Bodrum, not stuck in a time warp

“In a very short time period, “Bodrum has grown and developed into a preferred center to live. By the change in its socio-cultural, economic and architectural structure, it has also succeeded in becoming one of the districts that it has raised the most rapid alteration.”

The famous writer Cevat Sakir (also known as “the Fisherman of Halicarnassus”) who spent most of his life in Bodrum, touched upon that small seaside town which he loved in his unique writings. “When you reach the top of the hill, you will see Bodrum. Do not assume that you will leave as you came. The others before you were the same, too. As they departed, they all left their souls behind.” That expression proves that Bodrum was a summer holiday destination in that period of time when was penned.

With its small lodgings, several shops, dirt roads which led to asphalt roads, numbers of white homes whereas practically one third of them have sea view, smooth traffic flow, narrow alleys that were more frequented in the summer months, beaches and quiet nature, Bodrum had an available ground in order to be mentioned in the writings of the Fisherman of Halicarnassus. The houses in Bodrum were designed in rustic summerhouse concepts hence the reason long-term planners were looking for large houses where they could live in both summer and winter.

In recent years Bodrum has become one of the distances whose population has been increasing most rapidly in Turkey. Surely, many factors make Bodrum to be considered as a center of attraction. One of the reasons is that people who are upset by the exhaustion and cheerlessness of city life are most likely seeking for such a tranquil place to live. The propagation of natural life and rural migration has been imposed by popular culture and it caused reputation of Bodrum to be doubled. Bodrum has become the route where has been presented as a preferable settlement to people who want to move from cities. A natural life which is the biggest marketing strategy of our age has made people who have been frustrated by noise, dreary life, heavy traffic and reinforced concrete structures of a city to consider Bodrum as a more attractive assessment. As the strategy utilizing mass distribution and mass media to the idea of Bodrum, a number of companies who have been seeking for new investments have had a great appetite. The companies that received the most profit have been the construction firms who changed the silhouette of Bodrum by their projects. If we have a look at Yalikavak Palmarina and its targeted group, we may comprehend the customer profile which all the companies have been willing to reach. Furthermore, houses have begun to be built in larger and modern forms in order to be suitable for the summer and the winter months in parallel with the rapid increase of the population. Additionally, the designs of structures, which are need-oriented, and useful structures have come to the forefront in the housing projects. Nevertheless, the numbers of potential buyers who are able to afford the houses are now fewer compared to earlier time. Increasing demand has caused an incredible rise in housing prices and the limit of owning a house in Bodrum has almost become a dream that is difficult to reach. Certainly, rental rates have not lost time and increased above the standard. Whereas the livelihoods of local people depend on tourism, sponges, tangerines olive and agriculture, the rapidly increasing settlement has created alternative sectors in Bodrum and increased the economic resources as well. No matter whether it is a barren region considering the job opportunities according to the people who moved from big cities and would like to work, Bodrum continues to evolve with the increasing rate of growth from year to year. The town where wealthy or retired people who are from big cities prefer to live might become a settlement where younger and more vibrant people prefer and settle for its career opportunities soon. If its structure, which is showing rapid growth and development, is suitable and enough, Bodrum will release being a seasonal attraction district. We are speaking about Bodrum which has not only grown rapidly but it also has a population over a million during the summer months and soon will have auto parking problem even in the winter months. Perhaps in the course of time, some people who preferred Bodrum due to its simplicity, silence and natural structure would want to leave Bodrum which is getting relatively crowded. As Bodrum with its increasing population has begun to face with some other facts rather than being a developing, growing, modernizing, enhancing intellectual accumulation region. For instance, until recently the traffic jam which did not have an importance even though it occurred so heavy in the summer months has become part of the lives of the people who live in Bodrum during the year as it is getting heavier in the winter as well.

You can hear complaints from the people as they say, “Bodrum has become a small Istanbul”. In fact, while leaving the city and moving to Bodrum, people bring the challenges of city life which they are attempting to avoid and when complaining they face the fact that they are in the basis of their complaints. Additionally, we should also mention how expensive the beach cafes and restaurants are. It is considered luxury to hire a sunbed and have some beverages in Bodrum. We hope that the necessary precautions will be undertaken and the name of Bodrum will not be announced as “Turkish pizza for seventy-five Lira” news in newspapers. Furthermore, it will most undermine Bodrum and its trades to offend domestic and foreign tourists. “Recent human landscapes from the streets of Bodrum” Since 2011, refugees seeking to escape to Europe passing through Bodrum for Europe have added new dramas to the streets. For instance, when the news about Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy whose body was washed up on Akyarlar beach was making a final, desperate attempt to flee to the Greek Islands, was published, Bodrum was spotlighted by refugee crisis subject in the world press. Then, how did Bodrum host the ones who could not be successful to flee, could it deal with the issue, could it come up with a solution? This should be considered as a subject in itself as those people will be another face reflected in Bodrum.

Later on, we will be able to see at what points Bodrum will be carrying its alteration and development. I hope that Bodrum, the preferred settlement location in Turkey will reach the deserved level of development without losing its natural beauty and I desire that I would be able to express my observations and comments about Bodrum.