Living In and Around Fethiye,  Tales From Turkey

FLOP – Looking at life on the street from an alternative point of view…

Animal interviews and photos by Mike Vickers

Hi. Let’s introduce ourselves. We’re all fully paid-up member of FLOP – Fethiye’s Lethargic Outdoor Population. We live on the streets, eat on the streets, but mostly we sleep on the streets, especially in summer. We operate right under the noses of you humans, who remain blissfully unaware of our secret objective. For years, we’ve been using our natural gorgeousness to mask our primary mission; to discover and then defend the best places in Fethiye to – well, flop.

This is the culmination of a journey which began a long time ago. Actually, about the 12th century BC to be honest, when we discovered we could very easily con human beings into looking after us because we’re so cute and furry and have big soulful mesmerizing eyes. Why bother with the danger and effort of hunting when people actually give you food. It’s great!

Nowadays, FLOP is a progressive broad church. If you have four legs, you’re welcome to join us. Even lizards. We all love Fethiye. There’s plenty of warm sunshine and space enough to spread out, but best of all, there are good pickings for everyone, so we rub along just fine. If there is an occasional spat – often a charade put on to entertain you humans – the dog fulfills his traditional role of unsuccessful chaser and the cat gracefully flashes straight up the nearest tree in a stylish blur.

Considering our circumstances, you won’t be surprised to to find we’re a bunch of street-wise characters, but one common incident still remains a complete mystery to us all. At one time or another, we’ve all been scooped up by some exceptionally friendly humans and taken to The Palace of Great Trepidation, also known colloquially as ‘The Vets’. On waking some hours later, the cats were horrified to discover their beauty had been disfigured by a clipped ear and the dogs outraged to find themselves compelled to wear a single drop pendant earring. Oddly enough, they also found a complete loss of interest in the opposite sex was a curious side effect of this sartorial barbarism. The meaning of this ritual is still unknown, although there are dark rumours whispered throughout our community.

So we continue to live amongst you, keeping a low profile most of the time and delighting you all with our carefully cultivated cutesy urbanity, but we’re still curious as to why the cats have half an ear missing and why their doggy friends wear an earring. If we ever come into a position of superiority over humans and discover the truth, be assured we’d probably do the same to you.

Think on that next time you see us flopping around in Fethiye.

I’m a professional gutter cat. I support world peace and enjoy spending my days lying upside-down getting toasted by sun-baked aluminium. What’s not to like? This location is a closely-guarded secret.
Kordon Corner Fishing Net Communal Bed. Competition is fierce for this prime seafront sleeping space. Why would you not want to snooze enveloped in a pungent piscine pong? Some lad left his bike leaning against our bed so we let his tyres down later that night…
Move on, Buddy, this is our sack of firewood.
Trixie sleeps in this tomb. It smells a bit musty but it’s cool in summer, warm in winter and very central to town. Great if you like clubbing.
Kordon Cycle Path. Maurice spent months working on his roundabout skills.
I’ve been running a lucrative saddle warming business for a number of years now. My youngest has recently branched out into crash helmet warming.
I know it’s ironic, but I’m actually allergic to cat hair. Vacuum cleaner filters have always offered me both a snug and hypoallergenic bed.
Everyone calls me Cushion. Can’t think why…
‘Ah, the good old Peugeot J9 dolmuş, a 1990s classic powered by a 2.5 litre 4 pot OHC diesel injection engine coupled to a 5 speed manual box. Fourteen seats, but never less than thirty packed on board, all sharing a paltry 71 horsepower between them. No wonder the transmission smelt crispy by the time they reached the top of the Ölüdeniz road. Lovely and warm to sleep under on a cold winter’s night.’
‘I want to spray on the wheel.’