Part of Shadows (book 2 in the DI Donna Davenport series) is set in the Kaya Valley in southern Turkey. One of the main reasons people visit the valley is to see the Ghost Village of Kayakoy.
This village has been abandoned since the 1920s, hence its name. Its history, however, is a dark and terrible one.
The village had been inhabited by Christians and Muslims, who lived side by side perfectly peacefully for centuries.
Then in 1923 the Turkish and Greek governments decided on a mutual population “exchange.” In fact, this amounted to an exercise in ethnic cleansing, with entire communities forcibly removed from their homes and taken to a country they had never known – if they survived the journey, which many didn’t.
This episode in Europe’s history is all the more disturbing for knowing that only a decade later, it was beginning to happen again in Germany.
Inhabitants have begun to move back into the Kaya Valley, but Kayakoy itself remains abandoned, a monument to the horrors of political ambition.
The silence of Kayakoy and the small farms and villas scattered across the valley create an atmosphere like no other. I wanted to bring something of that into my writing, and so that’s why part of Shadows is set here.