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Rediscovered Bodrum becomes a holiday destination

Halikarnas Balikcisi



In 1927, when Bodrum was a small fishing, sponge diving and agricultural village with a population of 4902, a writer named Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli arrived to serve his sentence of exile under fortress arrest in the Bodrum Castle. Allowed freedom of the town by local authorities he fell under Bodrum’s spell. Later, his writings under the pen name of "The Fisherman of Halicarnassus" attracted Turkish intellectuals to this secluded corner of the country, sowing the seeds of tourism.

The beginnings were modest, with a handful of small family-run hotels and humble private homes turned into "pensions" serving undemanding, happy guests. Those halcyon days are still remembered with nostalgia, but it was inevitable for such an enticing venue to be discovered by increasing numbers of visitors and by the mid 1980s tourism was in bloom. Then, encouraged by government incentives, tourist facilities sprang up so quickly that at times the unprepared infrastructure became overtaxed. The latter part of the 1990s saw a rush to enhance the infrastructure and respond to the demand for more luxurious accommodations and provide a wider range of opportunities for recreation and entertainment.

Much of this has now been accomplished and Bodrum today is a trendy, cosmopolitan holiday resort popular with families and with the younger set from all over the world. It is a choice destination of those interested in the rich historical heritage and natural beauty of the region, while its prestigious ranking has attracted a whole galaxy of stars of the Turkish entertainment world. It can truly be said that this diversity of its visitors matches well the variety of its offerings, and is an attraction all of its own.

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