Celebrated British author returns to Kayaköy
Britain’s Louis de Bernières will visit Turkey’s Kayaköy village in Fethiye again on May 2.Britain’s Louis de Bernières, an author responsible for bringing the story of Fethiye’s ghost village of Kayaköy to an international audience, will attend the fifth Fethiye Culture and Arts Days when they start April 30.
De Bernières will participate in a dinner at the İzela Restaurant in the southwestern district’s Günay’s Garden on April 30. Readers who get their hands on one of the 50 tickets for the event will have a chance to meet de Bernieres and listen to the author talk, read from his book and answer questions.
De Bernières wrote “Birds Without Wings,” his sixth novel, after visiting Kayaköy nearly 20 years ago. Kayaköy was a town with Muslim and Greek Orthodox residents until the terms of the 1923 Lausanne Treaty precipitated a massive population exchange between Greece and Turkey in which Muslims from Greece were sent to Turkey and Greek Orthodox Christians from Turkey were sent the other way. With the exchange, the once-thriving town of Kayaköy was reduced to a jumble of ruined houses scattered across the hillside. The publication of this book caused great excitement for those who would like to discover Turkey and last year, (2011) for the first time since he finished the novel, Louis came back to Kayaköy.
“Birds Without Wings,” which was published in 2004, has been described by some as de Bernières’ “War and Peace” as it traces the history of a fictional town called Eskibahçe during the first decades of the 20th century.
Through a combination of de Bernières’ painstaking research and vivid imagination, readers meet a cast of richly observed characters and the roles some of them played in the daily life of the town and the struggles they faced as the Ottoman Empire collapsed following two consecutive wars and the birth of the Turkish Republic.
The author returned to the area last year for the first time since he completed the book. On May 2 there will be a guided walk through the abandoned town with de Bernières, followed by afternoon tea at Günay’s Garden.