OF ÜZÜMLÜ AND ITS WEALTH
The town of
Üzümlü is located at 18 kms. from Fethiye and was known as
Cadianda in the Antique Ages on the way from Caunos (in the west)
to Araxa (in the east).
We do not have detailed information about the
historical development of the town in the absence of extensive
research and excavations in the region. On the basis of
philological data, the nd in the name is indicative that the city
may be dated to 3 thousand B.C. However, the existing ruins from
the antique city are not later than the 5th century B.C.
Most of the ruins observed at Cadianda belong
to buildings from the Roman Period. Although there were
settlements in town up to the 7th century A.D., there is not much
evidence of ruins from later periods.
The oldest ruins at Cadianda are part of the city walls, the rock
tombs, and Lycian inscriptions. In addition, a Hellenistic
theatre, which was repaired and used in the Roman Period, a bath,
a running track, the agora, ruins of a temple in honour of an
unidentified god and lots of civilian buildings are evidenced to
indicate that there was a well developed city here in the Antique
town of Üzümlü is famous also for the grapes grown here and the
wine produced from them, as well as the dastar weaving, aspiring
to compete with the hothouses and tourism potential of other
regions within Fethiye.
The dastar weaving, carried out principally at Üzümlü and also
at Incirköy, Ortaköy and Paşalı, is a tradition as old as the
settlement of Turkish clans in the area. In the olden times,
textiles manufactured from the silk of the silkworms raised in
neighbouring towns were compatible with the silk products in the
Bursa region. In fact, the unique dastars woven with the silk
obtained from the yellow cocoons were highly sought after by the
high society. Unfortunately, the yellow cocoons became nonexistent
in time and the raising of silkworms was also abandoned.
Until recently the dastars were made to meet local requirements
and were presented as gifts to the daughters of neighbours
eligible for marriage. In line with technological developments
during later years resulting in abundance of textile products,
this art ceased to be competitive and dastars were kept in storage
or displayed at authentic premises and museums to contribute to
the variety of cultural exhibitions.
However, in recent years, the trend has been to avoid
technological products and a retreat to natural sources.
Consequently, in view of the fact that the natural cotton thread
is abundantly and easily obtainable and can be used for various
purposes, and that tourists coming to our region are keen to
purchase items representing the authentic cultural samples of the
area, it is expected that dastar will resume its prominence in the
near future as a much sought-after product.
Dastar is a characteristic style of textile, woven at
unflagellated looms, using bleached cotton thread with designs in
the same colour. Two types of threads are used as wefts and warps.
The longitudinal ones are called warps and the horizontal ones are
called wefts. The weaving style repeating the same links both
longitudinally and horizontally is called the textile weaving. In
the Üzümlü dastar the weaving technique used is with the shaft of
the loom. This is the oldest and the simplest technique in
creating the links.
In this technique, the threads of the warps are raised and lowered
at the same level. If the number of threads in the warp is equal
to that in the weft, the textile takes on an grainy appearance.
If the number of threads in the warp is more than that in the
weft, there are slight rips horizontally, otherwise the rips
The tiny holes due to crosswise weaving lend another
characteristic to the textile. Because the two threads are tightly
linked in crosswise weaving; the textile becomes more endurable.
motives on the dastars are given various names such as topak yanış
(pellet embroidery), sulu yanış (water-like embroidery), sülük
yanış (leech embroidery), çengel yanış (hooked embroidery), kilim
yanış (carpet embroidery), deve boynu (neck of the camel). These
motives are repeated throughout the textine both longitudinally
and horizontally, creating the design. The smaller motives may be
spread over the surface to form another design which is called
benekli (spotted) composition. In the medallion design, the
corners of the squares are softened by triangular motives and a
figure in the shape of a baklawa slice or a schematic animal form
is woven into the center.
dastars were originally used as head scarves. Nowadays they are
used for various purposes.
scope of their use will be widened as they become known better.
Similarly, the composition and the motives in the designs will be
enhanced as they become more popular.
Liquid Amber (Storax) Tree
evidences indicate that the taxons of Liquid Amber trees,
naturally growing only in Anatolia, the USA and China in our day,
were spread over a vast area in Northern America and Eurasia
during the Cretaceous, Tertiary, Pleistocene and Eocene periods.
The liquid amber tree is an endemic species dating back to the
Tertiary period. Although there is not a single species in the
European continent today, it has been established that a great
variety of this tree grew here during the Tertiary period.
Pursuant to the glacial perod, its presence was limited to the
present regions of growth. The Liquid Amber pollens were first
discovered in mineral deposits at Cauccasia and Turkmenistan (to
the east of the Caspian Sea) dating to the Paloecene period.
Pollens resembling those of L. Orientalis were found in
deposits from sub-Oligocene era in Western Kazakhstan. Pollens
were traced in Western Europe from the mid- and late Miocene as
well as the Pliocene eras, and the American Liquid Amber tree was
established as the most widespread species both in Europe and
FEATURES OF THE ANATOLIAN LIQUID AMBER TREE
present there are only 4 species of liquid amber trees growing in
North America and Southwestern (Turkey) and Eastern Asia. Of
these, the main species are L.styraciflae (growing in North
America), L.orientalis (growing in Turkey) and L.formosana
(growing in Eastern China and the Formosa Island).
