The Ghost Town Kayakoy village in Turkey stretches along the hillside not far from the ruins of Lycian city Karmylassos in 7 km from Fethiye. So what is Ghost Town Kayakoy history? In the XVIII century Greeks arrived here from Dodecanese Islands and founded a town here , it’s name was Levissi. In this quite a large town with about 3,500 homes the Greeks lived for centuries. In 1923 when the city had about 6,000 Greeks the “population exchange” was started between Greece and Turkey the Greeks were forced to leave the town. Kaykoy Ghost Town was recognized as one of the World TOP 10 Ghost Towns according to National Geographic – a world leader in geography, cartography and exploration.
After the departure of the Greeks the Levissi city was renamed in a Kayakoy by name of a nearby valley – Kaya Cukuru (pothole from Turkish) and vacant houses were populated with Muslims that came from Macedonia. However the Macedonians did not like Kayakoy Turkey and they left the village – Kayakoy village became the largest abandoned settlement of Asia Minor and it is called Kayakoy Ghost Town or Kayakoy Village.
Now Kayakoy Ghost Town in Turkey is open-air museum with 3.5 thousand preserved houses and three churches. The largest of them is the Basilica of Panayia Pyrgiotissa (has been built in 1888) is located on the right of the main street – it is really difficult to pass by this impressive building in the Gothic style. It takes your breath away when you come inside and see nobody but the bare walls.
There numerous small restaurants and cafes in the vicinity of Kayakoy where you may have a break on open air. In some restaurants you can may get a brazier at your table cook lamb, chicken, beef, vegetables etc yourself .
Not so long ago the project of reconstruction of Kayakoy near Fethiye was developed by the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies, the Association of Turkish – Greek Friendship and the Turkish Chamber of Architects. According to this project all the houses, chapel, school, library, hospital, shops and some other facilities will be restored. In the churches of the Kayakoy village that are decorated with stone carvings and artificial marble reliefs and frescoes the service is scheduled to be resumed. As a result Kayakoy Turkey is supposed to be a symbol of peace and friendship between Turkey and Greece.
You could see the remains of Kayakoy in the movie “Water Diviner” of Russell Crowe. It was filmed there and it was recognized as best Australian movie of 2014 as well as it was named the highest grossing Australian film of 2014.