The Huzur Vadisi Story- The Beginning (part 1)

People have often said we should write the story of Huzur Vadisi and how it all began nearly twenty-five years ago. It’s a bit of a tall order. For a start so much has changed in twenty years. Turkey is so different, and so are we…. We have been to heaven, hell and back…it has been a long and at times challenging road. It has also been our life’s work and we have poured our love and passion into it.

So where to begin? For me it began with a plane ride from rainy Manchester in early June 1992, arriving at the newly built Dalaman airport, then just a small, whitewashed building. With no knowledge of how tourism was going to boom, the terminal was modest and is now for domestic flights, next to the big international terminal. So much growth within a decade. The thing that hit me as I stepped through the doors on that day was the smell… warm air scented with herbs and orange blossom. I also felt as if I had come home.

This could be something to do with the fact that I had been brought up in Istanbul, along with my three brothers. Our father had worked there for ten years in the 60’s and 70’s. As the plane had flown over Turkey, I had pressed my nose to the window. Knowing that the folded brown hills fringed with blue sea passing beneath our wings was the land of my childhood, I was overcome with a feeling similar to seeing a much loved person again after a long separation. It had been more than twenty years. I found tears welling in my eyes and my throat tightening, a feeling of love and perhaps most poignantly, a feeling of deep recognition. Recognition not just of Turkey, but of the earth the Hittites, Greeks, Persians, Romans had marched over, fought over and colonized. Troy lay just down there near the narrow Dardanelles, and further south, beautiful Ephesus, city of marble, home to the stupendous Temple of Artemis and later where the Apostle Paul preached. The cradle of so much history. I felt this resonating deep within me and I knew with a strange sense of certainty that I went way back with this land… this was to prove prophetic in a way I couldn’t have imagined…

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