The Liquid Amber tree resembles the plane or maple trees,
with the tops narrow and pointed in the young and widespread in
the old ones. On the basis of observations on the site, it was
established that in areas where liquiamber oil is extracted, the
deformed trunks are not smooth. The trees produce numerous roots,
stumps and shoots which have many fungi projections. Our liquid
amber is a decorative tree with yellow and dark red leaves in
autumn and vivacious unique green leaves in the spring which is
grown in the parks, gardens and picnic areas.
structure of the roots vary depending on where they grow. In humid
regions with high water content in the base, the roots are
widespread with numerous tiny shoots. In highly humid locations
and marshes they do not grow taproots. Because the roots are
widespread and shallow, some trees are felled in strong winds and
storms. On the slopes and arid regions the tree produces taproots
which are buried deep into the ground.
The barks are
smooth in young trees and cracked in old ones.
The leaves which are aromatic (due to the existence of liquid
amber essence) as the buds when rubbed, display vast morphological
variations. The edges of the leaves have fine, regular teeth.
These teeth are much smaller than those of the plane and maple
The furits are bright green in their initial stage, turning
light brown when they are ripe. During the month of November and
December, the fruit is fully ripened and hardened, achieving a
wooden structure. They hang down at the tip of a long stem. When
fully ripened, the capsules open up and the seeds fall to the
LIQUID AMBER OIL
The liquid amber trees produce traumatic balsam channels
which are not normally existent in the trunks and which form only
in the case of lacerations. Due to this balsam, they are named as
liquid amber trees, based on the Latin word Liquidus (liquid) and
the Arabic word Amber (perfumed).
The liquid amber oil is obtained by lacerations on the liquid
amber trees. In the process, the bark of the tree is whittled
during March and is left to stand like this for a month. At the
end of May, with a tool called spoon, lacerations are made. These
lacerations called veins are incised through the bark, green cover
and only slightly through the wood. A week later the incisions are
repeated and this practice is called sır (glaze). Two weeks
later the oil collected in the veins are scraped off with the
spoon which process is called sır arkası (continuation of the
glaze). Afterwards, the process of extracting the essential
liquid amber oil is started. This is carried out from mid-July to
the end of October. During this period the oil is scraped off
every fortnight with the spoon, together with the bark, cambium
and the layers of wood. The oil collected with the bark, cambium
and layers of wood are in the form of microchips called capsules.
These are collected in the bags hung on the necks of the workers.
This process is called sefer (campaign). At the end of October,
the remainder of the oil, seeping through the lacerations, which
is hardened and darkened due to oxidation, is scraped off again
with the spoon. This last process is called kara kap (black
The microchips, called capsules, containing oil together
with the bark, cambium and layers of wood are boiled for ½ to 1 ½
hours in cupper utensils filled with water. Then the boiled
microchips are removed from the boilers by pitchforks with long
handles and are placed in bags made of goat-hair. These bags are
compressed in presses, extracting the liquid amber oil which are
collected in concrete basins. The residues (küspe=pulp) remaining
in the bags after the compression with smears of the oil are left
out to dry. These residues are called incense.
The liquid amber oil is a good antiseptic and
parasite-killer. Internally consumed, it is used in ailments of
the respiratory system such as the asthma and bronchitis as well
as blennorrhea and fluoalbus. As a pomade and plaster, it is used
to cure dermatological ailments like scabies and fungus diseases.
It is an essential part of the perfume and soap industry. Its
solution in alcohol acts as a fixator in maintaining the stability
of the scent of perfumes. It is also used to give scent to
The residue named Cortex Thymiatis, which is obtained
during the production of the liquid amber oil, is burned as
incense in mosques and churches.
The liquid amber oil was known in ancient times. It was
traded by the Phoenicians. The ancient Egyptians used this oil in
the preparation of their mummies.
Teacher Ünal Şöhret Dirlik
Dirlik was born at Incirköy in 1938 and attended the primary
school in his village. After his secondary education he was
enrolled in the Aksu School of Teachers. While still a student,
he sent articles to various mewspapers and magazines. He was
employed at the Ministry of Education for many years where he
taught people who are today prominent officers, statesmen and
outstanding personalities. He is not just a teacher but a
researcher of many cultures. His name and the results of his
researches appear frequently in numerous local and national
magazines and documents. After his retirement as a teacher he
worked as a reporter in various national newspapers. In the course
of his work, he unearthed many facts about the history of Fethiye.
