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Okçular is a small village on the Dalyan to Ortaca road about five or six minutes away from Dalyan by dolmus.  To the south of the village lies a small mountain range which separates the Köycegiz Delta from the Dalaman Delta whilst to the north of the village lies low lying arable farming land punctuated with the occasional small scrub clad hill. Okçula is an authentic Turkish village and has managed to so far avoid the commercial development (both in tourism and industrial) that has seen the loss of natural habitat that has crept into places like Dalyan for example. Indeed the village itself has managed to emerged from a struggle to prevent outside companies from building a quarry and cement factory and this is even more impressive as work had already started on the project. Thankfully, that area is the site of rare plants and this was brought to the attentions of the authorities before it was too late.

We are going to do part of 'Walk One' from Alan Fenn’s book ‘ Okçular Village -A Guide’ written in both English and Turkish it chronicles how the village fought this struggle and covers a little of the history of the village and the immediate area; the flora and fauna. From a birding point of view this walk offers a variety of habitat and the chance of localised specialty birds Rupples Warbler and Kruppers Nuthatch. Kocerde Valley pictured above is part of the walk and can be good for raptors. 

You can get to this walk by Dolmus, bike or car. If you go by Dolmus you simply get the return Dolmus back to Dalyan from the LeyLey Restaurant . If you go by bike or car you’ll have to consider that you’ll have to retrace you steps to where you parked your car or left your bike. 

Directions : 

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If going by Dolmuş take the Ortaca Dolmus from the centre of Dalyan which will take you via the Ataturk Bulvari road

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1 :  Leave Dalyan on Ataturk Bulvari road and head towards the roundabout. At the roundabout, the left turn takes you towards the Jandarma and the football satdia and the right turn taking towards Ortaca and Dalaman. Take the right turn towards Ortaca and Dalaman

2 : Go through first set of traffic lights and in the distance you will see a further set of lights. We are going to turn right before these lights. If you are travelling by Dlomus ask to get off after about ten seconds or so of going through the first set of lights. There will be a dolmus 'pull in' on your right.

3 : With the  dolmus stop on your right ,  on your left just ahead , there is an electric pylon with a mini transformer on top. We are turning right just after here.

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4 :Turn immediate right after the transformer at the sign for 'Dalyan Private Villas’ . If you travelled by bike you can leave it parked here it should be quite safe. 

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5 : Follow the track straight on and take the bend to the left .

6 : Keep going a short while and take the next fork in the road to you right .

7 : You will pass some Villas on your left (If you travelled by car you can park here as the rest of the track may not be suitable), at the next bend take the track to your right.

8 : You will see a cow shed on you left . The rock face opposite this (to right) has Rollers nesting during spring. 

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9 : Keep on this track until you come across the water trough on your right.

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9 : Shortly after the track splits left and right. Take the track to the right. This is Kocerde Valley. 

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10 : Follow the single track which will soon veer to the right . You will shortly come across an ECO Trails sign indicating to turn right with a X on a tree a little further on.  For this walk we will not follow the ecotail turning right but carry on pass the red X and follow the track until it peters out into a goat track. 

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11 : You can carry on up the goat track but it becomes very rough, so here we retrace our tracks back to the entrance of the valley 

12 : Once you reach the entrance of the valley take the track to you right .

13 : Keep on this track following its obvious course. There are some wonderful scenes to take in on the way. You will eventually reach a cemetery on your left. At the cemetery follow the road round to the left.



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14 : Keep on this road until arrive at the entrance to the LeyLey resturant


15 :  You can get the Dolmus back to Dalyan from here, or return to where you left your car or bike. 

© Brendan Searson 2017