Esas Puertas Cerradas

(Puerta con gatos)

A mi me encantan los gatos y esta puerta me llamó la atención…

En el pueblo llamado Alacati (Alachati) en Turquia, hay muchas puertas muy interesantes…

Siempre hay que preguntarse, ¿que habrá detrás de esas puertas?

Las casas parecen estar vacías, pero no lo creo…

El pueblo de Alacati está en la provincia de Esmirna y es un pueblecillo con mucho interés turístico. Llegan en manadas de todas partes del mundo para caminar por sus callejuelas adoquinadas y luego comer en los restaurantes, que hay de todos tipos y casi todos son terrazas.

Fue un pueblo griego, pero después de la guerra de independencia turca intercambiaronse los pueblos y los griegos regresaron a Grecia y los turcos que en Grecia vivían, regresaron a vivir en lugares como Alacati. Esas casas de piedras y esas puertas tan interesantes fueron de los inquilinos griegos…

(Todas la fotografias son de la propiedad de Francisco Bravo Cabrera, C.2019 Derechos Reservados)

Instagram: @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera

My Own Private Ilica

When I think of Ilica (pronounced “Iliya”) the first things that comes to mind are the sunrises. I usually get up before the sun and wait for it to appear over the mountains just east of my flat.

This little town in the Cesme (pronounced Cheshme) peninsula, the most extreme western part of Turkey, that juts out into the Aegean Sea, is a summer paradise. Here I have been enjoying summers since the early two thousands. During most of the year it is a sleepy little town of about twelve thousand souls but from June to September, it becomes a haven for vacationers who come to enjoy Ilica’s beaches, great seafood and thermal waters. Most of the tourists are Turks from nearby towns. But the majority are from Izmir…one hour away by car or bus…who own summer homes in Ilica and the surrounding villages.

On the Big Beach in Ilica

Ilica’s “Buyuk Plaji,” or “big Beach,” is a large stretch of sandy beach with crystal clear warm waters, slightly heated by natural springs far below, underneath the seabed. This beach attracts many day trippers from nearby but it is also the beach of choice of the many summer residents who live right across the street. Along the seawall there are small bars and cafes. At the end…or beginning…is the Sheraton Hotel, a monolithic structure which does nothing for the coastal aesthetics but it does provide nice restaurants and cocktail bars as well as luxurious pools, tennis courts and other amenities.

Sailing off the coast of the Buyuk Plaji in Ilica

Ilica is a summer place but it has been growing over the years. I have seen many changes, especially in the area of the “Yildizburnu.” This is in the western extreme of the village. Here the local government has built a sort of promenade where people can stroll, sunbathe and enjoy the waters and enjoy a nice local delicacy called “kumru.” Kumru is a sandwich of Turkish sasusage (made of beef), with fried cheese and placed between a special bread shaped like a dove, for kumru means dove in Turkish. This is my favourite part of the village for there are many fine dining restaurants as well, my favourite being an Italian one at the very end of the Yildizburnu.

smaller beach and Kumru restaurants in Ilica

Ilica is a nice place to spend some relaxing and peaceful time in the summer. But if you do get bored, there are many places nearby to look for entertainment. The village of Alacati is only about six kilometres away and it is a very popular place. There are many restaurants, bars, clubs, stores and bazaars. Cesme, the port city that gives the name to the peninsula, is also about six kilometres from Ilica. From Cesme you can take a ferry to Chios and to other small Greek islands nearby. You can, as well, book a longer passage to several ports in Italy.

About 70 kilometres away is Izmir’s International Airport. You can travel from here to anywhere you choose as you can connect through Istanbul, only a forty five minute flight. However, there are many destinations you can reach from here directly, like Munich, Dublin and Amsterdam, to name a few.

The city of Izmir is 80 kilometres away from Ilica and and it is a lovely place to visit and explore. So, there are things to do in and around Ilica. And there are many good connections for coming or going. And I did not even start on the historical sites, like Ephesus and others in the region, that is for another article.

Evening view and very good wine, dining in Ilica

I hope you have enjoyed this short introduction to Ilica and the surrounding areas. One day, perhaps you might be looking for other ports or other adventures and you may want to spend a few days here or maybe even one whole summer. If you do, make sure one evening you sit by these beautiful waters and enjoy a glass…or two…of very fine Turkish wine as the sun sets over the Aegean Sea.

The Sunsets behind the nearby Greek island of Chios
Looking towards the east. The sun rises right behind those mountains

I feel it is my own, private Ilica as I am usually the only foreigner around. I come every summer and spends a few months in town. I truly enjoy the summer life that exists here and by now I have many friends. The only thing I lament is not having learned to speak Turkish. There are many lovely people with whom I would really like to share some conversation, but, I guess we cannot have everything. There are many who speak English, but I’ve yet found one who speaks Spanish…


I am an artist from Valencia, Spain. I write poetry and articles about other things that I find interesting. My artwork I call “Jazz Art.” I like to work within the scope of the definition of Jazz agreed upon by the early masters of that unique musical form also known as “American Classical Music.” Creators of the genre, like Louis Armstrong, Jellyroll Morton and King Joe Oliver, among others, said Jazz should be the performer’s art. Therefore, the player would, during his solos, actually create the music as he plays. Of course Jazz had to be based strongly upon improvisation and it had to swing. Jazz must have rhythm. Those are “rules” I keep in mind while creating my artwork. My compositions are usually filled with my favourite instruments, players and dancers. I am a figurative and realistic artist.

“Celia” acrylic on canvas 120 x 90,5 cm (In honour of Cuban singer Celia Cruz)

If you are interested in seeing more of my drawings and paintings, please visit my Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and as well my online galleries containing my “JaZzArt en Valencia” 2019 collection at

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