For thousands of years the Dalaman River thundered out of the mountains to the North
East of here, then took a great sweep to the West to meet the sea where today the
famous tourist town of Dalyan is located in the SW of Turkey. Over many millennia
fertile alluvial flood plains were created that attracted early settlers and herders.
Then, some two thousand or so years ago an earthquake changed the course of the Dalaman
River to roughly where it is today. Prone to seasonal flooding, these plains were
unsuitable for settlement, but all around at the foot of the mountains, communities
sprang up. The most famous is Caunos at Dalyan, but here, in what is now Okçular
it is possible that an earlier settlement took root. . .
Just a few years ago our village emerged from a year long battle to prevent outsiders
from turning Kocadere Valley into a quarry and cement fabrication. Without consultation
with us they had obtained licenses that were a death sentence to many of our orchards,
our beautiful valley and our way of life. With determination and guidance from professionals
we have succeeded in saving Kocadere Valley, our farms and our livelihoods. . .
For those who love rambling and nature there are some stimulating walks to be had
especially during springtime which here begins early January. You may be dodging
the odd deluge, or truly spectacular thunderstorm, but in this mild region everywhere
will be carpeted with flowers in colours to die for. . .
Anemones thrive here in every colour from white to pink to deep red, blue to purple
with all shades in between. Orchids abound together with cyclamen and in late spring,
tulips, the national flower of Turkey will be found. Here too is critically endangered
Alkanna muglilae. One local flower lover photographed hundreds of different varieties
of flowering plants over a two month period in and around Kocadere. Because herbicides
are almost unknown here, fields and hedgerows are a riot of colour and variety in
flora and fauna. . .
Sit quietly at many a beautiful spot around our “rocky island” as evening draws in
and you’ll have every chance of seeing Mr Brock the badger as he pokes his nose cautiously
out of his set and sniffs the air before setting off for a night of foraging. Everywhere
you look there’ll either be something to fire your imagination or your curiosity,
or else a spot to relax and let the cares of the “daily grind” wash right away. .
As you walk these quiet trackways through orchard, valley or mountain, keep your
eyes open - on the ground, around and above you. There are buzzards, bee eaters,
rock nuthatch, red squirrels, fire salamanders (don’t handle), badgers, foxes, wild
pig (keep clear), hawks and harriers (the list is endless), flocks of goats and the
odd local. How many different sorts of flowers will you see? Remember your camera
so you can take a picture and not the flower. . .
Just a few extracts from ‘Okçular Village - a Guide’