I really enjoyed our visit to Kaya, our guide who was very knowledgeable and told us the fascinating history of Kaya before we visited it, which helped to understand why Kaya is such an atmospheric place.
At the beginning of the 19th century the Kayakoy village was a thriving community enjoying their lives. The Greeks and Turks lived together as a mixed community side-by-side, but mostly Greek. It was the Turks that called the village Kayakoy and the Greeks called it Levissi. Their homes were quite sophisticated built with many rooms even outside toilets connected to cesspit's and cisterns were used to collect rain which provided running water and drinking water was supplied by two fountains in the village. There were businesses, shops, taverns and Churches two of which still stand today and about 500 houses. We were also shown a boys school at the top of the hill and a girls school at the bottom.
After the loss of the First World War and the end of the Ottoman Empire. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk agreed in 1923 to sign a treaty for the Turkish Greek Population exchange. The Greek Christian citizens were deported out of Kayakoy and the Muslim Turks were expelled out of Greece. Neither side wanted to leave their homes and the Turks did not want to settle in Kayakoy. And later a devastating earthquake destroyed much of the town in the fifties.
The timbers, door frames and windows even the lintels were eventually taken by the Turkish residents from the churches and houses, with no roofs only the crumbling walls remain. Only a few of the house are occupied to this day.
Today Kayakoy is an open museum and the valley is protected from future development through tourism, although I think this interesting place needs is a visitors centre, like Carnac in France, and other places I have visited, there are few local stores and restaurant selling food and gifts in the area. The Turkish government wants to restore some of the houses for tourism in the future. A very emotional eerie place to visit you realty feel for the people on both sides and what it must of been like for them to leave their homes and way of life.