History Of KALKAN
Kalkan, known as Kalamaki in ancient times, is thought to have been founded 150 - 200 years ago by traders from the Greek island of Meis located a couple of miles offshore from Kaş.
In the old town there are two mosques, one of which was originally a Greek orthodox church. You can still see a small cross on the roof. Fıve years ago, I was running a glassware shop in one of Kalkan's many narrow streets when an old man passed my shop. He seemed to be searching for something and I inquired if he needed any help. He smiled and asked, "Where is the church?." Before leading him to the there, I offered him a cup of apple tea to which he responded, " I would prefer a Turkish coffee." So I invited him in and while sıpping our coffee, he explained to me that the church was built by his father in the late 19th century and he had travelled all the way from Melbourne, Australia to see it for the first time. We walked together to the church and once there he asked politely if he could visit alone. Before I left, as he looked over the what was once the orthodox Greek church his father built but now converted to a mosque, he told me that his father was named Hacı by the Turks. The name reveals that as a Greek his father was well respected by the Turks, but unfortunately this togetherness that existed was severed by the population exchange that occured in 1920's. N.S.
During the Ottoman Empire period over 500 years Turks and Greeks lived until the early 1920's in Kalkan. Today you can see lots of similarities between Turkish and Greek culture , cuisine, traditional dance, smoking habits, and lifestyle.
During the early 20th century, Kalkan appears to have been quite a prosperous port. There were 17 restaurants, a goldsmith, and several tailors. There was also a customs house which was restored and has since been used as a family house. Other thriving industries were charcoal, silk, cotton, olive oil, grain, sesame (a trip to Bezirgan village in the summer will reveal fields of sesame), grapes, and timber .
The first coastal road linking all the southern coastal towns opened in the early 1960's . At this time many people left Kalkan for business in larger towns such as Antalya and Fethiye.