Like old eyes, the ancient rock tombs watch over the modern town of Fethiye and beyond the protection of 'Şovalye' (Knights) Island, out to sea. Heading away from the coast, an old cobbled road twists up the hillside in the shade of pines, past a few solitary gravestones and over a forested pass. The panorama opens out across a fertile valley; under the shadow of the western Taurus Mountains a patchwork of cultivated fields shimmer in the sunshine while a deserted town slowly crumbles into the hillside...
Less than century ago, a thriving mixed community lived in civil harmony before the malevolence of war sealed the fate of the Christian population of Anatolia. In the ashes of the Ottoman Empire international treaties were signed and populations were forcibly exchanged: The modern republic of Turkey was born.
Kayaköy is situated 8km from the coastal town of Fethiye in South West Turkey. It is also close to the holiday resorts of Ovacik/Hisarönü (5km) and Ölüdeniz (9km-see map). The similarity stops there, Kaya village is spread out over an enclosed plain surrounded by sea on three sides. The climate is typical of the Eastern Mediterranean with hot dry summers and temperate winters. At a height of 125 – 140m, average temperatures are cooler than down on the coast.
To the South East the skyline is dominated by the mountain peaks of 'Mendos' and 'Babadağ' (1967m), which form part of the Western Taurus range, dividing the Mediterranean coast from the Anatolian plateau. The alluvial soils of the valley are occasionally still ploughed by working animals and the yield harvested by hand.