Ken Grubb

Why Should I Move To Antalya, And Why Not?

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I've been living in Izmir, or thereabouts, for many years. Farthest away from Izmir, I lived in Çeşme, at the end of the peninsula which juts out from the south part of Izmir. I spent a year there. Çeşme is very dead in the winter, to the point that I think it would be maddening for me, yet I do miss it because it's so quiet. In Çeşme, during the off season, everything's closed, and it's as if everyone goes into hibernation. The expats in Çeşme, mostly Brits, seem to go home early, so the winter months are exceedingly dull.

I'm planning to move south, to leave Izmir. My main choices are Fethiye, Antalya, and Kaş. Fethiye I've been too, but it doesn't seem to have much charm for me, except for some very beautiful coastline and of course, Ölüdeniz. Now that opinion was based only on a visit of a few days, so I'm sure I don't have the full picture. During the summer, I visited Antalya. Antalya seems like a city which has a lot going for it, and wouldn't die during the winter. I think the ideal place for me would be where I could live in a reasonably quiet place, but be able to get to the city easily for those things that cities offer, and of course, beaches and sea, I must have those!

While in Antalya I met with Fil, a resident of Antalya. I asked Fil where, if he could live anywhere in Turkey, that would be. Fil said, "Kaş." That's where Cukurbagli lives. Fil went on to say that Antalya is indeed seasonal, like a lot of other places which depend on tourism. He said there was a rather active expat life in Antalya as well, so I wouldn't feel so isolated. But in the end he said that he would like to live in Kaş.

I've never seen Kaş, and I intend to visit it soon, during the off-season, to see what it's like during the off season.

This is a very vague topic starter, I know, about as vague as my thoughts about moving down to the South Aegean or the Mediterranean. So I don't even know what I'm asking for here, I'm just soliciting comments! Where is the best place to live?

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Good question Ken. I think you ought to make a list of things that are must haves in your life and see if these places can tick the boxes. Having said that you can find somewhere that does tick all the boxes but you don't feel at home there. You may just have to try living in different places until you find the place that feels like home, you could also be surprised and find such a place that you would never have thought of living in before.

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Never been to Kaş. But when "Kaş" is mentioned in Izmir, the typical well-informed Izmirli will sigh and wish they lived there. When I was traveling along the Mediterranean coast, I got to Antalya and ventured as far as Olympos. I was surprised at how green things became. But I ran out of money and had to fly back to Izmir, So I didn't get to see Kaş. What is it about Kaş? and what's it like in the off-season? I'll be down there this winter, if only to see for myself. Why is Kaş better than Fethiye or Antalya?

Certainly I want to live in an idyllic place. But I also would like to live in a place where I can get whatever I need, including a bit of night life. Is Kaş the place for that?

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It's suffocation levels of hot in Antalya for 1/3 of the year. Rules it out straight away in my book!

But seriously. Istanbul. Move on to the coast. You're like a 25 minute bus ride away from the busy city but when you're at home it's really quiet and you're on the seafront. Best of both worlds.

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I fell in love with Kaş just passing though. The stretch of road, the beaches left and right impressed me. I would love to live there.

I think Fethiye has all the shops and the cheap eat out places but no real character, even in the city center. But some fabulous beaches also to the left, and right towards Gocek.

I would imagine Fethiye has the night life and bars, almost all the way round the year. Does rental and accommodation matter? Maybe the prices or possibilities differ in these areas greatly.

Moving is exciting. More so when you choose where to move to, not be told you have to move!

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For a start, why do you want to leave Izmir, as you have only just moved into a new apartment? Perhaps if you list the reasons it might help you to find what you are looking for.

You said that sea and beaches were a must but during the time you lived in Çeşme how often did you go to the beach?

What do you do in your spare time in Izmir? What different things would you like to do?

I haven't been to Kaş in a long time but you might find it too quiet, much like Çeşme. You seem to be more of a bar type person rather than a long country walks with a couple of dogs type.

Also, as Amy says, during the summer the south coast is very hot, do you think it will suit you?

Before you make a decision it would be a good idea to spend at least a couple of weeks in each of the places you are considering so that you can have a good look at the places to see if it's what you are looking for. Much easier than finding yourself in the wrong place.

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I agree with Sunny and was going to suggest the same thing. Before making a commitment to a place, stay there for a while. Maybe even longer than two weeks (like up to three months), to get the feel of it, both summer and winter. Or you could do what a lot of Turks do. Have both a summer and winter place and spend around six months in each.

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There's something very magical about Kaş. I've only been twice. The first time only for a visit, the second time for a holiday. It's not like any other place I've been to in Turkey.

There's wonderful community spirit, and from what I can see a lovely interaction between expats and the Turkish residents.

It's quiet, yes. But that's its charm. I don't know enough about Antalya to compare, but unless it were possible to live in Kaleiçi, I can't see it beating Kaş!

Go and see it. I bet you will fall under its spell!

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Regarding the heat in Antalya, yeah, it was pretty hot when I was down there during the summer. I don't think that would bother me much, though. I'd rather be hot than cold!

