In trying to find the words to write this post, I discovered that what moved me more than anything I could say about Kayaköy were the photos I took of the city, which was largely abandoned after 1923 as a result of the population exchange between Greece and Turkey saw the two countries forcibly exchange Christians from Turkey and Muslims from Greece.
I started looking through all my pictures and realized that what I wanted to say about the Treaty of Lausanne and the deportations was better portrayed through my photos of the empty houses themselves, the dilapidated churches, the poppies pushing up between the foundations of people's former homes. So I created this video of my best photos (the song is A Diamandidis Dalgas by Huseini Manes, an example of rembetika, Greek underground music from the 1920s):
Kayaköy is a lovely place to visit, but it does help to know a bit about the town's history and why it is such an important site today. If you're interested in learning more about the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey and the events leading up to it, I can recommend the following books (descriptions from their back covers):
"Birds Without Wings" by Louis de Bernières: "Set against the backdrop of the collapsing Ottoman Empire, the Gallipoli campaign and the subsequent bitter struggle between Greeks and Turks, [the novel] traces the fortunes of one small community in south-west Anatolia -- a town in which Christian and Muslim lives and traditions have co-existed peacefully for centuries.
"Smyrna 1922: The Destruction of a City" by Marjorie Housepian Dobkin: "Dobkin has rendered the first account of what took place within the city. She has used as sources diaries, letters and eyewitness reports of the participants themselves."
Twice a Stranger: How Mass Expulsion Forged Modern Greece and Turkey" by Bruce Clark: "Clark's fascinating account of these turbulent events draws on new research in Greece and Turkey, and interviews with surviving refugees who lived through those years, allowing the victims of this large-scale ethnic cleansing to speak for themselves for the first time."
"Paradise Lost: Smyrna 1922, The Destruction of Islam's City of Tolerance" by Giles Milton: "A powerful tale of destruction, heorism and survival -- told with the narrative verve that has made Giles Milton a bestselling historian. It unfolds through the memories of the last remaining survivors and the eyewitness accounts of those who found themselves caught up in one of the greatest catastrophes of the modern age."
If you can recommend any other books, please let us know in the comments.
Practical Info: You can get to Kayaköy easily from Fethiye. From the town center, look for a dolmuş that says "Kaya" on the dashboard. At the time of writing, the cost per person was 3.50 TL, and the ride takes about 35-40 minutes. Admission to the historical site is 8 TL.
Next: A wine restaurant in Kayaköy. Previously: Louis de Bernières in Kayaköy.