With the Oceanwide Properties’ main headquarters based in Fethiye, we joined in a bit of a celebration with the town – and indeed Turkey as a whole – this week after it commemorated the man for whom Fethiye was named after. A true snippet of Fethiye history.
It was 100 years on February 28 when the plane (a Bleriot XI/B aircraft named Muavenet-i Milliye) in which Ottoman flight captain Fethi Bey was in charge, and Navigator Flight Lieutenant Sadik Bey a passenger, came down unexpectedly over Damascus.
This was between the city and the Sea of Gaililee. The ambitious and historic flight path of the two men had been from Istanbul to Alexandria in Egypt – and a distance of 2,370 kilometers. The reason for the expedition was to prove to Europe that Turkey was just as advanced when it came to aviation, and flying long distance in particular.
The date of the crash was 27 February, 1914. The pair had actually left taken off from Istanbul on 8 February and Bey was the first Turkish pilot to be killed in a plane crash. Both men’s bodies were interned next to the Salahaddin Eyyubi tomb in Damascus’ Amavvid Mosque.
Turkey Mourns Its Loss
Bey had been one of the major figures in Turkey’s aviation history and his death prompted the people’s council in the town of Megri to change its name to Fethiye as a mark of respect for the pilot’s achievements and early death. Although they approved the name change as early as 1914 – the year in which the pilot died – it wasn’t until 1934 when it was officially accepted (due to complications ongoing from WW1 and the Independence War).
Modern Day Memorial Ceremony
A number of senior figures in the Turkish Airforce, as well as the town’s Mayor and Governor were amongst the crowd of residents and other members of the public who came to Fethiye’s main Beşkaz Square to pay their respects.
The actual ceremony included not just a military band but also a fly over from a micro light and motorised paraglider.
Fethiye History – Who Was Fethi Bey?
Fethi Bey was actually born in 1887 at Ayazpasa and graduated from the Deniz Carkci College in 1907. He had enjoyed a brief stint in flight training at the Bristol Aircraft Factory in England during 1912 and 1913. Following his dangerous night time flying missions during the Balkans war he received the commendation of the Silver Merit Medal for bravery.
Apart from naming the town after him, people in this area can never quite forget the part Bey played in Turkish warfare and aviation as a bronze statue of him is currently sited near the promenade at Fethiye Marina to this day. He is a true player in Fethiye history. It allows tourists and residents alike to remember his bravery and the life he gave for the greater good of the country.
Oceanwide Properties has been an estate agency in Fethiye for more than eight years now and has assisted a number of non-Turkish citizens to invest in Turkey property and move to this pretty town. For more information on our property buying, selling and marketing services please see our property website today.
image via forum.airporthaber.com