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Uğur Mumcu Park - Fethiye

 

Sometimes, when at home I like nothing more than a leisurely stroll on a Sunday afternoon and there's no reason why such a stroll can't be taken on holiday, especially when it’s hot and sunny

 

One such stroll is through Uğur Mumcu Park in Fethiyé, just down the road from the main Mosque.

 

Over the years the park has been through a good few facelifts, not all of them to the better, but its latest reincarnation is perhaps the most ambitious and best so far.

There are walkways and gardens stuffed with topiary and exotic plants and even trees that you can see through - trunks 'woven' in such a manner that you can't hide behind them.

One of of the park's most striking features is the vast expanse of the town square with its now famous clock and statues. Imagine this full of people - it holds a lot!

There are water features and fountains and places to sit and chill.

 

One water feature has an air-bridge on which you can stand and see the sea beneath your feet.

 

And, once you've had your stroll through the park there are numerous places to sit and drink cay and watch the world go by.

Fun doesn't have to be hectic, it can also be relaxing and amazing. Don't forget to take your camera.

 


 

Many years ago, when Sibel Manav (Ozgold) was a little girl and I was staying with her and her family in Fethiyé she took me to the first Uğur Mumcu Park. I tried to pronounce it and she laughed at my efforts and told he to elongate the ‘Urrr’ part as the G was silent and was there in fact to elongate the preceding ‘Urrr’ sound. She did it perfectly, rolling the R around as her tongue vibrated violently. I tried again but could never match her pronunciation.

I asked her who he was and she told me he was a journalist who was killed by a bomb. I have since leaned a lot more about him. This is from wikipedia . . .

Uğur Mumcu (22 August 1942 – 24 January 1993) was a Turkish investigative journalist for the leading daily Cumhuriyet. He was assassinated by a bomb placed in his car outside his home.

 

Uğur Mumcu was born the third of four siblings in Kırşehir. He went to school in Ankara and in 1961 attended School of Law at Ankara University. Graduating in 1965 he initially began his career practicing law. In 1969 he ended his legal career to return to his alma mater; working as a teaching assistant until 1972.

 

He started to write during university, first in the magazine Yön and then in several other leftist periodicals. Between 1968 and 1970, he wrote articles on politics for the newspapers Akşam, Cumhuriyet and Milliyet.

 

Arrested shortly after the 1971 military coup, he was tortured. Later, Mumcu wrote that his torturers had told him: "We are the Counter-Guerrilla. Even the President of the Republic cannot touch us." In 1974, Uğur Mumcu started a career as a columnist with the periodical Yeni Ortam and from 1975 on, in the daily Cumhuriyet, which he continued until his death.

On the morning of 24 January 1993, Mumcu left his home and was killed by a C-4 plastic bomb as he started his car, a Renault 12, license numbered 06 YR 245.

There are numerous hypotheses over who was responsible for his murder. Given the various links (at organizational and personal level) between the Turkish deep state and Turkish armed forces, Counter-Guerrilla, Kurdish forces and the CIA and Mossad, the hypotheses are not necessarily mutually exclusive, especially as Mumcu was investigating some of these links.

. . . . and back to me.

Since his death there have been Uğur Mumcu Parks in several cities including Ankara, Antalya, Izmir and many others. He was a brave man and it is fitting that he is remembered in this fashion and Fethiyé Belediye are to be applauded for its continued remembrance.

 

 


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© Michael Crane, 2014