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Photographer's Note

This is from Alanya, 134 km southeast of Antalya on the Turkish Mediterranean coast. The photo shows boys on their way home with their donkey after collecting water from a well inside the medieval castle area.

Here is a larger version.

I arrived here straight from Antalya, which I had found to be rather overrun by tourists. The road to Alanya passed miles and miles of usually empty sandy beaches. Even immediately outside Alanya the beaches were virtually empty. And Alanya was such a pretty little place, so small and quiet that I described it in my diary as more like a village than a town. Only a few streets, a handful of nice but simple hotels receiving mainly local Turkish tourists. I seemed to be one of very few foreigners.

But this was in 1971....

In those days Alanya had a population of about 15 000, today it's well over 100 000, and the town receives more than 3,5 million tourists every year. The local authorities are aiming for at least 5 million by 2023. The empty beaches are now packed with hotels, and the fields that lay empty just behind the small town are now filled with modern houses, many of them hotels.

In 1971 I loved Alanya. Today I would absolutely not go back.

I have a few photos of some of the landmark buildings of Alanya, such that you would find on most postcards. I decided not to show them here, not because they look like postcards but because the quality was rather poor.

Instead, today's photos were all taken in or near the medieval castle, or rather fortress, on top of a hill. The quality of these scans from Agfacolor slides is also not great, but at least they don't embarrass me.

I entered the fortress by following the advice of two small boys to take a shortcut straight up the hillside instead of walking along the winding road. That way I also, unknowingly, trespassed into the area by climbing over a low wall, instead of going by the ticket booth. I discovered that when leaving. I didn't know I was supposed to pay to get inside but I was satisfied to have saved a few liras.

Inside the quite large area I saw several ruins and old wells where elderly men and boys were drawing water and loading containers on donkeys. I walked through a gap in another wall and a gate through a third wall, walked through empty gardens and orchards until I eventually reached a café where a busload of tourists had stopped to buy soft drinks. By then it was time for me to leave.

One WS shows ordinary houses on the hillside inside the castle area, in another you can see a small mosque.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10022 W: 520 N: 19299] (85161)
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