Sufi Sings on the Lycian Way

Καρμυλησσός, Karmylissos

Καρμυλησσός, Karmylissos

The acoustics in this abandoned Greek Orthodox church were almost as breathtaking as the view from it, built high on the mountain over a ruined stone village. Nearly 2,000 Anatolian Greek-speaking Christians were living in this village until the final days of the Ottoman Empire came with new nations desiring themselves to be ethnically-homogeneous. Thus, a population exchange was agreed on between Turkey and Greece  in 1923. Abandoned, the village stood on the mountain range until a devastating earthquake shook the ghost town to rubble in 1959.

The village is eerie, a memory lurking just off the turquoise coast that brought its inhabitants to it in the first place. The village longed to be lived in. I couldn’t help but try the acoustics with my little instrument. That deserted place of worship was so thirsty for a little Love, the sound of one tiny guitar could fill the space with such glory that the frescoes almost re-emerged from the dusty plaster. After the impromptu performance, I lingered, imagining the village alive and buzzing, as my leftover waves tickled the old walls. Soon enough, the sun gloriously sat its royal self into the throne left behind by the Greek villagers.