Pictures of the Greek ghost village of Kayaköy (Kayakoy), nr Fethiye , Izmir, Turkey. For thousands of years Anatolia (Today Turkey) has been the venue of periodic wars and invasions. Every major ancient Mediterranean & Middle Eastern civilisations has fought over this area of the world. The last conflict was between the Greeks & the newly formed Turkish state which ended with the Armistice of Mudanya on October 11 1922, followed by the treaty of Lausanne on 24 July 1923, which agreed a population exchange of Greeks in Turkey with Turks in Greece. It is estimated during the autumn of 1922, around 900,000 Orthodox refugees had arrived in Greece around 2,000 of whom came from Kayaköy .
Kayaköy was resettled by Turks who found the land too hard to farm & abandoned the Village. Today Kayaköy has 500 ruined houses & several churches which stand in the picturesque hills of the western Anatolia coastal mountains. Walking around the ghost village is a strange experience. The people who lived here were obviously simple peasant farmers and the heartbreak of having to give everything up must have been intense. There was no conflict in Kayaköy between Greek & Turkish neighbours and few of the Anatolian Greeks that left for Greece believed that they would be leaving for ever, so they left belongings they could not carry with their Turkish neighbours for safe keeping. The Greeks did not return though and Kayaköy stands as a sobering reminder of the damage the Nationalism of the 20th century caused to peoples lives.
Kayaköy was adopted by the UNESCO as a World Friendship and Peace Village as a symbol of unity to help heal divisions of the past. Kayaköy is said to be the inspiration behind "Eskibahçe", the imaginary village chosen by Louis de Bernières as the setting of his 2004 novel Birds Without Wings, which chronicles the rise of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the 'Father of the Turkish Nation' and deals with the impact of religious intolerance, over-zealous nationalism, and the war that often results.