The Community Meeting, held in the Ölüdeniz Council Chamber, attracted around 70 British residents from all parts of Fethiye and its environs.

There was a general welcome from our Honorary Consul, Mustafa Şikman and then he handed over to the consular staff to conduct the meeting. But not before reminding everyone of his Jubilee Cocktail Reception next week.

This meeting is actually part of nationwide project led by the Bodrum proconsul, who you can see in the spotted frock in the image below. She has already held meetings in Akbıyık, Didim and Bodrum.

After Fethiye she will host further meetings in Ankara, Antalya and Marmaris.

The project offers a maximum of two meetings in each location, to strengthen links between the community and local consular staff.

Dependent on outcomes of these initial meetings, they may become a regular feature.

This meeting was led by Fethiye’s proconsul, Ahmet, who will be familiar to many readers. He had a prepared document covering all the current ‘hot’ topics: universal health care, change in visa regime, property deals, wills, etc.

He read out what had been prepared on each topic and then opened up for questions.

And there were plenty of questions which, given the very limited power the honorary consulate has in terms of dealing with Turkish authorities, we thought Ahmet dealt with very professionally.

There was also a questionnaire asking for attendees’ opinions of the meeting and, dependant on the results of all the questionnaires completed at all the meetings, such Community Meetings could become a regular feature of life here for British residents.

We did learn one interesting fact. The consulate’s costs are not met by the British taxpayer, they are funded by a levy of £2 taken from the cost of each UK passport issued.