There was some good news for the community of Kayaköy this week with confirmation that a new committee is being formed to plan a village festival in early October.

The last event in May last year attracted hundreds to the historic village – famous for the “ghost town” abandoned almost 100 years ago as part of the population exchange with Greece.

Elections earlier this year and a lack of volunteers put a question mark over a new date, prompting fears the community would not have an opportunity to showcase its local heritage, and denying local businesses an important financial boost.

In photos: Kayaköy Festival (Şenliği) - music, dance and much more
There was plenty of spontaneity at the festival last May. Photo Credit: Steve Parsley

Save the date

However, a meeting on Tuesday this week – attended by both Turkish residents and foreign nationals – indicated a willingness to push ahead with plans for an event which looks likely to run in October.

Definite dates have yet be be agreed but it seems likely the event will run over the weekend of October 5/6.

The next step is to encourage both businesses and members of the Kayaköy community to come forward with ideas to fill the programme. The main committee has now been agreed and will meet regularly in the run-up to the event.

As planning is still at an early stage, only loose proposals have been tabled so far but the committee plans to meet weekly to keep up the initial momentum.

In photos: Kayaköy Festival (Şenliği) - music, dance and much more
Stalls selling handicrafts lined the streets in May last year. Photo Credit: Steve Parsley

A village celebration

It’s hoped frequent meetings will also ensure there’s time enough to compile an events programme which celebrates Kayaköy – both its past history and its current standing as an authentic working village and tourist destination.

In the past, the festival has had a considerable focus on music and performance and organisers hope to arrange another programme on a central stage, at a location which has yet to be decided, under a theme of “peace and friendship”.

However, once again, arts and crafts stalls are expected to line the streets with local businesses, bars and restaurants also to be encouraged to participate.

Winter walking - Hisarönü to Kayaköy
The famous “ghost village” attracts thousands of visitors every year.


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