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A city that doesn’t exist

Slender rows of colonnades, rock tombs, scattered here and there looted tombs — this is how today look a few thousand ancient settlements of Asia Minor on the territory of modern Turkey. Unlike its more ancient counterparts, the relatively young Kayakoy village near Fethiye is not only well preserved — it is still inhabited by two people. The village Kayakoy sheltered on the rocky slopes and suddenly appears behind one of the mountain turns. Abandoned and sometimes order destroyed stone houses with gaping holes instead of Windows look almost snow-white against the green bordering them. To assess the scale of the village, you need to look at it from the highest vantage points — the mountains scattered three thousand buildings, which together create a mysterious and unique ornament. After a first look at the city head comes a comparison with the Ukrainian Chernobyl and Pripyat. The comparison, as we realized later, is quite inappropriate, because it is one of the cleanest settlements in the country. We enter this city, not knowing yet that we should try not to step on turtles, actively marching along grass-covered footpaths. Levissi’s riddles Historians and archaeologists still do not cease to fight over the solution of the “black holes” in the history of kayaks. According to one version, in place of the once Greek village stood a more ancient city Karmillassos. In favor of this theory are found near this place several sarcophagi Dating back to the IV century BC rock tombs, the walls of which inscriptions on the Lycian. The latest discovery — carved into the rock tomb near the village School girls — so impressed scientists that it was declared a historical value and recognized as a work of art. In information booklets and articles it is told that the city, though too late, but is taken under protection. However, the guards behave so modestly that none of them in the vicinity of kayaks, we did not notice. And there is nothing special to protect in it: all the most valuable is real estate, and what could be taken out of the city (including frescoes from temples), has long been taken out and is in Turkish museums or private collections. Until the XVIII century in the history of the area formed a gap, after which the arena are the Greek settlers from the Dodecanese Islands — they founded on these hills city called Levissi (Levissi). Six thousand Greeks were engaged mainly in folk crafts and trade and peacefully coexisted with the farmers, who lived at the foot of the mountains. The Greeks could admire the fields of their neighbors from a height — the city has many observation points, which offer panoramic views of the valley. The pathetic remains of the products of labor of the settlers of the last century we found at the local market: small skulls from pitchers and metal parts from tools, a handful lying on a trading cot, you can buy for a penny. There must be someone else in this town “Very old, very old,” the friendly shopkeeper repeats, pointing to a pile of skulls and metal saucers standing on the table and a tiny coffee set on a tray. “Germany?”— “No, — we answer, — yukreyn”. And the woman shakes her head with understanding, as if this is fundamentally changing the matter. The tray is a picturesque eclectic, it seems that it contains all the little things of the world, ranging from amulets, pseudo-Antiques and postcards with views of kayaks and ending with plastic toys from kinder surprises. Involuntarily slow down about all this diversity, but quickly take yourself in hand — the stone walls of the village and the narrow cobbled streets directly at the course look much more tempting. On the way, our wonderful guide Nedret tells funny stories about beautiful girls who come on a trip to kayak in high heels. The joke is quite appropriate, judging by the way our bots slide on the cobblestones, polished to Shine with the feet of tourists. Near you can estimate how destroyed the city is. Almost all the houses that stand on the main road, there are no corners — in their place grow bushes, trees and flowers. What was once chimneys now hangs in the air, seeming to threaten to fall at any moment. Roofs — in General a rarity, they survived only in several houses standing generally high on slopes. Climbing up 30 meters, fond of photography “old ruins”, not immediately noticing how the frame gets air conditioning on one of the huts. Even 100 years ago, the locals, who did not even have water supply, would consider it miraculous miracle — even to us this modern piece of iron on the old stone wall seems to be something alien. In addition to all the dark spots and contradictions, the opinions of scientists were divided about the status of kayaks — some claimed that it was a city with a fairly developed infrastructure, others considered these assumptions exaggerated and unfounded. Both came to the conclusion that the settlement did not even have water supply — water was collected during the rain in large tanks standing on the street. In favor of the “village” version says the fact that the house was built without a plan (although in ancient times this practice existed), but with the condition that they do not block the sunlight and the panorama of the neighbors. One or two rooms, sometimes the second floor (in this case, the first was used as a pantry or stable) — so looked uncomplicated way of life once lived here Greeks.

The great migration In the measured existence of both peoples interfered with the First world war. According to official documents, it has greatly exacerbated Greek-Turkish relations. When in 1923, in accordance with the agreement on the Turkish-Greek population exchange, the Greeks were evicted from kayaks, some of them did not want to leave the city. However, the departure to Greece became inevitable, and they decided to take with them the remains of their ancestors. In different parts of the village scientists found human bones without skulls — immigrants took only the most valuable. After the departure of the Greeks the village was named after a nearby gorge Cukuru Kaya (Kaya Sikisi, “Stone gorge”) — Kayakoy. According to one version, Muslims who came from Macedonia were moved into the empty houses almost immediately, on the other — Greece did not pay for the relocation of the Turks who lived on its territory and had to move into the kayak in exchange. It is known that after 1923 in the village for a long time so nobody got accustomed: according to legend, she was cursed. Stolen and not stolen goods First, and all subsequent attempts to use it for its intended purpose failed. Muslim immigrants did not like it — too often it had to stumble on the bones left by the Greeks who had left. Unwittingly, the new kayak residents served the village well. They used the lower Church of Panayia Pyrgotissa as the mosque — white, which was painted over walls, have become a reliable protection for ancient murals. In the 60s, when the city was again without residents, it began to pay a visit to the hunters of antiquities. Their catch was very successful: some of the architectural elements of the two churches standing on the territory of kayak, plus unique frescoes. One of the latter was later found in a private collection, however, it suffered so much that the face of the Saint managed to be restored only partially. The temple of Panayia Pirjiotissa is better preserved than the upper Church of Taksiyarhis (Taksiyarhis), standing on a high hill to the right of the main road. From it there were only walls that hide the high arched shelf and the remains of embedded columns on the sides. The most striking thing in this place — mosaic floor, lined with black and white pebbles of the same size. Immediately behind the entrance arch leading to the courtyard of the Church, there is a stone “carpet”, which depicts geometrically adjusted figures and huge flowers. To appreciate the beauty of the performance, climb to the nearest top, from which the courtyard is visible at a glance. Pebble geometry is repeated inside the temple, where small stones are laid out in waves, however, only a small fragment of the mosaic is preserved here. Several years ago, restoration work began in the old town — the Association of Turkish travel agencies, the Association of Turkish-Greek friendship and the Chamber of architects of Turkey decided to reconstruct the city and restore three thousand residential buildings, schools, hospitals and temples. In the last even planned to resume services. Indirect restoration (in the form of not very neat plaster “antique”) touched only the bottom of the kayak and quieted down. They say that now two people live in the city — a former captain with a dog and an Istanbul artist. Here is the eponymous camp of art lovers, where students come from different countries. They learn what the Greeks who once lived in these parts were perfectly able to do: draw, make ceramics and sculpt sculptures.

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