Well, 2020 certainly didn’t turn out to be the year we expected!

On 31st December 2019, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission released a briefing on its website about an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown etiology. The message from news agencies who picked up the story was the exact cause remained unclear, and it would be premature to speculate.

No-one would have thought that by 31st December 2020, the novel coronavirus, identified as COVID-19, would have infected over 83 million people globally and have claimed more than 1.8 million lives.

Today, as we look back on the difficult year that was 2020, let’s have a look at some of the things that have happened here in Fethiye and across Turkey.

The heroes of the front lines

Within the sadness, pain and hardship caused by COVID-19, people lived quietly, pulling together and supporting each other as communities with extraordinary acts of kindness and for many, selfless acts of bravery.

There are many frontline workers who carry out key jobs in the fight against COVID-19.

Health care workers are at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic. They work long shifts and often cannot see their families for fear of infections. 

But healthcare workers worldwide, still found ways to cheer up patients receiving treatment for coronavirus.

Workers at the Çorum Hitit University Erol Olçok Training and Research Hospital recorded a video of themselves taking part in the “corona foot-shake challenge,” created by an American doctor and a favorite among health workers worldwide.

 #SaglikcilariniAlkisla (Applaud your healthcare workers)

In March, Turkish people took to their balconies at 09.00 p.m. local time (1800GMT) in every city to show their respect and appreciation for medical workers amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Together we are stronger

The COVID-19 crisis saw Fethiye at its best with people pulling together to help those most affected. The Corona Caring Fethiye group of volunteers, run by David Ismail Jaime, worked together with the VEFA Social Support Group to provide essential support for those restricted from leaving their homes.

Together We Are Stronger (Birlikte Daha Güçlüyüz)

An Extraordinary 2020 Yaşam İçin Yarış (Race For Life Turkey)

This year, we couldn’t come together in a physical event but that didn’t stop Fethiye and Dalyan from rising to the challenge.

27 people entered the event this year and, along with Just Giving donations, raised a fantastic 

67,982 TL

Read More: An Extraordinary 2020 Yaşam İçin Yarış – rising to the challenge

Masks – the fashion accessory you never knew you’d need

From 15 May 2020, the wearing of masks outside your home became compulsory in Turkey.

In the beginning, surgical masks were most commonly seen, however it wasn’t very long before there were fashionable alternatives available and mask wardrobes became an investment, with a mask for every occasion.

Deserted streets, shuttered windows, empty shores – Fethiye under curfew

During the initial curfews, Fethiye Times was given permission to be out and about recording the unprecedented events as they unfolded.

Read More: Fethiye – in the time of coronavirus

Fethiye Flower Show

COVID-19 forced people to stay at home and many people took advantage of the extra time to tackle some of those jobs they “never have time” to do. 

Getting out and working in the garden seemed to be one of the more popular pastimes and when it was suggested that Fethiye Times hosted a flower show we thought, what a great idea.

Read More: Fethiye Flower Show – gardening competition 2020 – meet the winners

It wasn’t just a year of COVID-19…

The deadliest earthquake of 2020

Early in the morning of October 30, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey’s Aegean coast near İzmir. The earthquake killed 117 people and injured over 1000, the deadliest earthquake of 2020

Two additional people died on the island on Samos in Greece. Most victims died in the rubble of collapsed buildings, but at least one person drowned when a tsunami inundated the Izmir’s Seferihisar district.

“Beautifying” Fethiye

Projects to “beautify” Fethiye and improve the infrastructure continued throughout the summer.

Skywalk Cable Car at Babadağ

Work is almost complete on the eagerly awaited cable car project at Babadağ.

96 Sokak

96 Sokak, located in the center of Fethiye, was given a modern facelift. The improvement works included replacement parquet tiling, a canopy and new planters. 

Çalış Beach gets a facelift

Work started on a facelift for Çalış Beach. The work includes improving the infrastructure, replacing the flooring, landscaping work, new lighting and more.

It’s going to look good once it’s finished around April time. We’ll be keeping you up to date with progress.

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Softly the evening came with the sunset – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

While things changed almost daily due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing remained the same, the sunset – beautiful and reassuring…

Fethiye Times

Along with everyone else, here at Fethiye Times we also had a very different year to the one we’d planned. COVID-19 news has dominated the schedule since March, and will continue to do so until this pandemic is over, or as over as it will ever be.

15 years of Fethiye Times passed with a simple post to mark the occasion, along with many birthdays, anniversaries and celebrations around the world.

2020 has been a difficult year but let’s celebrate the many things we have to be thankful for; the kindness shown by so many, an increased appreciation of the simpler things in life – more cooking, more gardening, more walking, more enjoyment of nature – the list goes on.

As we move into 2021, our thoughts go out out to all those who have lost loved ones this year.

Let’s make sure we keep on caring, being kind and meet the challenges of the coming year with courage and love for each other.

We wish you all a happy and healthy new year!