whilst walking on the Lycian Way on Monday, 10th August, has still not been found.

Last Friday Kerametin Yılmaz, Mayor of Ölüdeniz, visited John’s wife of 43 years, Sandra.

Kerametin promised to do all he could to find her husband and assured her that there had never been a ‘disappearance’ like this before.

Thieves Thwarted

Two enterprising thieves were caught by the Jandarma in Ölüdeniz this week.

The two men, wearing swimming shorts, hung out on the beach keeping an eye open for tourists arriving by car.

Once the people had parked up and settled on the beach, the thieves broke a window in the car and took anything valuable left inside.

Goods were placed in their own, old minibus and the men returned to the beach to await the next arrivals.

Apparently there had been 20 such thefts reported prior to the arrest of the men and jandarma found several women’s handbags amongst the goods stashed in the minibus.

Ramazan Customs

Alongside the daily fasting which takes place during Ramazan there are other traditional customs also being observed in Fethiye.

The Belediye has set up an ‘iftar cadı’ where an average of 3,000 people per day have already received a free evening meal since the start of the fast on Friday 21st.  The cost of the food is met by local sponsors.

Traditionally there was always free public entertainment in the evenings during Ramazan, and the Cultural Centre is following this custom on Friday and Saturdays only with a range of free entertainment in the outdoor area adjacent to the Kordon.

Wet Bandits

And the Fethiye Water and Sewage Authority (FESKI) has discovered lots of people in the town are ‘stealing’ water.

They are taking water from public taps and using it in their gardens, for filling swimming pools, even to provide the normal water needs in houses and flats.

FESKI investigators had photographed people connecting hose pipes to the taps, and said that people from all walks of life were found to be doing this, including two foreign families who live here.

There is a fine of 8,000 – 10,000TL for using public water in this fashion, but we think the current wrongdoers were let off with a warning this time!

Paragliding Safety Meeting

The Governor of Fethiye held a meeting this week attended by the Directors of Tourism and Forestry, together with representatives from the paragliding companies operating in Ölüdeniz.

This year has been especially difficult for the paragliding providers as the credit crunch has led to less customers, and there have been a higher than normal number of accidents amongst those jumping off the mountain.

The meeting was called to discuss all aspects of this extreme sport in a local context.

The report we read didn’t list any conclusions which may have been reached – we shall just have to keep our fingers crossed for no more accidents this year.

Tourist Numbers Down

Finally the Governor of Muğla announced this week that tourist numbers are down on last year and this year’s target of 3 million visitors will not be met.

To 19 August 1.81 million tourists had entered Muğla either via Dalaman or Bodrum airports, or by any of the many ports around the coast.

On the same date in 2008 the figure was 1.88 million so there have been 70,000 less tourists so far this year which is a 4% decrease.

Perhaps there’ll be a big rush in September?