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Oludeniz – Kayakoy Daily Tour

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Kayaköy, or Levissi as it was known to its former inhabitants, was a Greek town until 1923, when, after the multinational Ottoman Empire drew to close, the governments of Greece and Turkey concluded on a population exchange to become nation states ethnically homogenous as much as possible on the basis of the Treaty of Lausanne. According to that treaty, all Greek Orthodox inhabitants of Turkey were to be exiled to Greece, while all Muslim inhabitants of Greece were to be exiled to Turkey in return. When the Greek inhabitants of Kayaköy left for Greece, Muslims from Greek Macedonia were settled in their place. However, the Macedonians who were used to large and fertile fields in their former land found this hilly and rocky area with little arable land unfit to live, and abandoned the place in favour of other regions. Decades of neglect in addition to the big earthquake of 1957 that shook the region hard has left Kayaköy what it is today.

In its heyday, Kayaköy was populated enough to support a local newspaper and several schools and stores, but today there is only a handful of natives living there, mostly in the neighbourhoods of Keçiler and Kınalı, about 2 km north and 2 km west of the “ghost town” of Kayaköy respectively.

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