I have now been living in the Village for 10 months and have decided that it is not really a köyü (village) it is more of a şehir (town), in fact that way that it has been growing you could even say it is a suburb of Mersin proper, an outer suburb but a suburb nevertheless.
When I first started coming to the Village 13 years ago it really was a köyü. There was more farmland than houses, more farm animals than people but in the following years the urban sprawl that is Mersin has spread and, like a disease, taking over the quaint köyü and turning it into part of a spreading metropolis.
Although we are still surrounded by farms the view of the sea has disappeared behind apartment blocks 5 stories high. There are still farm animals but they are a rarity now (except for my damn nemesis that lives behind us) and what was once grazing land just west of us is now streets full of little houses (and some not so little) being built at a speed that astounds me.
It is lovely and warm now (in fact I would go so far to say it is hot) which means I spend more time going on walks or riding my bike around in the köyü (or şehir). I did not realise just how big the Village is. To ride my bike around the whole köyü would take me a good hour or two and walking would probably take me a full day (taking into consideration stopping for chats).
I often ride my bike from Atasyolu to the north right around to the deserted beach east of the Village. The Turk and I sit at this beach and dream (well he dreams and I lie on the sand and enjoy the sunshine). He wants to win the lotto and buy the land here, turning it into a resort (so, you know, adding to the urban sprawl). The beach really is exquisite, so clean and the sand is like soft, white snow. This beach could give some of those resorts on the west coast a run for its money. Again anyone who does eventually get their hands on this land (assuming we don’t win the lotto) would definitely be onto a winner particularly if the Council start to realise just what a beautiful spot it is and utilised the potential instead of squandering it by allowing industrial filth to be built there.
Honestly just look at this beach! It could be Fraser Island – in fact here is a photo of The Turk on Fraser Island a couple of years back. Amazing! This beach east of the Village is pristine beach. Unpolluted. Unsullied. A dream come true. The Turk and I can sit on this beach for hours and not see a soul.
Frankly it is a little sad that the modern world has caught up with my quaint köyü and tainted it (slightly) for me. But such is life is it not? If you don’t keep up you will only be left behind.
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I love the beach, and one of the highlights of my NZ holiday was the coach drive along the 90 mile beach. Brilliant stuff, and we saw evidence of the cars that failed to match the skill of the coach drivers.
Yes I know 90 mile beach, Fraser Island is very similar – as this little piece of paradise hidden away here in Mersin.