The ghost village: Kayakoy

8 km south of Fethiye Turkey, and near Ölüdeniz, hundreds of rundown Greek-style stone houses and churches cover a small mountainside, making the village of Kayaköy.

This fascinating town with its unique history has been preserved as a museum. Originally known as Livissi, Kayaköy was likely built in the 18th century and was were the Byzantine Levissos (Greek Christians) went to protect themselves from the pirates. At its peak the town had a population of 6,500 with churches, schools, pharmacies, a hospital, a post office, workshops and even a printing house for the Karya newspaper. Drinking water in the village was supplied by two public fountains and each house had a cellar and a cistern to collect rain water.

Up until 1923, Greeks and Turks lived in harmony under the rule of the Ottoman Empire but at the end of the Greco-Turkish War an agreement was made for population exchange: the Greeks living in Turkey would be sent to Greece and the Turks in Greece would be sent to Turkey. Kayaköy was completely abandoned and many of the buildings were also damaged in the 1957 Fethiye earthquake.

Today Kayaköy is a UNESCO “World Friendship and Peace Village” as a symbol of peace and friendship between Turkey and Greece and an archeological site under the protection of the Turkish government. Visitors can discover Kayaköy taking a dolmuş (minibus) from Fethiye or Ölüdeniz, walking on the narrow streets of the village, buying handmade goods from the roadside vendors and listen the whispering of the ghost town talk to them. Around the village there are a few simple rural-style restaurants, with traditional Ottoman-style köşk seating areas, which serve traditional Turkish cuisine: a selection of meats and mezes with a barbecue for each table.

Info: – Ticket: 8 TL

Photo Credit: ©somewhere-unique