Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Crown daisy

In 1959, Kadınlar Denizi Kooperatif Evleri or Kadınlar Denizi Plaj Evleri-Plage Homes as the place is called these days were built. This was a cooperative community, a ‘site’ or a ‘coopératif cité’ as in French. It was one of the first three such summer vacation places in Turkey at the time (Çeşme Ilıca Evleri and Didim Sitesi were the other two).

We moved into our home in 1961. The second half of the month of June when we arrived to spend the summer, the streets were covered with flowers commonly called crown daisy. This is an annual that grows up to 1.2 meters. It is in flower from June to September. We had to walk through a field of them to reach our house. Once the vacationers arrived the flowers had no chance of survival, they were mowed.

The summer of 1961 and maybe the following summer I enjoyed these flowers and then they were gone forever. I don’t see these flowers anywhere anymore to be able photograph them.

  Photograph by Júlio Reis dated May 22, 2002

The scientific name of the plant Chrysanthemum coronarium has been recently changed to Glebionis coronaria. G. coronaria is native to the Mediterranean and East Asia. It is a common flower in anthropized, that is open spaces, landscapes and natural environments converted by human action as opposed to totally built environments: It grows in fields, olive groves and near villages. There are yellow varieties but the one I know is white with some yellow. The middle of the flower is known as the central disk and comprises of the disk florets which are in fact small flowers. The petals that become yellow towards the base are the ray florets. Glebionis coronaria belongs to the aster family Asteraceae.

The place I am thinking of was right by a pristine beach teeming with tiny sand hoppers (Talitrus saltator). In explanation to where the name Kadınlar Denizi-Women’s Beach comes from, there used to be talk about Zeus and his ‘women’ taking a dip here but no mention of such a myth is made any more. There is an old magazine picture shared by all of us who spent the summers of our youth there. About 20 meters from where the girl in the picture is sitting our houses and streets began. Since the ‘90s particularly, the sand is so trampled upon during the long summers of the Aegean that the beach does not support wild life any more. Instead, it is full of seasonal tourists who think they are giving themselves a break.

                                      A magazine clipping from 1959 Source: Mobolla, https://tr-tr.facebook.com/mobolla1

        The Kadınlar Denizi beach in the 2000s.  Even the rocks jutting from the sea were leveled by explosives.


  1. Hi Beste - lovely nature ... but oh how so many don't appreciate it - great to see the 1959 picture compared to today's ... cheers Hilary

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures Hilary. I read your blog on Lionel Rothschild and I vaguely remembered having heard of him before I think. Now I know. What an inspiring story. (I tripped on technicalities again when commenting) Salut, Beste