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Eight km to the south of Fethiye city in southwestern Turkey lies the ruins of around five hundred houses belonging to the once thriving community of Livissi, consisting mostly of Greek Orthodox Christians. Livissi, now known as Kayakoy or the Rock Village, was built probably in the 18th century on the site of the ancient city of Lebessus, and is thought to have been the place where the inhabitants of Byzantine Gemiler Island fled to escape the marauding pirates. After a devastating earthquake and fire left Fethiye a wasted land, many moved to Livissi and the town grew. During its heydays, Livissi had a population of 10,000 or 20,000 according to different sources.

Before the First World War, there were many Greek populations living peacefully across the whole of western Turkey. But when War started, these Greeks suddenly found themselves in enemy land and at mercy of the Ottomans. Several hundred thousand Greeks were massacred during the war as part of ethnic cleansing carried out by the Turks. Some fled to Greece. Others were forcibly deported.

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Photo credit: Sarah Murray/Flickr

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© Amusing Planet, 2016.


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