We continue our round up of the local news from in and around the Fethiye area.

People Smugglers Charged

Following on from last week’s report of the people smuggling operation raided by local police, of the eight people arrested six have been charged and appeared in court this week.

They were remanded in custody and the case adjourned to a future date.

First Paragliding Accident of the Season

The first paragliding accident of the season happened when 35-year-old Murat Çetinkaya took off on a solo flight this week, only to crash down onto rocks a few moments later.

He was taken to hospital where it was later announced that he had broken his left arm.

The Chair of the Fethiye Pilot’s Association (FPA) visited him in hospital, and afterwards spoke to press, saying that it was now vital that controls be put in place at the launch sites on Babadağ to check that all paragliders have appropriate training and experience.

We have noticed, over several years of writing news snippets, that almost all accidents involve solo paragliders.

However, we hadn’t realised that anyone who can get their hands on a parachute, could go up the mountain and jump off.

Apparently the FPA have drawn up a code of practice which awaits signatures from all interested parties.

Perhaps this latest incident will encourage them to sign.

River Row

Villagers in Yanıklar near Fethiye dusted off their placards on Wednesday, to protest against proposals for hydroelectric generation from the Kargı River which runs through the settlement.

The protest march was led by an 85-year-old woman, who still makes her living from growing fruit and vegetables.

As one protestor told the local press “If you take the water from the land here you take away our livelihoods.”

Tourist Stats Released

And finally the regional authorities in Muğla released figures for tourist visitors in the first four months of this year.

The numbers are up 60% on the same period in 2010 with 167.2 thousand people entering Muğla via airports or sea ports.

The British led the pack with some 72.7 thousand, followed by French, Dutch and German tourists in that order.

The Governor told local press he hoped this was a trend that would continue throughout the coming season.