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Tuesday, 26 June 2012


Everyone can use a little inspiration on a Monday. Here are some snaps from the Datca region of Turkey.
The coastline near the Datca Peninsula

Ancient ruins at Knidos

Sunset over one of Datca's windmills

Datca village

Bodrum: Billionaire town

Bodrum’s star is truly on the rise with the opening of the new Billionaire Club in Yalikavak.

Italian entrepreneur Flavio Briatore opened the newest exclusive club this week at Yalikavak's Palmarina. True to form, he threw a lavish party, attended by Czech supermodel Eva Herzigova as well as some of the world's movers and shakers.

Briatore has opened Billionaire's Clubs in Istanbul, Monaco, Marbella and Sardinia. The Italian stallion is well known for his love of supermodels - he once dated Naomi Campbell, and is now married to Wonderbra model Elisabetta Gregoraci. However, it's not as well known that the 58-year-old also has a deep love of all things Turkish, and has had his sights set on Bodrum for half a decade.

Bodrum certainly got Herzigova's vote. “I’m in a holiday paradise, Bodrum is a beautiful place and I’m really happy to be here,” she said.

The venture is great news for locals and potential Bodrum investment property buyers, who are banking on the fact that the multi-millionaire's $25 million investment in the area will further add to Bodrum’s potential.

The other big name brand to recognise Bodrum’s potential is Swisstel Hotel and Resorts, who are opening a beach resort on Turgutreis’s waterfront. The two-storey hotel will offer panoramic views from its elegant rooms.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Derinkuku underground city

Derinkuyu is the largest underground city in Cappadocia. 

Built around the eighth century BC by the Phrygians, it was large enough to house up to 50,000 people. Its eleven levels, carved into soft volcanic rock, contain wine and oil presses, storage rooms, chapels, refectories and even stables. 

 It’s not known exactly why the city was constructed, but archaeologists studying the site have discovered that the whole network could be sealed off from the inside by eleven stone doors. The doors are around a metre in height and between 30-50 centimetres thick. Each one weighs between 200 and 500 kilograms. This suggests that perhaps it was built as an elaborate fortress to protect against marauding forces. 

 The Phrygian kingdom was located in the western part of Anatolia, modern day Turkey. They had a fairly advanced society for the time they lived. They loved music and theatre and it’s thought that some of their music influenced the Greeks. 

The Phrygians had many enemies, and eventually became part of the Roman Empire. Today, no trace of the Phrygian language is left – however, the famous King Midas (he of the golden touch) was thought to be a Phrygian, so their legacy remains in part. 

 Archaeologists are still learning about this incredible city. Only ten percent of the complex has so far been evacuated. There are around 200 of these complexes throughout Cappadocia and the Nevsehir region – Derinkuyu is even connected to some by passages.

Derinkuyu is an incredible place to visit while touring Turkey - a world away from the luxury holiday spots of the south coast.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Turkey earthquake update

An earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale sent shockwaves through the holiday town of Fethiye and the Greek island of Rhodes this week.

Several people were injured when they leapt from buildings, but there were no deaths, and there have been no reports of British injuries.

Fethiye resident Caitlin McDiarmond says the quake lasted around 30 seconds. “We often get earthquakes here but I haven’t felt one that strong before,” she said. “It was frightening at the time, I hope there aren’t any more.”

Fethiye was hit by an earthquake earlier in the week.

Earthquakes happen almost every day in Turkey, which has a number of fault lines. Last October, more than 600 people were killed in the eastern province of Van after a 7.2 earthquake. In fact, most of the major Turkish earthquakes in the past 50 years occurred in Turkey’s northeast province and weren’t even felt in the southeastern regions, which is around 1,800 kilometres away (the same distance that separates London from Prague).

The main thing to remember is that (very sadly) the casualties of Turkey’s earthquakes are the poor, living in overcrowded buildings built by greedy developers who bribe officials to circumvent any safety checks.

