People rushed to ‘doomsday village’ during weekend curfew

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The Şirince neighborhood in İzmir’s Selçuk district, known for its boutique hotels and village tourism, welcomed those who wanted to spend the nationwide imposed curfews in its historic houses sitting in the lap of nature.

According to the Mayan calendar, the date Dec. 21, 2012, was predicted as the day of apocalypse and the Şirince neighborhood was claimed to be as safe heaven on earth to stay unaffected by it, along with the village of Bugarach in France.

Popularly known as the “doomsday village,” the Şirince neighborhood has been a center of attention ever since due to its mysterious reference in the calendar.

During the nationwide curfew imposed on the previous weekend, all boutique hotels and hostels in the district got full.

Those who live in the neighboring provinces, such as İzmir and Aydın, rushed to Şirince’s boutique hotels during the weekend, where they entered on Friday with the idea to spend their time during the weekend curfew in those historical houses surrounded by nature.

Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, the mukhtar (neighborhood head), İsmail Yildırdı, said that there were 45 hostels and boutique hotels in the neighborhood, and the bed capacity was around 500.

Noting that the accommodation facilities are inspected within the framework of the circulars of the Health Ministry, Yıldırdı said, “The nature and clean air in the village increase the interest. The hostels, which are open, were also full this weekend.”

Mustafa Ozan, a hostel owner, stated that reservations were full during the pandemic, especially during the days of curfew.

Stating that the occupancy rate of other accommodation facilities in the neighborhood, as well as his hostel, was high, Ozan said, “They prefer to be alone with nature in Şirince. We give service in accordance with hygiene rules. Our guests have a good time here.”

Sevgi Yılmaz, one of the guests who came to Şirince to spend the weekend, said that she came from Aydın with her friends.

Explaining that they wanted to stay in Şirince during the curfew, Yılmaz said, “We preferred the village and nature rather than spend the weekend in the city. We were very pleased.”

On the other hand, the streets remained empty during the curfew in Şirince.

Şirince is a picturesque village built on a green slope among mountains, drawing attention with its stone streets, olive trees and houses with bay windows. Dating back to the fifth century B.C. and one of the most visited villages in Turkey, Şirince hosts over 2 million local and foreign guests every year. This historic village is visited by around 4,000 people daily.

Hurriyet Daily News

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