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In 1927, when Bodrum was a small fishing, sponge
diving and agricultural village with a population
of 4902, a writer named Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli
arrived to serve his sentence of exile under fortress
arrest in the Bodrum Castle. Allowed freedom of
the town by local authorities he fell under Bodrum’s
spell. Later, his writings under the pen name
of "The Fisherman of Halicarnassus"
attracted Turkish intellectuals to this secluded corner of the country, sowing the
seeds of tourism.
The beginnings were modest, with a handful of small
family-run hotels and humble private homes turned into
"pensions" serving undemanding, happy guests.
Those halcyon days are still remembered with nostalgia,
but it was inevitable for such an enticing venue to
be discovered by increasing numbers of visitors and
by the mid 1980s tourism was in bloom. Then, encouraged
by government incentives, tourist facilities sprang up
so quickly that at times the unprepared infrastructure
became overtaxed. The latter part of the 1990s saw a
rush to enhance the infrastructure and respond to the
demand for more luxurious accommodations and provide
a wider range of opportunities for recreation and entertainment.
Much of this has now been accomplished and Bodrum today
is a trendy, cosmopolitan holiday resort popular with
families and with the younger set from all over the
world. It is a choice destination of those interested
in the rich historical heritage and natural beauty of
the region, while its prestigious ranking has attracted
a whole galaxy of stars of the Turkish entertainment
world. It can truly be said that this diversity of its
visitors matches well the variety of its offerings,
and is an attraction all of its own.