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Wednesday, 10 March 2010


“We were getting closer to the village after a long walk from Milas. This place would be either my prison or my place of exile. At last, we had arrived at the top of the hill leading down to the town below. In a minute, we would see Bodrum. My heart was pounding out of sheer excitement. The brilliance and clarity of the atmosphere I saw instantly wiped out the ruinous and dim appearance of the village, as if Northern winds had blown them away. Just at that moment I felt content to think that there would at least be a window or a door in my prison cell to indulge myself in observing these spectacularly clear skies…”

Whenever there is a mention of Bodrum, it is like a tradition to start the talk with the feelings that Cevat Sakir, The fisherman of Halicarnassos, had brilliantly expressed in his writings. “The Fisherman” is the first symbol that comes into mind when Bodrum is mentioned. Not only Cevat Sakir but also the Grand Bodrum Castle, built on a point where the Eastern and Western ports meet, rows and rows of white washed cubic homes along the coasts of both ports, narrow roads and backstreets, cisterns, Gulet boats, blue voyages, “Herodotus” the father of history, most acclaimed singer Zeki Müren, the master of Ney Neyzen Tevfik, the“Mausolleum”, one of the seven wonders of the world, the beaches, total freedom and the exceptional geography are things that make Bodrum what it is. Everybody is aware of the exceptional qualities and increasing popularity of the peninsula all around the world. Here is a good example: one of the most respected newspapers in the world, The New York times likened Bodrum to St. Tropez and interpreted what they saw as a “real brand”. The newspaper applauded Bodrum and wrote "with its white sandy beaches, rows of shops along the streets, Bodrum has been a favorite seaside resort town for a very long time” and the article continued " A glimpse of mega yachts sailing in directly from Capri or Monaco ports will give you a clue about the newly acclaimed fame of Bodrum. The paparazzi photographs of Uma Thurman rowing a boat together with the trend setter hotelier Andre Balazs confirms the up an coming trend of living in Bodrum. The population of 50 thousand increases tenfold throughout the summer. Bodrum is a bit like St. Tropez, the only difference may be the belly dancers" As the New York Times article gives a list of attractions of Bodrum, they point out to the beauties of the olive groves, whitewashed houses, magnificent views and The Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the Antique World. The article continues, “At nights nicely dressed youth meet at the Bar District on Cumhuriyet Caddesi before rolling into open air discos”.

Bodrum means colorful and all inviting crowds, which is full of surprises; sometimes it is a lonely soul, sometimes a humble wise man or sometimes a flighty woman. Bodrum is freedom, love and the sea and most of all Bodrum is the history itself. In short, Bodrum is everything and everyone. Because here everyone has a Bodrum of their own. Some has a low profile, humble and serene lifestyle and yet some live in the fast lane. Bodrum is “WHITE” which encompasses and absorbs the colors of rainbow. The rain blesses the land differently here; the sun rises and sets differently. The scent of the sea is something adorable. The wind blows differently. Bodrum is the naughtiest, most beautiful, most tranquil, most conceited, most honest and blunt child of the Mother Nature. It will exhibit the most intimate corners of its soul to those who love it from the bottom of their hearts. It is clear as water, hot and flirtatious as fire and arrogantly claims all the attention.

Bodrum is a cradle of history… It was home to Herodotus, often referred to as the father of history, along with many different civilizations. So many different peoples wanting to control the shores for its strategic point in the Aegean Bodrum had invaded it. Known as Halicarnassos in the antiquity, the second capital of the Carian, Bodrum has been an important part of the kingdom. Until the Ottomans conquered it, the last owner of these lands was the Byzantium Empire. The square shaped Bodrum castle, surrounded by the sea on three sides and built on Zephyrus point at a time when the Turks were having tumultuous times, by The Knights of Saint John, was later taken over by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. The castle is home to the first and only underwater archaeology museum in Turkey. The Knights took the green granite used in building the castle from the tomb of Mausolos, the Carian governor. Queen Artemisia, the wife of Carian King Mausolos, who died in 353 BC, had built the Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, in Halicarnassos for her husband. A narrow street opposite Tepecik Mosque near the marina leads to Mausoleion Museum. The area where the Mausoleum had been built is currently an open-air museum. The Ottomans had built the Bodrum style building on your right just as you enter inside the grounds. The rectangular structure on the left is used as an exhibition area for the relief, drawings, a model of the original Mausoleum and architectural pieces belonging to the main tomb. The main burial chamber, built in VI Century BC., is slightly off center on the right side of the area. It is known that the Mausoleum had collapsed following a devastating earthquake in the 15th century AD. English Explorer Newton found the exact spot of the long gone structure in an expedition between the years 1856-1857 and placed the large square block, entrance to the burial chamber, in its place. He took numerous friezes, the sculpture of Mausolos and Artemisia as well as parts of a sculpture depicting Mausolos and Artemisia on a chariot drawn by four horses, which had been placed right at the crown of the structure. The pieces taken were later given to British Museum. Today, the people of Bodrum are waging a campaign to have the pieces returned to its original resting place.

Bodrum means fun…Bodrum is the most colorful and attractive town within the whole Aegean and Mediterranean region with its 24 hour on the go life style. The Turkish bars, discos, cafes and restaurants offer all types of entertainment for the night owls! Many taverns, jazz bars and folk music bars all add a choice of entertainment for the visitor. A brand name in its own rights, Halicarnassos Disco is frequented by many famous people throughout the season and is the right address for those who seek all night rave. The popular Hadigari, Küba and Ora Bars prove the difference of Bodrum when it comes to fun…

Bodrum is the Blue Voyage… The blue voyage is to sail from Bodrum to Gökova Bay in a locally built Gulet through the bluest of the seas. Invented by The fisherman of Halicarnassos and Azra Erhat, this sea voyage is not only about a magnificent experience but is a philosophical journey. It is indeed the most satisfying time spent in the world known Bodrum Gulets, locally built for the Bodrum seas. İçmeler Dockyards is a world center for luxury boat building. It is fascinating to visualize the Gulets getting their character shaped by the masters from the beginning to the completion and witness the same boats meet the sea and enter world known races. Even the daily boat tours are all exciting events. Time spent in the secluded bays are not forgotten easily. Karaada, well known for its hot water springs and healing silt, is only 6 kilometers away from Bodrum. Ada Bogazi (Aquarium), which is known as Aquarium because of its clear waters, where you could sea the sea basin up to 40 meters in depth with the naked eye, is a delightful area that must be seen to be believed.

Bodrum is the color white. The traditional Bodrum homes are whitewashed as if to reflect the purity of life in Bodrum. Of course, the most important feature of the double storey, square shaped homes is the Begonvilles, which adorn the houses and seem like an inseparable companion of the homes. At night, Bodrum homes look like the whirling dervishes. A different ritual is performed every night to the sound of the flute of Tevfik, the Ney master.

doğan şahin Bodrum-

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