Kalkan Today – A Little Piece of Peace

Kalkan Today – A Little Piece of Peace

posted in: Kalkan, Turkey | 15

I started this website back in January this year to share my love of Turkey through the photos I take when I am there, and to be honest, I am there quite a lot compared to most regular holiday makers. I think it is fair to say I do love the country rather a lot, from it’s stunning scenery and beautiful architecture, through it’s umpteen ancient & historical sites, gorgeous beaches and of course the food…ohhh, the food!! Most of all, I love the friendly, warm and welcoming people – and I am not the only one. Ask anyone for their reasons why they keep coming back to Turkey and don’t be at all surprised when a majority of them mention the people.

Right now, those people need our love and support more than ever, especially those in the coastal towns along the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts, where tourism is the main source of income either directly or indirectly. I am sure there are some remote caves, somewhere in the world that haven’t heard of the recent problems in Turkey, but the rest of us live in the modern world with 24 hour rolling TV news and a written media desperate to grab the headlines and our attentions. A spate of terrorist attacks over the last year had already seen visitor numbers drop significantly and the attempted coup a few weeks ago has only heightened fears about stability in the country. Worse, sensationalist reports from some of our less salubrious press outlets has left those of us that visit regularly having to answer the oddest questions from people who have been rather led up the garden path about the reality of life in the holiday resorts at the moment. Sadly I haven’t been out there for the last couple of weeks, it’s a month since I returned from my last trip and another month before the next one, but I do speak to plenty of people who have, as you are about to see if you read on.

I have already seen many wonderful places in Turkey and plan on seeing many more, but my own little bit of Turkish paradise is the small Mediterranean town of Kalkan, on the south west coast. Kalkan is simply one of those places that keeps pulling you back, every other month for me, but whether it’s every year, or even permanently as some of the ex-pat Brits will testify to, it just does! You can read and see photos about Kalkan on another post on this blog, just CLICK, but for now, take my word for it, the laid back Turkish ambience, hospitality and community make it addictive. The question is, given the current problems we are reading about in Turkey, what is it like right now? Is it safe? Are restaurants and bars still open? Is there a curfew? Can we still hire sunbeds on the beach? Are there protesters and/or ISIS fighters on every corner? How quickly can the SAS rescue you? STOP LAUGHING!! These are some of the questions I have seen or been asked personally in the last week alone!

The bottom line is this – our own Foreign Office is still saying it is safe to visit – you can read their full advice HERE, so there is no need to be unduly worried. There are still plenty of flights into Dalaman, rumours of cancellations appear to be exactly that, just rumours. Remember the terror level is exactly the same as here at home in the UK and any ‘hangovers’ from the coup are really only being felt in the larger cities by way of democracy demonstrations. Yes, you may see more security at the airports and experience more random roadside checks when travelling – these things should actually make you feel safer than here at home, they simply demonstrate that care is being taken and security for everyone is being taken seriously, especially tourists. In Kalkan, it is life as normal and shall I tell you how I know that? Because the rest of this post will not be written by me, but by people who have been there in the last few weeks. Holiday makers and residents alike who have actually been in Kalkan and are either very happy to be still be there, or very sad when it’s time to go home, just as it’s always been. A few of us were chatting and wondering how to get the real story out there, how to show people that the beaches are not empty, that visitors are still coming but there is room for many more, that you will have a fabulous holiday in this perfectly relaxed town with oodles of sunshine, the sea, the beach, the harbour, the plethora of restaurants and of course, that unbeatable Turkish welcome. So, here you are, read these comments and have a look at these photos from a few of my friends and acquaintances who have really been there, this week and want to share as a collective what it is really like.

 

From Paul Smith who has just returned home

I can honestly say that Kalkan is still as peaceful and lovely as ever. This year we came with my parents, 2 friends and their 12yo (who are now hooked) and our 1yo little girl. At no point did we feel unsafe or threatened, and saw no military/coup related action in any way. If anything the local Belediyesi were proactively reassuring locals and tourists with public announcements.

Traveling around Kalkan (to Kas and into the mountains) was no different than any other year, friendly waves and wonderful smiles. Unfortunately Kalkan (and Turkey in general) is so quiet and is in desperate need of support from tourism. I would urge anyone thinking of going, just book it and enjoy a fun filled and relaxing holiday. 

We’ve booked for next year and would go back tomorrow if we could.

Paul Smith

A few of Pauls photos, mainly of his 1yr old daughter being spoilt rotten by her Turkish fan club.

 

From Jo Ball and her party of friends who have just come back

We were in kalkan in June celebrating my birthday and have just come back from another fabulous week in July with friends who have young children, so we were there before and after the recent events. Absolutely nothing has changed it is the normal beautiful kalkan and we can’t wait to go back again in September.

