Benim Tatlı Fethiye, Türkiye!

My sweet Fethiye, that small city located in the province of Mugla. This enchanting city will always be my favourite part about this region, so there are many reasons why Fethiye is so sweet to me! The summer sun does beat down, but I love Fethiye, so I know that I'll be back. Feeling bored, I left the peace and quiet of my family's holiday home to spend an afternoon in Fethiye. 

Back to the reminiscent hype I made sure that I had a cake or two from Sultan's Pattisserie, I love my cakes and pastries so I always have love for that Turkish bakery! Getting back to the tomato soup and cheese we ate that for the first time that first 2003 week. Crazy as this sounds I would rather have an Ayran instead of a fizzy drink in the summer sun. I went mad this summer, I spent forty pounds on Turkish music albums! Back to my current trip to Fethiye, I used that trip as a chance to get away from the quiet of the pool area. If I'm honest I like to be on my own sometimes, I wanted out for the afternoon. When with my family I have noticed that over the couner medication can be very cheap, I must remind them before we go back to England! Over the counter medication has a higher strength compared to England so you can get your money's worth! Embracing Fethiye for that afternoon, it was my medicine. Hadi!

Just this week I caught the Dolmuş (local bus) from Çalış to Fethiye to reconnect with a city/town that I've grown to love over the thirteen or so years. I walked from the bus station towards the fish market, a hype of activity where the locals buy the best catch of the day. Captured above are the offerings that can be purchased, Turkey delivers yet another fresh form of produce! Last time I came to Fethiye about two weeks ago, the festival of Ramadan was in motion so the hype of Fethiye wasn't really how it usually is so I wanted to come back to get the best of everything. This side of town is great for shopping, not in the conventional sense but for items such as fresh goats cheese, fresh fruit and vegetables and also clothes and shoes. I love Turkish music! Gökçen Music was where I purchased Demet Akalin's brand new album Giderli 16 for £6.00. That's a bargain! Fethiye has a huge Tuesday market, if you read my publication about Çalış's Sunday Market all will become clear. Ah!

Having a strong stomach is the key when a visit to the fish market, the fresh fish and cheese emit a strong odour but its all about the experience. I much prefer this market, it has a more close knit feeling that always feels more authentic compared with the main Tuesday market. I haven't bought any fruit, veg or fish but I know that the local community in and around Fethiye trust the produce. Like I said its more about the experience, lined the outside of the markets are many small shops and a string of barbershops all of which reinforce a small scale level of independent businesses. During my Fethiye shopping spree I got my hair cut at one of the barbershops not so far from the market to find that Turkish men love their own time at the salon so to speak. It's all about the brotherhood getting together for a gossip to see what's good! Turkish barbers always make the cut! Men need 'me' time! Tamam? Evet!

I would have to say that Fethiye is quite like a rabbit warren, with lots of side streets that bestow quaint shops and banks. Captured to above is a street within the Paspatur, the old town which has many tourist orientated gift shops and jewellers. When the sun goes down Fethiye's Paspatur comes alive, the music and atmosphere fills the small and winding streets. I had a few too many drinks with my cousin Laura, we made it back to our villas without any issues. Would that be our only night out? It definitely was not! Something that is quite controversial, there's a mosque situated in the heart of the Paspatur overlooking Nefis Pide, a really nice little restaurant. Alcohol has to be served in Coca Cola cups to disguise the forbidden liquor. I would have say to that Turkey's approach to religion is quite unclear, people view religion in Turkey from many different spectrums with different types of Islam allowing the consumption of alcohol, for the moment things are liberal. Live and let live I say T! 

The first time I visited Fethiye around 2003, it was a cold February half term week when I went on a house hunting trip with my family. We stayed at the Yeni Ceri Hotel, a simple hotel close to Fethiye's then sleepy marina. The guys from the hotel were really friendly and welcoming during our weeks stay, it was when charter flights didn't fly to Dalaman. We looked at several houses around the local area but we found the gem on Onur Sitesi but more about that later. Fethiye has changed so much over the years but in one way it's just the same as it was back on that house hunting trip. Ah, BIM! A supermarket the same as Lidl so we made that budget supermarket a family favourite throughout the years that we holidayed in the Fethiye 
area. Nefis Pide serves up a tasty meal on a regular, we ate there during our February week all those years ago! I first tried Ayran at Nefis Pide and I loved it instantly! Tabii!

Grabbing a bite to eat in Fethiye is an absolute pleasure, another reason why this city is my favourite! Paşa Kebap has been a favourite restaurant to enjoy the perfect tomato soup with cheese. Honestly, the best tomato soup and cheese I have ever ordered, the crown goes to King Kebab! Paşa Kebap serves up a super fresh and ice cold tankard of Ayran, so during that summer heat I took one for the win! Over the last eleven or so years this restaurant continues to serve the same delicious food at the same top quality and its reasonably priced as well. I have a very sweet tooth so I can appreciate Fethiye's premium cake shop. Going back to Sultan Patisserie serves the perfect cakes and puddings, something to remember! From the very first time I had a sweet treat I knew this place would continue to be my preferred cake shop. I must admit that I always have room for desert, so I always treat myself to a Sütlaç. Having a major sweet tooth has never been a problem in Fethiye! Çok lezzetli!

The true gem of Fethiye has to be its harbour, the gateway to the Aegean sea, Greece and also Northern Cyprus. Fethiye's marina is where the exclusive yachts and catamarans meet the everyday boats that operate daily boats around the bay area. The Çalış Beach Dolmuş Boat docks right in the centre of the action, its a less stressful way to access Fethiye because the Dolmuş can get very busy. She's a working girl! The harbour boasts some really expensive and luxurious boats, amongst the grandeur of these luxury vessels the less than grand boats go about their business. The Flying Poseidon Hydrofoil zips back and forth from Fethiye to Rhodes, Greece. At the beginning of my holiday I contemplated going to Rhodes for a short trip but I chose to see Istanbul. 
The Ece Saray hotel and spa is located in harbour, this hotel is one of the most luxurious places to stay in town. Ece, I will make reservations! Bu benim sarayım! 

Fethiye is a city that will remain sweet to me, from the first visit in 2003 I will always stay faithful to this city. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that Fethiye has welcomed the fast-food giants into its centrum, McDonalds has one restaurant and Burger King has opened two locations, time has changed but this city will stay the same for me. Every chapter comes to an end but with another one ready to begin I see myself visiting Fethiye in the future for sure. I loved my independent day in Fethiye, it should be a mandatory part of any holiday to do what you wish. I'm going to miss my tomato soup and cheese, no one does fresh Ayran better than Paşa Kebap so I best get inventive when I return back to England. The Tuesday Market just isn't my thing anymore, thankfully I'm grown enough to do my own thing now and with the years that we have returned, I know where I am going! Until next time, I wonder what fast food franchise will open next? Will it be a KFC or Subway? F, hoşçakalın şimdi!

Fethiye'yi Seviyorum!

Joseph Harrison 


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