Visit Turkey’s Ghost Village


Whether you plan on coming to Turkey for a holiday or to invest in a Turkish property, then you’ll no doubt be keen on learning the history and geography of the country. One area which brings both into focus is the ‘ghost village’ of Kayakoy.

Here at Oceanwide Properties we have no doubt that Kayakoy is one of Turkey’s most visited areas – certainly for those on the hunt for some historical drama. Sitting just eight km south of Fethiye between the town and Olu Deniz, the abandoned village stands out as a ‘preserved museum of former Turkish village life’ and as such proves a magnet to tourists today. The fact it has also been adopted by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as a World Friendship and Peace Village no doubt adds to its prestige and tourist potential.


An Abandoned Village

Formerly home to around 2000 Greek Christians in the twentieth century, the mountainside village, with its narrow streets and lanes, is a reminder of the clashes between the Greek and Turkish governments following WWI and the destruction of the Ottoman Empire. Following an agreement between both countries in 1923 Greek citizens (of which the village was more or less solely comprised) were repatriated back to their homeland and the village left empty.  There were plans in turn for Kayakoy to be occupied by Turkish citizens who had been repatriated from Greece and promised a property in Turkey. However, the Turks feared the Greek villagers had left the water poisoned and didn’t settle in their new homes, preferring instead to head for other areas of Turkey with better farmland on which they could earn their livelihoods.

Some of the homes and buildings in Kayakoy fell prey to collapse in an earthquake in Fethiye back in 1957 but the remainder of the village stands intact and comprises a number of empty and roofless run-down houses as well as two Greek Orthodox churches, a fountain in its centre, abandoned shops, tavernas, school and a private museum. A handful of the homes however have been restored and are currently lived in today. There are also plans for a large scale restoration project for the village by the Turkish government.

Another interesting fact about this village is that it is believed to have been the inspiration for best-selling author Louis de Bernieres’ novel Birds Without Wings, which was published in 2004. Today, as well as being a tourist destination, Kayakoy is also a grazing area for goats – which lends a certain air to its abandoned and ghost village status.

How to Reach Kayakoy

The journey to the village can be achieved in a day from Fethiye, Olu Deniz or Hisaronu by car or the Dolmus from Hisaronu. It’s also possible to stay overnight in several reasonably-priced pensions in the area.

If you’re looking to rent or buy a property for sale in Fethiye which sits nearby, then we’d be delighted to help with your search. We can be contacted by email or telephone. Why not take at look at our website Oceanwide Properties Turkey today?


Join The Discussion

Compare listings