Once home to a bustling town of Turkey’s Muslims and Greek Orthodox Christians, the ‘ghost town’ of Kayakoy now lies eerily abandoned, becoming a tourist hotspot for those who want to learn more about it’s intriguing past, and the history of it’s inhabitants.
A protected archaeological haven, and recognised by UNESCO as a ‘World Friendship and Peace Village’ it is situated around 120 metres above sea level in the Kaya Valley, and it’s a beautiful yet tranquil place in which to reflect on ones thoughts, and visit the many houses, churches and chapels which now lie empty, but offer a glimpse into what life would have been like for the people that lived here man years ago.
Reasons for the abandonment of the village are pretty well known and firstly it was down to the population movement of 1923 after the Greco-Turkish War, secondly the local area had a particularly weak economy so people moved out looking for a stronger and more stable future, and lastly the earthquake of 1957 forced any remaining residents to look for alternative towns & cities in which to stay.
It’s always been quite popular with International tourists, but as the pandemic has bought International travel to a temporary close, it’s now becoming a hub for local tourists who want to learn more about their country, especially when most other sites are closed due to the national lockdown!
It’s definitely worth a visit though, for when you are next over!