Our pick of the news from Fethiye and around Turkey over the last week.
Turkey to hold snap elections on 24 June
The news has been dominated this week by the decision to bring forward elections that could pave the way for a single-party state with few checks on the power of the president to 24 June, a year and a half ahead of schedule.
Turkey is switching from a parliamentary system to a presidential one, abolishing the office of the prime minister and decreasing the powers of the parliament, following a narrowly approved referendum last year. The changes take effect with the next election.
Read the full article here
Meral Akşener receives a rousing welcome in Fethiye
Meral Akşener, a popular nationalist leader who broke away from the MHP last year to set up her own centre-right İYİ Party, is billed as a credible opponent for the presidency.
On Thursday, she came to Fethiye to meet with Fethiye Mayor, Behçet Saatçı, who joined the İYİ Party.
The meeting was followed by an event in Beşkaza town square where hundreds of locals turned out to support Saatçı and give Akşener a rousing welcome.
Akşener may face procedural hurdles for her party to run in the elections because of a rule that requires political parties to hold a general congress at least six months before the polls. She was billed as a credible opponent to Erdoğan due to her nationalist credentials and the fact that she is a practising Muslim with secular views on government, and her ability to target both centrist voters and others from the president’s base.
Akşener may still be able to run for the presidency even if her party does not qualify to run for parliament.
Sources: The Guardian/The Independent/Yeniçağ Gazetesi
Tourism week is held in many countries around the world. The dates may differ but the general theme is the same. Tourism Week brings sector professionals together to discuss travel successes (or difficulties) of previous years and advocate policies that promote future opportunities and growth in the Tourism sector.
Last week was the 42nd Tourism Week in Turkey. Celebrations began with an opening ceremony in front of the Fethiye Municipality Culture Centre organised by the Governorship of Fethiye (Kaymakamlığı).
The opening speech was made by Tourism Advisory Office Güler Uymaz. According to information obtained from the agency and accommodation sector, Uymaz pointed out that a 40% increase is anticipated in 2018 compared to 2017. He went on to say “In 2017, a total of 1 million 150 thousand people, including 450 thousand foreigners and 700 thousand domestic visitors, visited our city”
Scal Club Uğur Serindağ stated that they want to increase tourism diversity in Fethiye. “We come together every year between April 15th and 22nd, with the aim of ensuring the participation of locals and young people in local tourism activities”
Fethiye Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Osman Cirali said “Unfortunately, after a couple of difficult years, there are some problems in the Tourism sector but these problems should not deter us. Our profession has been holding tourism activities for many years and we will overcome these problems”
The ceremony ended with a comic sketch, presentations and non-alcoholic cocktails and snacks.
Fethiye is looking forward to welcoming its visitors this season.
Summer season preparations underway
Preparations for the season began in Çalış this week as Çalış Tourism and Promotion Association (Çalış-Der) carried out an operation to clean up the beach.
Tractors used sand sifting beach cleaners to scoop up the top layer of sand onto a screen where the sand falls through the screen and the debris is carried up into a bucket for disposal.
From May to July sea turtles (Caretta caretta) will come ashore to lay their eggs on the beach so it is vitally important to keep the beach clean and follow the instructions on the signs.
In Fethiye on Saturday, an environmental clean up was carried out by 60 convicts on supervised release. The cleanup took place around Hükümlüler, Büyük Samanlığı and Patlıcanlı bays.
In recent years, many areas have been cleaned under the leadership of the Supervised Freedom Directorate.
The garbage collected is separated and recycled.
Turkish ‘aquarium man’ prepares to break world record in diving
A Turkish diver, dubbed as the “Aquarium Man,” prepares to break a new world record of the longest open saltwater scuba dive in cold water on April 23.
Together with his 20-people strong team, Cem Karabay, a lifelong lover of the sea, is currently training for the attempt at Underwater Marine Park in Gökçeada Island, the largest island in Turkey.
The existing record in the same category was held by Norwegian diver Nils-Roar Selnes, who spent 15 hours and 10 minutes underwater in Eidkjosen, Norway in 2016.
Karabay’s goal is to eliminate Selnes’s record by spending 23 hours and 4 minutes underwater. “If I break this record, I would have broken the hardest record in my life,” he told Anadolu Agency.
Karabay generally prefers to make record attempts on important Turkish holidays and anniversaries.
This time, he will try to break the record on the 20th anniversary of Troy being added to UNESCO World Heritage List and when Turkey’s National Sovereignty and Children’s Day is marked.
He held the 2011 Guinness World Record for the longest scuba dive in a controlled environment [in a pool in Istanbul], which lasted 192 hours, 19 minutes and 19 seconds.
The Turkish diver is dedicated to continuing his record attempts. His next goal is to break all the world records in the longest open freshwater scuba dive category.
Thank you to Brian Lloyd for the Fethiyespor updates.
Fethiyespor lost their home match against Bandırmaspor yesterday. The final score was 0-1.
After yesterday’s result, Fethiyespor remain in 15th place on the league table.
The next league matches are:
Sunday 29th April away against Karşıyaka. Kick off is at 15.30.
The last match of the season is on Saturday 5th May at home to Bugaşspor AŞ. Kick off is at 15.30
For more information about Fethiyespor please visit Fethiyespor Yabancilar on Facebook.
Turkish Lira (TL) exchange rates:
The British Pound bought 5.70 TL by the close of business on Friday. The week before it was selling for 5.83 TL.
The US Dollar bought 4.07 TL by the close of business on Friday. The week before it was selling for 4.09 TL.
The Euro bought 5.00 TL by the close of business on Friday. The week before it was selling for 5.05 TL.
Here’s your weather forecast for the week ahead