Sarah Shoales isn’t shy about admitting she’s a sun seeker. As long as she can remember, she’s loved lazing about in the sunshine, finding any excuse to top up her tan. What’s more, the Manchester native isn’t shy about her bald quest for an all-over tan.
“There’s nothing quite like the sensation of the sun hitting every inch of your skin,” the forthright 32-year-old says. “It’s a really freeing feeling – like being a child again. I used to play on the beach with nothing on when I was a kid – not much has changed!”
When Sarah bought a Fethiye property to use as a summer holiday home last year, she was initially worried she’d have to change her habits to adapt to a new culture and country. “I did think about covering up,” she admits, “but naturism’s a big part of my life - and where there’s a will there’s a way.”
Armed with a local map and a like-minded friend, Sarah explored the beaches around Fethiye to find the best places to bare all. She won’t tell us exactly where, but hinted at the long expanse of Patara Beach. With 17 kilometres of sand to frolic on, it’s easy to find a hidden spot. “There are actually a huge number of places for naturists to enjoy around Fethiye,” Sarah says. “Especially when you head away from the tourist areas. It’s definitely not like most of Spain or France’s beaches where you have to fight for a space along the shore.”
So far, she’s avoided ogling eyes, although she once surprised a couple of holidaymakers picnicking in some sand dunes behind the beach. “I’d fallen asleep and when I woke up I was a bit disoriented – I lurched across a sand dune and almost fell over a family. The two little boys were playing in the sand and the parents had their eyes closed. I tiptoed away as one of them shouted ‘that lady’s got no clothes on!’.”
Sarah is optimistic about the future of naturism in Turkey. “The closing of the Adaburnu Hotel was really disappointing – but it’s definitely planted a seed and I’m sure it’s not the last we’ll hear of the naturist movement in this country.”