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Living in Dalyan, Turkey.

Photo documentary

The small town of Dalyan is situated on the south coast of Turkey. It used to be a town of fishermen and farmers. Nowadays it isn't anymore. When the international airport of Dalaman was built, loads of tourists started to come to this part of Turkey where they had discovered a new paradise on earth.

Along with the tourists the real estate business settled down in town. This part of the country is quite popular by English and German fifty plus couples. You don't need to have too much money to become the proud owner of a villa in the vegetable fields.

Villa's, hotels and apartment buildings appeared and the small agricultural town of Dalyan didn't have another choice than to accept these changes. Hotels meant jobs, jobs meant money and money will eventually bring a better life.

There was a small invasion of men and boys who were looking for work in the tourist industry. During the summer season they worked hard and made long days. Fifteen working hours a day is quite normal during this period of the year. When the winter arrived most of the hotels were closing down and the town became empty. The men and boys returned to their families in their hometowns, hundreds of kilometers land inwards, in the mountains. For them the winter is a period of sleeping, playing cards and doing nothing.

The history of this friendly town goes way back to the 6th century B.C. as it once was a flourishing city know by the name of Kaunos. The city was situated on the other side of the river, in the delta near the sea. It was and still is a wonderful and strategic location overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

Sea turtles love the beaches around Dalyan for making nests and laying their eggs. To protect this endangered turtle the whole area is now conservation area.
Another animal or rather an insect that played an important role in the history of Kaunos and Dalyan is the mosquito. This little insect is part of the reason why Kaunos once lost all its power. The mosquitoes where infected with the malaria virus and killed the citizens. The ones who fled away never came back. Now the ruins are the only leftovers of what once was a mighty and powerful city.

Mosquitoes still love the Kaunos area because it is warm and moist in the summer. Fortunately they do not carry the malaria virus anymore. In the romantic summer evenings they are waiting for fresh flesh of newly arrived tourists. Mosquito repellent is the most sold item in town and when the sun is gone, you can smell its aroma hanging in the air.

Walking through town, away from the centre you will find the homes of the native Dalyan people. Some still living in simple homes. The contrast is huge. Their home town is changing and adapting to western standards, they do not have the opportunity to go along. The can only hold on to their strong traditions as they have always done.