If you go past Hisaronu and continue on for five kilometres along the road through the pine trees you get to “Hayaletkoy” (Ghost Town), more usually known as Kayakoy (Rock Village) here you will find 3500 old Greek houses on the hillside, sited so as not to block the views of the others. As the Anatolian Greeks were good farmers they placed their houses not in the valley but on the hills where agriculture was not possible, Kayakoy is a village that was based on this mentality. Up until 1922, approximately 25,000 people used to live here, after the Independence War during the population exchange program following, the Greeks migrated to their homeland. It is known that there had been a Christian settlement in the village since the 13th century; the village was repopulated by people that moved from Western Trace to Turkey as part of the population exchange. However, these people established their houses on the flat land in front of Kayakoy. Now there is a population of 2000 people living in the area, but the old houses above have been left in lonely moods with their doors and windows broken, all of these houses are now protected but you will see that this decision was taken a bit too late. In the village, whose name was Levissi, there were two churches and 14 chapels, the Taksiyarhis church is now derelict, its wooden door on display in the Fethiye Museum. The Pangaea Pirgiotis Church (The Church Beneath) is in better condition and has interesting frescoes that are worth seeing.
In 1990, a priest from Rhodes and the Muslim Imam Ali from Fethiye held a joint prayer service in the Shrine of Virgin Mary in the name of peace and friendship. The Galata Group, founded by the Chamber of Architecture and students studying architecture, conducted some significant work in the old village. Sectoral organisations such as TURSAB (The Association of Turkish Travel Agencies) have given support to the restoration work, the restoration of the two churches continues despite financial problems. Before the population exchange the village was a very lively settlement with two schools, one for girls and one for boys, a doctor and pharmacies and an abundance of shops. In the Greek time the village even had its own paper; the Muslim refugees that came with the population exchange did not like the place much and moved to other locations like Thrace and Manisa. Those Greeks that moved back to Greece were located in a remote wild area near Athens. They made this place prosperous and named is “Neo Makri”, in other words New Fethiye, some of the houses in the lower part of the village have been restored. The project to reverse Kayakoy into a village of “Peace and Friendship” is now being processed by the civil organizations but there is the “Kayakoy Arts Camp” established as part of the wider project, here students including foreigners study the arts of sculpture, ceramics and photography. You can also make pottery in the Pottery House workshops; there are also a small gifts and souvenirs on sale and a display of some old tools, to be found in the garden of the Poseidon Restaurant. Climbing up the stone paved road you get to the chapel on the hill and you can enjoy a panoramic view overlooking Soguksu Cove, even if the weather is very hot elsewhere, on the top of this hill there is a constant breeze that makes you feel cool.
On your left there is an old house from the village that was restored and converted into a restaurant called Didektas, the other restaurant there is the Poseidon, which is family run, you can have food, coffee, tea and alcoholic drinks here. The village women also prepare fresh gozleme (the flat Turkish bread stuffed with a variety of ingredients) on their low wooden tables in the gardens of their houses. The gozleme is made of dark flour and can be stuffed with spinach, cheese, parsley and a mix of local herbs; you can have tea or an ayran (a drink made of yoghurt). One of the restaurants which are now typical with Kayakoy is the Cinbal Restaurant. Cinbal is the oldest restaurant in the area which gives barbecue service in a tranquil atmosphere of a garden full of flowers and fruit trees all year round. A large selection of meals of Turkish Cuisine and the friendly staff can make your lunch or dinner, one of the unforgettable of your holiday.
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