There has been momentous changes in the political landscape and the eyes of the world are focused on Turkey, Syria and the Kurdish issue. But apart from the rarely seen refugees and the drop in tourist numbers, life here in Fethiye remains much the same. Building development proceeds at breakneck speed, the traffic is more insane and cars ever more luxurious, businesses open and close with bewildering speed and prices are rising exponentially.
The sun was shining as I took a walk from here to Calis along the promenade today and things are moving. The new marina already has 50 or so, small motor boats sparkling as they bobbed about in the breeze. Workmen were laying more roads and pavements and you can now walk or cycle for an uninterupted 3.7 Kilometres from Fethiye ferry pier. The intrepid can, with suitable footwear, continue along to the newly created Duck Islands. There’s a lot more development to come, including a vast area of former marshland, opposite the Devlet Hospital that was drained and is being raised and levelled. A few of the new restaurants have already closed for lack of trade, others are expanding and it’s fascinating to watch how much changes on a daily basis.
Lots of things are conspiring to keep me away from the easel at the moment and I’ll write about them when time allows. I did manage to complete a preliminary sketch of our new Yorkies towards creating the full work requested by the boss for her belated Xmas present. I am really pleased to have captured their different personalities at this early stage.
Xmas within Turkey as opposed to without turkey, an entirely different thing, is surprisingly festive. The shops are full of decorations (which I think the Turks use to celebrate the New Year ) and lights glitter everywhere, (but they are actually there all year). The papers are full of restaurant ads for Xmas and New Year Specials sandwiched between the latest news on corruption in the banking and political world, (just like the UK) and people are smiling (it’s funny but but they do that a lot round here!)
It’s been a hectic week topped off with the arrival of 2 Yorkshire Terrier puppies today. Gina has been searching for another small dog for a while and then we finally heard of a litter in Yaniklar, only just down the road. Gina couldn’t pick between the two little girls and decided to have both! Then, I was asked to show my paintings at an exhibition of English artists at the Sarnic Gallery in Kayakoy starting this Sunday. It’s also the eve of the Calis Xmas Fair and I am hoping for a successful day tomorrow, at least the weather forecast is looking great for the Festival. Meanwhile, I had some cards printed in the UK for our mothers and this was the painting I used.
I am not going to discuss it further but Fethiye was jammed packed solid yesterday for the visit of the Turkish Prime Minister so we went for a walk in the hills above Olu Deniz enjoying the great company of Hash Harriers. We found some different views out over the lagoon, maybe some new landscapes to paint and had a great day.
This is a reworking of an earlier painting that I’ve done to remind me of the atmosphere of Calis cemetary. We walk our dogs on the hills above and were sad to see that the reckless concrete development of Fethiye continues without respite. The canals in this area, once the home of egrets and kingfishers, are starting to resemble a scene from a L.A. car chase and the the gravel paths and overgrown verges that crossed Calis cemetary are gone, cut back, levelled and smoothed over with grey concrete. I love progress but a bit of forethought is desperately needed at the moment.
Generally, sunsets here are not as spectacular as on the European Atlantic coastline. Beautiful, of course, but they lack the drama of the weather fronts that rush onto the shores of Galway, Galloway and Gwynedd. I’m not complaining about the clear skies, far from it, and I acknowledge that many evenings, back in the UK, cloud covers the sun completely. Occasionally though, we get treated to a wonderful sunset here in Fethiye. You could argue that it’s more special because it’s rare but I think that when it comes to watching sunsets, because each one is unique, you can never have too much of a good thing.
I posted about this market on the 12th. When I was there I made some sketches and took some photos from which I have painted this contemporary view in the studio. I had a lot of fun creating the people going about their Sunday morning business.
There are daıly markets spread around Fethıye of which the Tuesday market ın town is the bıggest and most popular. The smaller Sunday version in Calis is a peculiarly British affair due to the large number of expats living in the area and functions as a meeting place and social occasion. You are liable to hear more English spoken than Turkish but the goods on sale remain the same. We rarely need stuff other than fresh food from the markets so do most of our shopping at the Fethiye farmers market on Friday, however last week I travelled to Calis purely to obtain ideas for some street paintings. If you come to Fethiye, be sure not to miss one of these mediterranean markets, the experience is definitely one to savour.