As for Fethiye, I got the same feeling, I don't know if Fethiye would be the right place for me.

Regarding my reason for wanting to leave Izmir, unfortunately some things regarding business didn't pan out, which I won't get into here, but it looks like there isn't much reason for me to stay here any more, so I might as well go someplace where I just like to be.

Yes, Kaş might be too quiet. That's my main concern. What's around there during the winter? Does one have to go to the city to get various things that are beyond the local Tansas or various shops? Is there any night life in Kas during the winter or does it close down? I wonder if I would get lonely! Not to mention the small expat community, the gossip and the various intrigues in Cesme was kind of irritating to me, they could have a sitcom about it.

Regarding the "wonderful community spirit" in Antalya, that's what I've heard. I did some looking for rental places in Antalya for 600TL or less, and there is a huge number of nice places in Antalya (I didn't see anything in Kaleiçi, as I would expect). Anyway it appears to be significantly cheaper than Izmir.

I only found two places which could be had in Kaş for 600 TL.

I ran across a review of Kaş, and the writer said that he preferred Patara, because it has a great beach and the accommodation is cheaper. I suppose I should have a look at that, too. Anybody know anything about Patara?

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I didn't like the Patara beach area, but that's because it seemed so exposed.

I personally only like calm, quieter places now as I found love and I feel more of a homey person now (sometimes have to beat the split personality part out of me or i just dream what i would be doing in a parallel world).

But if i was single and was looking for love and to not be lonely, maybe I wouldn't want to try Kaş or quieter places for too long. But I also happen to think people change and that being alone sometimes (instead of boozing in the backstreets, sorry it just rolled off the tongue), can produce great insight!

But if you don't fancy loneliness and it is babes you seek, put that on your hit list and work down from there. If I am totally off the mark then ignore me and do go try out places as mentioned before. People will find you where ever you reside I guess as you are such an interesting, busy sort of man.

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Well you may remember l spoke about my sister living in Antalya, she's been there about 5 weeks now. I must say her opinion has altered somewhat. She loves the Turkish people and said they have been so kind to her, but in Konyaaltı, Antalya, where she is renting it is very polluted and quite noisy.

She has neighbours who seem to stay up all night, her friends in the apartment have said this is quite normal in Antalya and the Turks can be up till early hours! The beaches are lovely but agree, unless you can rent in Kaleiçi, where the good shops are and the nice food it seems to be a bit of a let down.

We are planning to go to Fethiye in Dec for three or four days and want to check out the area as my sister says she is desperate to move.

She has been to Kaş and said it is one of the most beautiful places she has even been to. I would love to visit while l am over there as well.

I guess it's just a case of checking out different places and seeing what fits.

Antalya has its jewels but the heat can do strange things to your brain. l love the heat but have to say this summer was an experience!

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Patara is a very quiet place especially off season. It is fairly close to Kalkan where you can find almost everything you may need. There are a few people living in the winter months. There are a few Brits living throughout the year.

Rent is quite cheap. Since we have a place there the past twenty-some years or so we are toying with the idea of living there when I retire in a little more than a year. But, we, my wife and I, feel like the tranquility may become a big problem. As I said Kaş and Kalkan are a short distance and Fethiye is about 70 kilometers away. I'd say take a look in the winter and see how you like it. Hope it works out for you.

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Excellent advice above. And a very difficult decision for you Ken. But as we get older we must consider where we want to be not just now but in our old age and move towards that.. Bit by bit.

Ask yourself. Do you want to end up in Turkey, USA or England? Do you want to be with a partner or on your own?

Do you prefer a busy city or a tranquil place like Kaş?

Once you have honestly answered those three questions to yourself, you will find the right place for you, whether it be Turkey, USA or UK. Or why not do six months in each place until you can decide? That way you won't be too committed and could look forward to the next place if the current place was not The One.

Easy to give advice but hard to do eh? I, for one, am still torn between UK and Turkey myself. I love both countries for different reasons. Hence my going back and forth at least for the time being.

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Like Ripley said, I got the same in impression about Antalya for the most part. And the part about having a female partner or not, seems to me that if I went to a very quiet place with a small population, it would be rather hard to find a nice lady, not like in a city like Antalya where there is much more choice. I think that's a major issue, if I had a girlfriend already, Kaş would be the place. To be in place where I'd be likely to find a partner, Antalya is probably better. Decisions, decisions.

Anyway, even if I make the wrong choice first, at least all my stuff will be down that way, and if I move, I probably won't move again as far as Izmir to Antalya, or wherever. I'm looking forward to seeing these places. I have a few things to take care of first, then I'll be free to go down there and explore.

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This question intrigues me since everyone I meet asks me why I want to stay in Fethiye, let alone how did I get here in the first place.

Maybe this tidbit can help explain, and possibly help you too, Ken.

One of my favorite terms is "topophilia". It means a love of a specific kind of geographical environment. I heard an anthropologist say that we are all pretty much "wired" to respond to one place or another because of this. I guess it is why I freak out when I am in flat areas. And I respond to water and mountains together.

Temperature and air quality also affect me. Even the angle of sunlight is important. I pay attention to these things now.

