Ghost Town For Rent In Turkey

Ghost Town For Rent In Turkey

One of the world's spookiest "ghost towns" - abandoned nearly 100 years ago in the fallout of the First World War -could be reborn as a major tourist hub. To capitalize on its growing popularity among intrepid holidaymakers, Turkey's government is auctioning off a 49-year lease on the deserted village of Kayakoy (know by the Greeks as Levissi) in return for its partial restoration.

Set against the Taurus Mountains, the village has hundreds of crumbling stone houses and two churches that seem to be trapped in time. Dating as far back as the 18th century, the weathered ruins are part of a protected archaeological site that has become a big draw for travelers.

Turkey has announced that it will partially open the archaeological site to investors and the restoration project will include a hotel and tourist facilities that will encompass one-third of the village, the Hurriyet Daily News reported.

That is, if someone submits a successful bid in the auction on 23 October. An auction held last year was unsuccessful.

The project is expected to cost US$ 13 million and two companies have already expressed interest in bidding, but critics fear the town could lose its authenticity or originality, according to the newspaper.

Kayakoy, a Unesco World Friendship and Peace Village, is located in the Fethiye Peninsula, not far from white sand beaches and pricey resorts on the Aegean coast.

The village was abandoned when its inhabitants returned to Greece in a population exchange between the two countries in 1923 following the Greco-Turkish War.