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This busy port town is a good base for exploring the ruins of ancient Lycia in the mountains that rise to the east. Fethiye was known in antiquity as Telmessus (not to be confused with Termessos, near Antalya), and was the principal port of Lycia from the Roman period onward. In front of the town hall is one of the finest of several tombs found throughout the city: this one represents a two-story Lycian house, with reliefs of warriors on both sides of its lid.
The small original town was once called Mekri and populated mainly by Greeks before the Greek-Turkish population exchange in 1924. It was renamed in 1934, after an Ottoman pilot called Fethi Bey. He was killed when he crashed in the mountains of Lebanon while attempting a historic flight that was to link all the Middle Eastern provinces of the Ottoman Empire on the eve of the First World War in 1914. Today's town is quite modern, having been substantially rebuilt after an earthquake in 1957. Strolling along the seafront promenade is a pleasant evening outing, and scuba-diving enthusiasts can choose between half a dozen dive boats that collect in the harbor. The town is most fun on Tuesdays, when village folk flock into Fethiye for the weekly market. The harbor has many yachts available for Blue Cruising.
Fethiye at a Glance
Sports and Outdoors
Elsewhere in The Turquoise Coast
- Antakya (Antioch)
- Datça Peninsula
- Demre (Kale)
- Eski Datça and Reshadiye
- Finike and Arycanda
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