I arrived here in Fethiye about six weeks ago and loved it instantly. It just felt right. I like looking at the mountains behind the city and the way they hug the bay. I like watching the water. I like the village-like waterfront ambiance. I like the mix of stores, cafes, markets and the old city. I like my new friends. Mostly Turkish (I have met very few expats). I like discovering new things every day. And I'm still hopeful for opportunities for work, which is the one issue I have to waver on. I may need to move to a larger city if a job offer doesn't come through here.

I want to keep exploring Turkey and Fethiye. I have considered visiting both Antalya and Kaş (though the latter seems to be even less likely to have teaching jobs available). Who knows where I will settle.

I only know I will feel it in my gut when I am there. I think you are right, Ken, to just trek around for a while and feel the places out.

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I was pretty cool on Antalya in my earlier comments to you Ken, I have been thinking about that lately and after reading the comments above I have started to realise that Antalya maybe does have more to offer, as Mrs. Fil and I would have enjoyed ourselves much more in the last few years if we hadn't been attacked by workaholism.

Over the last few months there have been lots of "if only we had the time" statements in our house, for things like the

  • film festival (September)
  • the piano festival (now)
  • the blues festival (october)
  • the state opera (ongoing)
  • the state ballet
  • state theatre
  • early morning swim on konyaaltı
  • drives into the mountains

And these were just between August and December.

You should spend some time in Antalya in January or February, though, to see the pollution and the rain, before you decide.

As for Kaş, it is my favourite. But if you want to strut your stuff, than I suppose it is not suitable. Patara even less so, there is strutting going on round there, some long-legged birds are involved, but around the lake rather than the disco.

Have you considered Alanya?

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Ken, you say finding a partner is a major issue, and your best chances are in a large town. But what luck have you had in Izmir all this time? Could be there's a big difference in the types of people in large or small towns.

It's sort of like a lottery in a way. The big gambler spends a fortune on tickets in the hope of winning, but doesn't. And the little old lady who buys a single ticket in a year hits the jackpot. I guess what I'm sort of trying to say is that a large town won't necessarily increase your chances. Kısmet? Whatever. I hope you find your ideal partner and settle down.

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But you still have to have the circumstances to meet younger people in the first place and to be able to enjoy the process. Lets put it this way.

I was once the kind of person to seek greener pastures while even being in a relationship. Well even just glancing. Just to keep me on my toes. I've been grazing on this same here pasture for years now and not even a glimpse of a fresher patch even if i fancied one.

I don't know but I think the chances of seeing some fodder your age are reduced if you go to smaller places. But, and that's a big but, it does it matter about their nationality. But if it doesn't then the world is your oyster.

How did this end up about seeking love I don't know. But it does make the world go around. Well in my case it makes the world stand still.

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l agree with Meral on this one. Sometimes the larger the city the lonelier the person. Just like London, life can be too fast and many people who should be having fun and meeting new people are not.

I'm coming to Turkey next year (June) hopefully to Fethiye. If your still single Ken it would be nice to meet up and  enjoy an Efes.

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Just re-read my posting above. Let me re-phrase parts of it, l don't want to sound like a cougar!

Yes you do sound interesting and by that comment l mean your career etc. And yes if you do find yourself in the Fethiye area next year, it would be nice to meet for an Efes and chat. I'll stop now before l dig a bigger hole!

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I've been living in Kaş for 11 years permanently and four years prior to that as a summer resident.

I came here as a single lady, met someone and was in a relationship for five years and then was single again (Now married but that is another story). It has never been a problem being here as a single person.

Kaş has a very unique quality to it. I'm often asked what makes Kaş so special and it is so hard to define. "Enchanting" would sum it up.

The summer has a buzz to it, but it is never crowded. In the winter there is a sleepy tranquility to it but it is never dead. In the winter months there are a couple of bars that stay open and several restaurants. As Sirin has mentioned, there is a lot of interactivity between the expat community and the Turkish community. Certainly there is an expat community but as far as I can tell its no where near as cliquey as that of Fethiye.We have no beaches to speak of, mainly swimming platforms. There are loads of good walks in and around the area.

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Kaş does sound like a very lovely place :) and I hope to visit there one day !Whatever you end up deciding, Ken, you can be sure your feet won't be set in concrete ! Your choice doesn't have to be a commitment for the rest of yor life. So just do it and enjoy ! :)

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Excellent advice, thanks!No problem Ripley, I may not be far from Fethiye then, and it's always good to have connections in various places to fill me in on the happ'nins! And who knows... I might just stay right where I am... lots to think about. Alanya's too far for me though... it's on the far fringe of the most popular destinations of Turkey, Alanya is a lovely city, though, I did like it. The most popular places along the coast are between Izmir and Alanya, and I'd like to be somewhere at least near the middle of them since I plan to travel and do some writing about them. I did the leg between Antalya and Alanya during the summer, still have a lot of "writing up" that I haven't gotten to yet. Thanks for the input on Kas, KasDolphin. The way people talk about Kas, especially the Izmirians, it must have more than natural beauty, thanks for filling in the gaps. Well, I have time to think yet!

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