The ghost town of southern Turkey

The small whitish squares stand out against the dark vegetation of the hillside. There are no doors and the glass in the windows is missing from what was once homes of the Greek Orthodox Christians that lived here.

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Fruit trees and bougainvillea line the abandoned streets, and some of the trees (fig, pomegranate, and others) have completely overgrown the small houses they once stood near. Some of the visitors comment on what a depressing place this is in its silence amidst the once beautifully decorated buildings. About 500 homes, two large churches, a dozen chapels, and assorted schools made up this tiny farming community, each home built slightly above and to the side of its neighbor so as not to obscure the view.

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Kayakoy (its Turkish name) was home to about 2000 Greeks, living peacefully among Turkish farmers in the valley below for several hundred years until 1923 at the conclusion of Greco-Turkey conflict, when the British brokered a deal to swap the Greeks in Turkey for the Turks in Greece to avoid further conflict. The misplaced populace in each country was forced to leave their homes, but neither group wanted to live in space the others had left. So the houses were abandoned and simply left to deteriorate.

The view from the tower (now flying the flag of Turkey) shows the fertile valley the citizens of Kayakoy once enjoyed.

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2 thoughts on “The ghost town of southern Turkey

  1. It was eerie walking among these ruins that were probably a vibrant place less than 100 years ago. All the wooden structures were gone, but a few ornately carved doors remained, and you can see evidence of bright and elaborate wall paintings in some places.

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