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Akyaka - Turkey Akyaka
Akyaka is a coastal city in the Ula district of Muğla Province in south-western Turkey. The town is located at the far end of the Gulf of Gökova at the beginning of the fertile Gökova Plain. Much of the Gökova Plain had been unproductive for centuries, up to the latter half of the 20th century, due to the fact that was was covered with marshlands ridden with malaria. The inhabitants abandoned their settlements and fields entirely during the months when malaria was active and moved to the highland plateaus. The ariable land was usually owned by large landowners from the district centere of Ula. An organized program to combat malaria became one of the priorities of the newly founded Turkish Republic in the 1920s - being enacted under a specific law in 1926 in which ownership titles Turkish: Tapu were awarded on the basis of the marshland they hed drained. This measure was quite successful in the transformation of the Akyaka region from 1925 to 1940. In the following decades, conversion of the fields for cash crops, especially tobacco, dominated the local economy until the 1970s when the first steps to attract tourism were taken.

Akyaka became quite cosmopolitan in recent years and in 1988 the region was declared as the first environmentally Protected Area in Turkey. With its forested mountains, crystal clear rivers, the sea, innumerable springs and its history and traditional Ottoman-style buildings has become a tourist paradise on the south coast of Turkey. Slowly Akyaka has developed into a summer residence for affluent holiday guests from Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir as well as Europe. The tourism boom that began in Turkey in the 1980's has not by-passed Akyaka. Still most of Akyaka's visitors are Turkish but the number of Europeans is increasing. For some years the paragliding from the top of the Sakartepe - the local mountain of Akyaka has become quite fashionable, although the launch point is not recommended for beginners. The Akyaka fish restaurants on the bank of the Kadin Azmak (Woman River) with freshly caught fish are perfect places for a lazy meal.

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