Jo and her friends enjoying Kalkan

 

Sandra Osbourne, local resident

I have known Kalkan for many, many years and lived here for 11. I feel as safe today as the first time I set eyes on the place. Life goes on the same for the locals, you see the mums and kids out shopping and the dads drinking coffee or at work. Kalkan is as calm, peaceful, welcoming and beautiful as ever…

Some of Sandra’s Kalkan photos, all from the last couple of weeks – so much for those empty beaches and doom and gloom some of our newspapers are telling us about!

 

From Wendy Dewar, who is spending a lot of her summer in Kalkan

I was out drinking with friends in Kalkan when the attempted coup happened. Suddenly my phone was going crazy with people worrying as the UK press coverage was scaremongering. Here in Kalkan life carried on as usual, and we had another drink. The only problem we saw that night was a cat fight, and a very unusual sight the next day…..an owl by the roadside! Apart from that, everything was lovely and peaceful. I had to travel to the UK the next day, and was disappointed my flight wasn’t cancelled. However, I have now returned to this peaceful haven, a female on my own for the whole summer. If I felt one hint of doubt or fear, I wouldn’t have come. But I feel safer here than at home, I have the hot weather, the most breathtaking view, and my beautiful Kalkan friends to look after me. I never feel alone here, the beautiful Turkish people of Kalkan are my family. I am also going to try a spot of yoga this week looking out to sea. So glad I am in paradise right now, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Now let me get back to my wine whilst I watch the sun go down. Happy days………

 

That beautiful view of the sunset, enjoy your wine Wendy

 

From Paul Kendrick, who was in Kalkan from the start of July

Spent a fifteen day holiday in Kalkan this year at the beginning of July. Instantly felt we had arrived home as the taxi brought us around the bend on the main road and that view of Kalkan laid out before us takes your breath away. As usual, you get a warm friendly welcome as soon as you arrive. Each year our holiday gets better and better, all the concerns you may have had before leaving England melts away as you settle into the carefree life of Kalkan and it’s people. With boat trips organised, along with a trip into the mountains for a BBQ with Kaya Restaurant for a day, a trip to Kekova to sample history and the beautiful Simena to visit. Beach clubs visited, fun to be had, followed by the biggest decision of the day, which of the many top restaurants Kalkan can boast off, do you choose. Over the years you make great friends with the restaurant owners and staff, so almost a timetable becomes apparent as you make sure you can fit everyone in. Yes, there was the attempted coup near the end of the holiday, but you quickly realise that the holiday coast is almost a different continent to what is happening elsewhere, so peaceful and enjoyable. Everything seemed so normal and safe, just a shame that numbers are low for this classic base for a holiday. Thank you Kalkan, love you.

A few of Pauls photos from his recent trip.

 

I could go on, adding more and more of these from so many people who love this town, but I think you are already getting the idea. Regardless of the politics, or the inherent risks we all face daily even here in the UK (and lets not even mention Europe right now) from terrorism, these are real people with families and children, just trying to survive and maintain normal lives a long way from the big cities. None of us can absolutely guarantee things will remain the same in the future, but what we can do, is say with absolute certainty that the wonderful Turkish people of Kalkan will bend over backwards to give you the best, most relaxing holiday you ever had. Sunshine is almost guaranteed, the seas are clear and beaches beautiful, the food in Kalkan has a reputation for it’s excellence. All of us that have created this post, and many, many more visitors have made life long friends in Kalkan, it is just that kind of town. So please, come and make friends of your own, and discover why so many people return year after year – the Kalkan Bug really is addictive.

3/08/2016 – Edit: read the comments below too!!

15 Responses

  1. Superb article. Wonderful contributions from real Turkey visitors. I hope many are reassured by this.
    Thanks to you all !

  2. Well said Yvonne – and thank you for so eloquently expressing the thoughts of so many Kalkan lovers. When you have loved this place and its people for as long as we have, it hurts to see the local businesses suffering for no fault of their own and through circumstances completely beyond their control.

    We were there in May, again in July and can’t wait to get back there in September to enjoy some more of that unrivalled Kalkan hospitality!

