KAYAKÖY  <<< back <<<

        Kayaköy (Levissi) was named as Karmylasos during the antique Lycian period. Levissi is at a distance of 8 kms. from Megri, separated from the sea by a low range of hills, but the coastline called Vai or Doyuncak is located at a distance of 1.5 kms.
       Most of the houses at Levissi are built on one story, with a few of them in two stories. Generally the houses do not have tiled roofs. Almost all the houses have cellars where the household items and fodder were stored. Since there was no running water, every house possessed a cistern where rain water was collected and used for cleaning. There were also water wells at the plains of Levissi. However, drinking water was supplied by the two fountains in the village.
         The houses were built with a material called Argilo, which was a mixture of stones, lime and clay. In holes called Stunbo, which were 70 m. long and 30 m. deep, the Argilo mixed with lime became more durable than cement. The buildings still standing today prove the durability of this mixture. Except for a few houses, the ones without tiled roofs had a column built in the middle of the building called the foundation column which was then planked with wood. The wood was subsequently covered with soil of light, easily disintegrable stones which was watered and compressed with a stone roller. The roof thus became waterproof and the rainwater flowing down was collected in cisterns by way of a pipe or a channel.
         The toilettes were built outside the houses with simple elements and the holes dug underneath were used as cesspools which had holes on the side facing the street to be cleaned out by heavy rainfalls.
       
On the basis of a population census in 1912, there were 6500 Greeks and Turks living in two districts at Levissi. The Greeks  had a a Council of Elders, elected for a period of three years, for the purpose of resolving matters such as education, marriages, divorces and formalities involved in case of death, without taking them to the Turkish courts and judges. Fıor educational purposes, boys attended the primary school above the large church called Taksiyaris while the girls went to the primary school at the skirts of the citadel in the Aya Yorgi district. Boys and girls were taught in separate schools.
        At Levissi, the summer coffeehouse at Üç Kavak and the coffeehouses near the Taksiyarhis Chruch were very lively. The shops near  these coffeehouses sold mainly foofstuffs. In addition to butchers, greengrocers and grocery  stores, there were shops selling drapery. There were no shops for copperware and tinkers, but tradesmen in these fields visited the Turkish villalges to perform their work. The people in Levissi were generally involved in trade.
      The Levissi Plain of 5000 square meters was very green, covered with vineyards, and as it was surrounded by hills, the rainwater collected here. A small stream flowing down in winters from the neighbouring Ovacık Village watered the Levissi Plain, forming a small lake at the foot of the Belen Village.
    
  The Turks grew tobacco, chick-peas, figs and plums while the Greeks cultivated various fruits, primarily figs and grapes, and produced wine, jams and molasses from the yield of the vineyards. Wine was not consumed much but raki wass a most popular drink. The figs ripened on the trees and those that fell off were collected from the ground. A good quality raki was made from smaller, cracked figs.
      Since all the houses had ovens for make bread with sour yeast, there were no bakeries selling bread at Levissi. The butchers sold meat butchered daily, therefore there was no need for refrigerators. Sheep and goats were not butchered before they were six months old. The meat consumed were mostly from sheep, goats and oxen. However, the Turks hunted wild boars because they destroyed their sown fields, which were then presented as gifts to their Greek neighbours.
      Meanwhile, the long prickles of the hunted porcupines were used as needles by women in their embroidery. The Greek women wove silk or other cloths at the looms in their houses. The dowry of the girls was mostly made of silk. The material woven with great care was sometimes sold to others.
     
The clothes worn by Greeks living at Levissi were similar to those at Cyprus and the twelve islands. The men wore short baggy trousers which looked like long underpants, and embroidered vests over their shirts, a fez on their heads wrapped with a handkerchief. The young Greek boys carried silk handkerchieves. The outfit of the women reflected the economical status of the family, comprising generally of a coat embroidered with gilded silver thread, a silk dress, a necktie with a golden button and a golden necklace or an ornamental coin worth five Turkish gold pounds. The shoes were low-heeled. For jewellry, they wore rings, bracelets and earrrings.
       Marriages among youngsters were arranged by matchmakers. The decision was for marriage was taken by the elders of the family and parents. When the mutually favourable decisison was reached, dowry was discussed and a day for the wedding was set. After this matter was resolved, the prospective groom presented the bride-to-be with a gold coin and a handkerchief symbolising the union, instead of the Turkish custom of giving a ring.
        In a square named Çakır’ın Tarlası the youngsters wrestled every Friday. Contestants from the upper, middle and lower districts participated in these matches. At tournaments the wrestlers were chosen who would participate only for fame and honour and there were no financial awards and bets involved. Therefore, sometimes fights would ensue among wrestlers who could not stomach being defeated, which would be resolved by the elders.
       
Levissi was cool and breezy during the summer months and therefore the residents of Megri would move here to escape the humid and hot weather. The Greeks and the Turks at Levissi and Megri took their baths in washtubs at their houses and therefore there was only one public bath at Megri.
       The Turks and Greeks, contributing jointly to the economical and cultural wealth at Levissi and Megri were greatly affected by the population exchange which took place in December, 1922. Pursuant to comprehensive and tearful immigration from Fethiye (Megri) , 88 Greek families, together with a further 6 from Izmır, were settled at Simokeriza in Greece, which was later renamed as Nea-Makri, in November, 1923, to till the land. Turks from Greece and various islands were brought in to the motherland as Mübadil. Like the Greeks, the Turks were also greatly affected by the immigration, carrying their pain and memories along.

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