Turkey: Asia’s Farthest Shore

  • A 10-minute drive from Kalkan, Kaputas Beach nestles at the foot of a mountain gorge.

    A 10-minute drive from Kalkan, Kaputas Beach nestles at the foot of a mountain gorge.

  • Woven-rush umbrellas shade sun loungers at Kalkan, an old Ottoman-Greek village that has emerged as the ideal base for exploring Turkey's Lycian coast.

    Woven-rush umbrellas shade sun loungers at Kalkan, an old Ottoman-Greek village that has emerged as the ideal base for exploring Turkey's Lycian coast.

  • What remains of the Great Library of Celsus at Ephesus.

    What remains of the Great Library of Celsus at Ephesus.

  • Turkish breakfasts feature everything from pan-fried halloumi cheese and olives to baskets of bread and chopped salads.

    Turkish breakfasts feature everything from pan-fried halloumi cheese and olives to baskets of bread and chopped salads.

  • A waitress at Turkbuku Amanruya.

    A waitress at Turkbuku Amanruya.

  • The view of Kalkan Bay from a balcony at Blue Bay Apartments, in the Kisla area.

    The view of Kalkan Bay from a balcony at Blue Bay Apartments, in the Kisla area.

  • Amanruya 36 stone cottages feature canopy beds and traditional charcoal fireplaces.

    Amanruya 36 stone cottages feature canopy beds and traditional charcoal fireplaces.

  • The harbor at Datca.

    The harbor at Datca.

  • Halit Ada outside his Just Jewelry shop in Kalkan's old town.

    Halit Ada outside his Just Jewelry shop in Kalkan's old town.

  • Trinkets for sale at the site of the Temple of Artemis in Selcuk.

    Trinkets for sale at the site of the Temple of Artemis in Selcuk.

  • A kaleidoscope of lokum (Turkish delights) in Fethiye.

    A kaleidoscope of lokum (Turkish delights) in Fethiye.

  • Inside Saklikent Gorge.

    Inside Saklikent Gorge.

  • A Byzantine fresco on the chapel ceiling of St. Nicholas Church in Demre.

    A Byzantine fresco on the chapel ceiling of St. Nicholas Church in Demre.

  • A simit (sesame bagel) seller at Myra.

    A simit (sesame bagel) seller at Myra.

  • Lycian tombs at Myra.

    Lycian tombs at Myra.

  • Overlooking the main swimming pool at Amanruya.

    Overlooking the main swimming pool at Amanruya.

  • Fishing boats and tourist craft crowd the harbor at Kas.

    Fishing boats and tourist craft crowd the harbor at Kas.

  • Stacks of sesame drying in the sun in the fields of Bezirgan village.

    Stacks of sesame drying in the sun in the fields of Bezirgan village.

  • Farmhouse masonry in Bezirgan.

    Farmhouse masonry in Bezirgan.

  • A glass of sage tea.

    A glass of sage tea.

  • Flame-grilled zucchini and chili peppers at Musa, a trout restaurant in the mountains behind Kalkan.

    Flame-grilled zucchini and chili peppers at Musa, a trout restaurant in the mountains behind Kalkan.

Click image to view full size

From its Mediterranean ports to  the resort towns of the Aegean, Turkey’s southwest coast is more accessible than ever, tempting travelers with  a mix of natural beauty, fabulous food, and evocative ruins —including two of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Isn’t it time you experienced its delights for yourself?

By Christopher P. Hill
Photographs by Martin­ Westlake

Breakfast—that’s what i’ll miss most about Turkey. Not that my trip isn’t filled with memorable moments (it is, and then some), but there’s nothing like starting the day the Turkish way, with a tulip glass of sweet black tea, bowls of glistening olives, mounds of salty goat’s cheese, plump red tomatoes, fresh fig preserves, and wads of the paper-thin flatbread they call yufka. Savored slowly over good conversation, Turkish breakfasts are, to borrow my new friend Halit Ada’s favorite expression, “Fantastic!”

It’s over one such spread, augmented with spicy lamb salami and omelets drizzled with Anatolian honey, that I quiz Halit about life in Kalkan, the Anglo-centric resort town on Turkey’s southwest coast where i’ve based myself for four nights.

“In Antalya, you have the Russian tourists. In Alanya, the Germans. Here, it’s mostly British,” he says, flashing the impish smile that served him well as a stage comedian in Istanbul during his youth. “Twenty hours a day talking English, four hours talking Turkish. My God, can you imagine? It is like Little Britain.”

Halit doesn’t mean that as a knock. Originally from Kars in eastern Turkey, he first came to Kalkan in 1986, at the age of 23, to help one of his five brothers sell silver jewelry to the town’s trickle of visitors. “It was so small back then, maybe 300 people, just a few carpet shops, pansiyons, a marina only half the size it is now,” he recalls. “To tell you truthfully, it was a little boring. But it changed my life.” As European sunseekers began venturing beyond the Turkish Riviera’s more established resort areas—places like Bodrum and Marmaris and Antalya—Kalkan flourished. And so, too, did Halit.

Share this Article