    Keep up the good work 🙂

  3. Dave Ruane

    THANKYOU Yvonne for reminding my wife and I how much we love Kalkan and consider it our second home.We have travelled widely and can safely say that there is nowhere quite like Kalkan.When we return later this year for our 30th visit, we will be greeted with the same warmth, love and camaraderie that we always get.The first visit down into town will as usual take over two hours as we are greeted with hugs and kisses from the friends we have made over the years.Kalkan is unique, from its quaint winding streets that are different by day and night.It,s gorgeous harbour, beach and beach clubs, the plethora of amazing restaraunts and bars that appeal to every pocket from the cheapest to the most expensive.The gorgeous boat trips and other excursions by both day and night.The mountain BBQ with Kaya ,Kadir,Errol and the boys is a must do.
    Please do not be put off by the negative and over reactive press, the wonderful Turkish people especially in Kalkan need our support. But psssst please don,t tell everyone as we do not want to spoil it.Returning with family this year who have not been for a few years, they too cannot wait to return.We love you Kalkan!!! See you soon from Dave and Carol Ruane xxx

  4. We caught the Kalkan bug on our first trip many years ago! It is a very special place, as you say this part of Turkey has so much to offer, and it is as wonderful today as it was on our first trip. The people are generous and warm, the views on offer are spectacular and the quality of the food just gets better! The sea swimming is divine, may I recommend Kalamar Bay below the Kulube hotel, and the gullet trips are a perfect way to relax on the real and very turquoise sea along this remarkable coastline. Our last two weeks in Kalkan have been restful and relaxing and there is no where I’d rather be.
    It hurts to see how local businesses have suffered through no fault of their own, however in the last few days business seems to have picked up a little. Kalkan is my happy place, if you’ve never been, come now and I promise it will become your happy place too! You too will be charmed into catching the a Kalkan bug,

  5. It’s so lovely to read this and to be honest not at all surprising that I couldn’t agree more with all of the above! My parents bought a beautiful apartment in Kalkan three years ago. My boyfriend and I have been every year since and I will be going for the second time in September with a large group of friends.
    We have introduced friends to Kalkan – they have immediately fallen in love with this secluded paradise.

    We were in Kalkan when the awful attack took place in Istanbul. Similar to Wendy’s story, we found out about the troubles through texts of concern from friends and family. It was heartbreaking seeing the effects the terrorism is having on the Kalkan locals – not because they live in fear of an attack…because they live in fear that their livelihood is in the hands of the tourists too scared to visit Turkey. Please don’t stop visiting Kalkan. Unfortunately we live in a world surrounded by hate. Kalkan is nothing but love.
    You can’t stop living your life.
    See you soon….!

  6. Great article and having been in Kalkan the last few weeks ourselves, can echo these comments 100%. Will be back in October!!

  7. Sharon Peck

    Fantastic review by real Turkey lovers. We will be back in Kalkan at the end of August.

  8. Andrea driver

    Fab article. We have a place in Side which we love but have been to kalkan lots of times. We visit turkey 3 or 4 times a year and drive the 4 hours to kalkan probably once a year! Love it! We are there in 4 weeks. Love the people but they need us right now. It’s such a shame people have been changing their minds about visiting because of the media…

  9. Thank you for expressing the love we share for Kalkan so well and capturing the essence of this place so perfectly. Readers, come to Kalkan and see beyond the headlines. Kalkan is the same peaceful place it has always been and still has its buzz and a beautiful ambience. Thank you Yvonne.

  10. Mary Bennett

    Brilliant article. Succinctly giving the reasons why we all keep returning to Kalkan. We’ll be back in September for our 8th visit and can’t wait!

  11. Andy Jefferson

    Excellent review! As I type this, I’m sat overlooking the bay in Kalkan. The place is just as stunning and friendly and welcoming as ever! We introduced friends to Kalkan last year and they couldn’t wait to come back this year! That says it all really

  12. Lovely review of an amazing place. I was there in June with friends and again the day after the attempted coup with my husband. I feel so bad for all the lovely people there trying to make a living and I hope it will pick up for them soon. Friends and family thought I was mad to go but they just don’t understand how safe and nice it is, I wish I could convince them to go. I’d go back tomorrow if I could.

  13. Tony Ruddock

    A great and very true piece. I was there in april and i’ll be back in september.. I love it there and our turkish friends really do look after us..

  14. It is really the most beautiful and peacefull place i had ever been on holiday , i met their a lot off friends . It is very sad for all the people their who have business . I really hope that everything comes ok . And the day i can i come back !

  15. Mary Richards

    Superb writing, this should be published in the travel section of one of the Sunday newspapers, who these days never mention Turkey! We flew home from Kalkan the day after the Military Coup. Knew nothing about it until our phones kept bleeping with messages from home. “Whatever you do stay indoors” Goodness knows how you will get a flight, no airports are open and no flights are arriving or leaving”
    We did get home, flying from Dalaman on our flight that was booked last year, without any delays. Once home the questions carried on, “you won’t go back in September will you” Our answer….yes we will. While in Kalkan it seemed an oasis of tranquility in a very turbulent world. The people, the places unchanged. I am sure the scenes in Istanbul and Ankara were frightening to witness but the way it was reported by some of the media was frankly nothing less than scaremongering. Tourism for Kalkan is vital, the lovely welcoming people need our support now more than ever.

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