As the year draws to a close, thoughts turn to what the new year will bring. Before we “Ring in the New Year,” here’s a look at some of the top stories from 2019 – in the order they happened.

A new Mayor for Fethiye

On Sunday 31st March, Turkey went to the polls for the local elections. Fethiye voted for CHP representative, Alim Karaca, who officially took up office as the Mayor of Fethiye on Monday 15 April.

Fethiye Times News – Week Ending 13 April 2019
Fethiye’s new Mayor, Alim Karaca

One of the pledges made by the new Mayor is to work with the relevant departments to carry out improvements to the infrastructure and make Fethiye beautiful. Although it’s early days yet, we have seen a start to the work promised. Examples are improvements to the the roads and work being carried out to move electricity cables underground.

Fethiye Times News – Week Ending 13 July 2019
Work is taking place to move the electricity cables underground

Mayor Karaca and his administration are also working to network and build relationships with the expat population in Fethiye.

We loo forward to what the coming year will bring.

3 minis go to Turkey

3 Minis go to Turkey - 5000 miles, 13 countries, 10 days and 2 charities

On 1st May, three Mini Cooper S cars and six drivers left Cannock in Staffordshire to drive to Hisarönü in Fethiye, Turkey (and back) to raise money for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and Yaşam İçin Yarış (Race For Life Turkey). This fantastic effort by organiser, Dave Cassidy and his team of drivers Anthony Baker, Gareth Rose, Daren Lee, Hugh Lloyd and Lee Edwards raised over aised over £7,000 for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and over 18,000 TL for Yaşam İçin Yarış. 

The full story:

“3 Minis go to Turkey ” – raising money for cancer

3 Minis go to Turkey – and they’re off!

3 Minis go to Turkey – 5000 miles, 13 countries, 10 days and 2 charities

Fethiye Bay – from blue to green

In May, the news was dominated by an explosion of algae which turned parts of Fethiye Bay green, causing concern and controversy amongst locals, holiday makers and official departments.

Algal bloom in Fethiye

A working committee has been set up and there are four working groups taking co-ordinated action to prevent fresh algal blooms next summer.

The full story:

Algal bloom in Fethiye

Tourism boss calls for clarity on algal bloom reports

Work begins on preventing fresh algal blooms in Fethiye Bay

Massive wildfire in Dalaman and Göcek

One of the biggest news stories of the year was the massive fire that engulfed forests in Göcek and Dalaman, destroying between 350 and 400 hectares of forest.

Wildfires - the human factor
The terrifying sight of the mountains near Göcek ablaze

The fire started on the afternoon of 10th July and 520 firefighters, 20 helicopters, 105 water tankers, and 18 bulldozers worked hard to battle the flames, which spread towards Fethiye as a result of strong winds. The fire was finally extinguished on Friday after a herculean effort which lasted 44 hours.

The full story:

Wildfires – natural occurrences vs the human factor

The collapse of Thomas Cook

Fethiye Times News – Week Ending 28 October 2017

There was travel chaos when Thomas Cook went into administration on 23 September and ceased trading with immediate effect.

Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued a stern warning to hotels in the country not to ask Thomas Cook customers to leave, or demand money from them.

Businesses in Fethiye however, suffered a loss of more that 150 million TL as a result of the collapse. Although the number of tourists still showed an overall increase on 2018, business were unable to collect monies owed from the tour operator.

The Ministry promised financial help to hotels, though a “credit loan package.”

Turkey has already made the necessary agreements with several international carriers to provide an additional capacity of nearly 1.2 million for 2020 to replace 850,000 seats lost as a result of the collapse.

Yaşam İçin Yarış – Race For Life Turkey

Video by Mick Scarsbrook

Fethiye turned out to “race for life” for the fifth year on Sunday 27th October. It turned out to be the best year yet and raised a whopping 185.000TL in various fundraising activities that took place over the summer and with sponsorship for the main event in Fethiye.

Soul Train 2019 raises over 50,000TL for local charities – “Oh What a Night!”

The glitz of Glamour – special charity show boosts Yaşam İçin Yarış funds

Pete cycles 4,250 km to raise money for cancer

The total raised in 2018 was 124,500TL making a grand total of 309,500TL over the two years.

All money will be used to support the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in Fethiye and the local area.

The full story:

Yaşam İçin Yarış 2019 – Fethiye races for life for the fifth year

Yaşam İçin Yarış (Race For Life) runners and riders raise thousands

Yaşam İçin Yarış – thank-yous and what’s next?

11 million trees – “Breath for the Future”

11 million trees – “Breath for the Future”

On November 11 at 11:11am, Turkey broke the world record by planting 11 million saplings in an hour as part of the “Breath for the Future” campaign organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The main focus of the day was the areas that had been destroyed by fire over the summer; local events were held in Göcek and Dalaman.

11 November has now been declared as National Forestation Day by President Erdoğan, who plans to make the planting ceremonies an annual event.

The full story:

11 million trees – “Breath for the Future”

Great news for tourism in Turkey

2019 - a year in review

According to figures released by the Culture and Tourism Ministry on Friday, Turkey’s tourism industry saw the number of international visitors surge by 14.5% year-on-year to 40.7 million in January-October period.

The Mediterranean resort city of Antalya saw the highest figure, with 14.1 million in the first 10 months.

Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city by population and a top tourist draw, was the number two destination, drawing 12.7 million foreign visitors.

Russian tourists topped the list with 6.7 million, marking a 16.94% increase. They were followed by Germans with 4.6 million, and U.K. with 2.4 million, marking over 11% increase.

The country’s earnings from tourism also rose in the first two quarters of the year, by 4.6% in Q1 and 13.2% in Q2.

Tourism in Muğla

2019 - a year in review

A total of 3,240,840 tourists visited the Muğla region in 2019 – a 17% increase on the previous year – with 11% from the UK.

Of the total, 1,695,566 passengers used Dalaman Airport, while a further 972,354 arrived at Milas Bodrum Airport.

The majority then went on to enjoy holidays around Bodrum, Fethiye, Marmaris, Ula, Dalaman, Koyceğiz and Datça.

Sources: Haber 48/Daily Sabah

And finally…

A New Year message from our Mayor, Alim Karaca

2019 - a year in review


  1. The majority of the items in this review are positive and progressive. Items that recalled tragedy or unfortunate events were countered with attempts to counter those and we can be thankful for those.
    My wish for the new year is that we see a Fethiye which continues to look to and plan for a future bringing communities together, which acknowledges and tackles the everyday issues the population cope with and which sees the Fethiye we love continue to celebrate the caring nature of The Turkish people.
    Mutlu Yılar!

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