At the ruins of the Lycian city of Patara, near Fethiye on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.
This beautifully weathered door is found on the tiny Greek island of Castellorizo, known as Meis by the Turks and accessible from the Turkish Mediterranean coast after a relaxing ferry ride of about an hour.
The village of Livissi entered the 20th century with a population of 2000, almost all of them Greek Orthodox Christians. However, the events leading to the wholesale population exchange of ethnic Greeks and Turks between the two countries’ mainlands completely emptied the village by 1922. Now known as Kayaköy (“Rock Village” in Turkish), it is a vacant ghost town attracting occasional tourists near Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.
This picture was taken inside the sanctuary of the “Lower Church,” one of two cathedrals built in the village in the late 1800s.
Several times while displaying my images here in America, people have commented on the blue doors in some of my Mediterranean scenes, and asked if I’ve “painted them in.” No, there’s no need – people on Greek islands just like having blue doors. Sometimes I just take out all the other color, like I did here, to make the blue stand out more.
This is one of my favorite sights to see in Turkey. Driving along the Mediterranean coast, your car passes tomato-growing greenhouses before arriving at the tiny village of Patara. On the other side of the village, grassy fields and hills emerge, broken only by a few pillars, cows, and the odd amphitheater. Driving up the dirt path towards the ruins, my wife was stopped by an older village woman in the traditional headscarf. Julie rolled down her window. “Have you seen my goat?” asked the woman. “I lost him right around here.”
Continuing on a few hundred meters down the road brings a sandy parking lot into sight. Walk towards the sand and you will discover a 20-kilometer stretch of white sand that is also a nesting site for – what else – loggerhead sea turtles.
Canon EOS Rebel XTi, ISO-200, f/22, 1/20 sec.
Kayakoy, in the Mediterranean hills of southwest Turkey, was populated until the first part of the 20th century, when changing world events saw all Greeks depart for the western side of the Aegean Sea. Greek settlements like Kayakoy became ghost towns, their religious buildings empty monuments. The Lower Church shown here was built in the 17th century; frescoes of saints and carved crosses preside over crumbling plaster and a congregation long gone.
Canon EOS Rebel XTi, ISO-400, f/10, 1/15 sec. (handheld, 18-200 Canon IS lens @ 18 mm)
This was taken in the village of Bekiruşağı, in Malatya, Turkey. Since I visited in the fall, the house was deserted, like many of the nearby houses belonging to Turkish families who now live in Europe and only return for summer vacations. The bike was a very recent purchase of my host, who just before this picture was taken had used it to transport four of us on a rather harrowing ride from the village center to his house.
Canon EOS Rebel XTi, ISO-200, f/9, 1/30 sec.
Cleopatra’s Arch in Tarsus dates from Roman times and is supposed to mark the place where the Marc Anthony and the notorious queen first laid eyes on each other. A pretty good pedigree for any structure, but here as many other places in Turkey, the arch takes a back seat to a Turkish flag and the inspiring figure and words of Ataturk.
On the left hand stone, one of Ataturk’s famous quotes: “Turk, plan, work, and trust.” On the right hand stone, and even more inspirationally: “O Turk, son of the future, the power you need is present in the blood in your veins.”
Canon EOS Rebel XTi, ISO-200, f/13, 1/125 sec.
Departing from the theme here a little bit because this is not really Anatolia. It’s not actually Turkey either – this picture was taken on the Greek island of Castellorizo, just off the Turkish coast, which the Turks call Meis. The town and especially the harbor are beautiful – this view looks down the harbor street on the left side. Still, when we visited in early May it was a ghost town and before noon not a single cafe was open. All to be found on the streets was a few fisherman and some lonely blue Greek architecture.