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Turunç Diary - March 2020


March is usually mixed weather and this year was no change. The early part of the month brought us some rain which is to be expected and, to my mind welcome as it will keep the local water good for longer throughout the year. The middle of the month brought some lovely weather but with a cold Northerly wind. The latter part of the month has brought us a bit more rain.

March of course also brings Spring and things are picking up and breaking out. Quite a lot of the fig trees have leaves breaking out and there is blossom on other trees. The birds are active and in Marmaris around the middle of the month there were dozens of house martins giving a great aerial display. There are a few in Turunç at the time of writing. I'm sure the rest, along with the swifts will be along soon. There was a fair bit of building and maintenance work going on during the first couple of weeks but then the government put restrictions on restaurants, cafes and bars and suddenly the village went quiet and deserted with many people staying indoors and self isolating. Work is still going on with a couple of projects; the steps leading up to the Es restaurant and apartments have been demolished and there is talk of a lift being put in to replace them; what was the Surmen restaurant has been refurbished with a wall between it and the Malmen hotel swimming pool. Sezgin Demir of Yalı restaurant fame is taking over so we wait to see what it will look like. Oba 09 is getting a facelift as well and Beko opened Günes restaurant next door early in the month only to have to close it when the restrictions were imposed.

The real issue at the moment though of course is the Covid-19 pandemic. We are fairly lucky here in the village as we are reasonably isolated anyway but people still travel and no doubt it will get here eventually, probably from Istanbul via a holiday home owner. Many people in the village would like them all to stay away but I can understand their wanting to get out of the big cities. I just hope that if they do come, they self isolate for a couple of weeks. I'm quite sure there are no cases in the village at the moment but it has already affected and will continue to affect the tourist season. The locals depend heavily on tourism of course and while there has been the odd bad year in the past, there has been nothing like this in my memory. Work getting the taxi and tour boats ready has slowed right down as has building work.

Around the 21st of March the government told all over 65s and those with certain existing conditions to stay indoors or receive a fine for non-compliance. First time caught out and about, around 350 TL fine and escorted home. Caught again, 3150 TL fine. A few decided they wanted to donate to the cause but only once I believe! Your Diarist is over 65 and fit and healthy but not wealthy enough to pay fines so is staying indoors. Lots of younger people both Turkish and ex-pats have made themselves available to do our shopping etc. Although I personally do not like to call on people for help in this way it is necessary and I and I am sure all of us under house arrest are extremely grateful for this help. Oh to be younger . . . I don't know how people are spending their time stuck indoors; a few jigsaws are being completed I understand but the great majority, who knows. Personally, I am turning lots of wood and plywood into sawdust having turned my home into a workshop some time ago. Anybody else want a cat scratching pole or radio controlled model boat?

My apologies for a lack of photos this month, it's a long story so I won't trouble you dear readers but stay safe everyone and we'll hopefully see you on the other side!


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