Please read here for more information on Turkey’s building regulations, and for tips on how to safeguard yourself against personal and property damage during and after an earthquake.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Falling in love in Fethiye: British man gets more than he bargained for on 'rebound break'

Three years ago Simon Hutson was in the depths of despair. Returning to work after a month’s recuperation from back surgery, the Wolverhampton designer discovered he was about to be made redundant. Simon tried to cheer himself with the thought that things couldn’t get worse. Two weeks later his girlfriend of eight years decided the couple should call it a day.

“The day [my ex girlfriend] moved out I felt like the unluckiest man on the planet,” says the 40-year-old. “I felt like crawling into a hole and not coming back out.”

In despair, he took some friends up on an offer to travel to Fethiye for a "rebound break". “I had nothing else to do,” he said. “I thought I would just drink steadily for a week and sit on the beach and lick my wounds.” Instead, Hutson found himself falling in love with the area – facilitated by Ceren, a Turkish woman he encountered on the beach on his second day.

Simon's unexpected encounter on the beach led to the romance of a lifetime.
“I was walking across the sand with two drinks and obviously wasn’t watching where I was going,” Simon recounts. “Suddenly a very, very pissed off – but very attractive - woman appeared in front of me and started shouting that I’d kicked sand in her face. She was so angry, I actually feared for my life!” Eventually Simon managed to explain that he didn’t make a habit of deliberately kicking sand into women’s faces and even convinced her to go for a drink with him – an impressive feat for someone who describes himself as “more neurotic than Woody Allen”.

Hairdresser Ceren took Simon on a tour of the area, showing him a side that most beach-centric tourists rarely see. His favourite place, he says, was Kayakoy. “The abandoned houses were really creepy but on a sunny day it’s a really spectacular spot.”

On the final day of his holiday, Simon proposed to Ceren. “My friends and family thought I was mad and desperately tried to talk me out of it,” he says. “But I’m a stubborn person and I just knew it was right.”

The couple married three months later – on the beach where Simon kicked sand into his bride’s eyes. The fairytale ending took a little while to materialise, as Simon had to tie up loose ends back home. However, as of April this year, the couple are happily living in Fethiye Town, with Simon freelancing for companies back in the UK. The former couch potato has taken up windsurfing and sailing, and would one day like to open a sailing school.

“I have never been happier – I cannot believe how much my life has changed in three years,” he says. “I can’t imagine moving back to the UK – I was there last week to meet with a client and couldn’t wait to get back to sunny Fethiye again!”

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Ukraine food poisoning ahead of game "no accident"

Whatever happened to the art of losing gracefully?

Ukranian Euro 2012 players struck down by a stomach bug believe their illness was an act of sabotage.

Ten footballers became ill on Tuesday ahead of their last warm-up match against Turkey. Coach Oleg Blokhin told Ukranian television that "It may have been sabotage, I do not know. It cannot be accidental." However, the coach admitted that they had come down with the illness in Germany - and the players had all eaten different food.

They lost their match against Turkey by 2-0. 

Team doctor Leonid Myronov said the first symptoms manifested on Monday afternoon when the team masseur became ill. One by one, the players followed. The doctor tried to cure the patients with "all available methods of detox", but it's clear the illness affected their performances.

A spokesperson for the team said that the sick players are recovering and should be well for their Monday game against Sweden.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Salma Hayek soaks up the Bodrum sun

You might be relieved that Bodrum doesn't just attract stabby sisters: sexy Hollywood star Salma Hayek chose an exclusive Bodrum holiday this year.

Sultry: Salma Hayek and her snake relaxing in Bodrum.
With her millionaire businessman husband and six-year-old daughter in tow, Hayek was spotted dining in Gumusluk and sunbathing at her luxury pad in Torba, the hotel Amanruya, which opened a month ago.

The all-star family arrived in a luxury yacht last week, after travelling over from Greece. 

Hayek is known for her roles in Dusk Till Dawn (pictured), Frida, Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico.