We continue our round up of the week’s local news from the Fethiye area.

Turkey Tops Global Fuel Price Tables

The village wing uses America On Line (AOL) for e-mail and this week found Turkey mentioned in an article on the AOL website.

With petrol prices rising globally readers will not be surprised to have AOL confirm that Turkey has the highest price: USD 9.63 for a gallon. (If you want to know how that equates to the litre price in TL quoted on the pump you’ll have to do your own sums).

Next most expensive petrol is in Eritrea with Norway coming third.

Britain, despite all the current uproar about fuel prices and taxation, came in joint 9th with Belgium at USD 8.18.

But the real ‘eat your heart out’ factor in the article was the list of cheapest countries headed by Venezuela where a gallon of petrol costs the equivalent of a mere 6 US cents.

And that is too small for this writer to even try converting.

Anyone for relocation to Venezuela?

Farmers Protest

Local exporters of fruit and vegetables held a protest meeting this week to highlight their problems with bureaucracy.

They regularly send container truckloads of tomatoes to Russia, with the truck going by road to Samsun on the Black Sea, then by ship to Russia.

The journey takes a mere one and a half days but, thanks to problems with local bureaucrats, they increasingly find themselves with containers full of rotting produce still stuck in Fethiye.

The issue seems to be that, once the truck is loaded and all documentation prepared, an official inspector has to sign off on the load before it can start its journey.

The inspector keeps strict office hours and doesn’t work on Sunday or Monday, so a load completed late Saturday waits until Tuesday before it can leave.

The exporters pointed out that their main competition comes from Spain, which is much further away from Russia so ought not be beating them in terms of trade.

However, thanks to more efficient bureaucratic practise in Spain, it currently has the lion’s share of the market.

We say either employ part-time inspectors to work Sunday and Monday or only load during the hours when the inspectors work.

Fatal Collision

At the end of the week an 18-year-old Turk on a motorbike ran into a truck on a bridge near Kemer and died.

The lad riding pillion survived with slight injuries, the truck driver wasn’t hurt.

Main Road Woes

The main road into Fethiye from Karaçula has been closed for weeks as it undergoes major structural repairs.

Businesses along the popular road have been complaining that the works have reduced their takings as passing trade is zero and regular customers have been put off by the lengthy diversions.

The Council promised, as written on a large billboard in town, that the road would be completed by the end of March. However, the latest estimate, as provided by a shop keeper on the road, is that it will open on the 14th April.

Fingers crossed.

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