He has always been a devotee of Fethiye and published books on the
history, culture and folklore of Fethiye. He has written
approximately 12 books and was presented a number of awards,
letters of appreciation, plaquettes and honorary documents. Here
are the titles of a few of his books: Keloglan-Bald Boy (1959),
Kelkız-Bald Girl (1962), Sen Şimdi Güneyde-Now that You are in the
South (1965), Şiirli Bilmeceler-Poetical Riddles (1969), Sen Şimdi
Güneyde I-II (1996), Fethiye Bilmeceleri-Fethiye Riddles (1996),
Fethiyede Halk İnanışları-Folkloric Beliefs in Fethiye (1997),
Fethiyeli Gülüyor-Giggles of Fethiye (1998), Incirköy!Incirköy!
(1999), Fethiye Atasözleri ve Deyimlerinde Hayvancılık ve Yayla
Göçleri-Stock Raising and Immigration to Plateaus in Proverbs and
Idioms of Fethiye (2000) and Fethiyede Söylenen Maniler-Quatrains
of Fethiye (2001). The following is a list of just a few awards he
received: Certificate of Commendation in 1972 from the Governor of
Mugla for his book Bölge Ağzından Atasözleri
Deyimler I-II=Proverbs and Idioms in Local Dialect I-II ; in 2000
Award of Service to Folkloric Culture for his researches on
Turkish Folklore as well as a plaquette from FRT for his
outstanding work.; in 2001 he was awarded by the Association of
Newspapermen for his book on the Folklore of Fethiye. He was
presented with a document of appreciation and a plaquette for his
contributions to the book prepared by the Municipality of Fethiye
entitled The Ascending Light of Tourism=Fethiye; he received the
first prize in 2002 in a contest organized by the Mugla
Association of Newspapermen in the field of books on research;
also in 2002 he was presented with a plaquette and honorary
document at the Banquet of Poetry; as well as a plaquette of
appreciation by the Association of the Aegean Authors and
Researchers in a ceremony at Acıpayam. He never brags about all
these awards. He keeps up with his research on Fethiye. Our
teacher is distinguished by his hospitality and paternal attitude.
Many university students working on a thesis about Fethiye
invariably come to him for enlightenment and he is always there
to help them out. Besides his researches, he also writes poetry.
Some of his poems are addressed to old friends and most of them
are about his devotion to Fethiye.
been to his office. The whole room is overflowing with books. I
have to keep reading, he says, I have to keep reading to ensure
that I do not misinform others. Who are our ancestors? Are there
traditions still observed in Fethiye? What is our origin? All
these questions urged our teacher to carry out researches on
Fethiye. He penned many surveys about his native village.
Furthermore, he explored many undiscovered historical sites and
included them in his books to make them renowned all over the
world. In some periodicals he is called The Cultural
Representative of the South which I firmly believe is
Are you from
the garlic-smelling neighborhood or from the spouse-divorcing one?
The port of Fethiye is like a sealed box. As you
go through the strait, there is not even a ripple in the whole
port, it is very calm. During our class of military services, our
teacher used to stress the strategical position of the port of
Fethiye, saying, It is wide and secure enough to accommodate the
whole naval forces. The peninsula extending as far as the old
Megri and the fact that it is closed to west winds results in
excessively hot days in summer months. Therefore, in the old days
the residents of Fethiye took refuge on the plains of Seki,
Üzümlü, Arpacık and Akdağ in the summer.
In the region between Karagözler and Köprübaşı the sun
sets early. You are in the market place and you realize that it is
getting dark. You think youd better be heading home. When you
leave Köprübaşı behind and reach the Garden of Kadir Çavuş, you
notice that it is still midafternoon and that the sun has just
slanted a little; thats all.
Night falls early between Köprübaşı and Tepesidelik.
Here housewives time their preparations for dinner with the
sunset. If the sun sets early; their spouses, having left for work
in the early hours in the morning, will be home soon. They intend
to have dinner ready and start cooking. They wait and wait, but no
one is about to come home. If the meal they have prepared is
spiced with garlic and the garlic is already added, the dish they
have cooked will start to exude the smell. This will give rise to
rows. This is the garlic-smelling neighborhood.
Now take another neighborhood close to the shore and
open to the sea; like Günlükbaşı, Çalış or Çatalarık. Here, as
soon as the sun sets, it immediately becomes dark. The ladies look
around and see that it is still daylight and the sun is shining
over the sea. They think that there is still lots of time before
the sunset. They either take their time in bidding farewell to
their hostess or tend to prolong their visit when the sun sets all
of a sudden and their spouse puts in an appearance at the door.
This is the time for rows, gossip and quarrels. In the past such
fights used to end up in divorces.
New acquaintances used to ask each other: Are you from
the garlic smelling neighborhood? Or from the spouse-divorcing
one? These are tales from the olden times. Now there are clocks
of various dimensions; as big as truck-tyres; wrist watches and
pocket watches as well. There are also televisions and radios...
It is not possible to be confused about time!...
You know, those ancestors of ours have been so
imaginative.... They made up so many tales.
I think wed be wise to determine which of the
foregoing categories your residential area is included. In actual
fact, Are you from the garlic-smelling district? Or the
the book entitled 'Ey Fethiye Fethiye' by Unal Şörek Dirlik