Bodrum Past

Some Bodrum Belles of our acquaintance have been living hereabouts for a couple of decades (or more). They tell of cold water flats, power supplied on a wing and a prayer, a town virtually devoid of modern conveniences and fun, lots of it. Bodrum was where the intelligentsia was exiled and where the artistic found sanctuary. It was far enough away from Ankara to stay under the radar of the more reactionary tendencies of the ruling elite. Even today, Bodrum has a diverse, edgy vibe unique in all of Turkey. This is why we chose it. Ambling along the newly marbled streets lined by fancy bars crammed with the well-heeled, it’s hard to imagine how it must have looked in times past. Imagine no longer. Here are some old grainy snaps of the town. The last two images are of the lane that runs along the side of our house – then and now.

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A curiosity is the Greek Orthodox Church that once stood in the heart of the town (first two pictures in the sequence). It’s a reminder of Bodrum’s Greek past before the euphemistically called ‘population exchange’ of 1923. Liam and I debated what now stands in its place. We think it’s the rather large and ugly concrete library. Perhaps those in the know could help us out.


There’s a fabulous Facebook group page dedictated to old images of Bodrum places and people called Eski Bodrum. It’s a fascinating study in social history. Thanks to Back to Bodrum for the heads up.

10 thoughts on “Bodrum Past

    1. Women are freer here than they are in most parts of Turkey where they are expected to fulfil the traditional role of wife and mother. Despite a raft of legislation protecting women’s rights (women got the vote in Turkey long before many western countries), Turkey remains a conservative, patriarchal society, though nothing like other much more repressive Muslim nations – think Britain 40 years ago.


  1. Hi The church is now the buiding where the locals can have free education – the local “people’s college”!!


  2. The mayor has said he will pull down the ugly 70’s “Public Education” building and re-build a copy of the Orthodox Church. There is a great Facebook page called “eski Bodrum” which is open for people to display their old photos. I was amazed to find a picture of myself and Teo at the Old Halikarnas disco. Not sure I’m ready to be history yet.


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