By Justin Mays:
On the 26th of December 2021, the Bodrum Municipality, together with other municipalities in Turkey celebrated an annual gala in honor of the region’s expatriate community. The event which was hosted at Trafo, the municipal cafe and exhibition center saw thousands coming in to commemorate this day.
There was a live band to entertain the people present. Free food and beverages were also available. The Mayor of Bodrum, Ahmet Aras gave a speech to embrace the foreign community in his area and he also indicated that the population of Bodrum had increased from 180.000 to 400.00 over the past years. The Maya congratulated the founder of Bodrum Echo Community, Chris Drum Berkaya on her efforts to bridge the gap for the expat community in Bodrum.
Timur Altiok, Bodrum Municipality International Relations Director indicated that according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), 4.657 foreigners officially registered as residents of the Bodrum peninsula. Foreigners from Germany constitute the highest number with 790 registered in Bodrum. The United Kingdom has 645 residents, Russians had 334 residents followed by Uzbek nationals with 236 nationals. There are 234 Azerbaijan residents in Bodrum and 219 Ukraine nationals. There are 192 residents from Kyrgyzstan, 1990 from Turkmenistan, and 156 from the United States.
Expats are commended for their community efforts and 81 Kirlangic (swallow) awards are given representing 81 provinces in the country. George Rimmer from Mugla won an award for his efforts to raise funds for charities and donations in his province. Rimmer who moved to Fethiye in 2012 with his wife Christine Rimmer, has made a significant mark in the community.
"Of course, the great food, nice weather, stunning coasts, and culture played its part in our decision but most of all it was the warm, welcome and generous nature of the people that captured our hearts and convinced us that this is the place we want to spend our retirement," Said George. "As soon as we arrived, we were invited to be board members and became heavily involved with the Calis Children's Charity. We were focused on a range of efforts including, providing vital equipment to many of the local schools, funding university bursaries, helping the local children’s homes, providing medical care for children in need, and helping with support and equipment for disabled children.
"George is also part of Race for Life, which is a global cancer fundraising organization. This organization gives opportunities for people to walk or run for good causes. The organization has collected a lot of funds over the years to assist those suffering from cancer.
"We are so proud to have been able to provide life-saving equipment to the local government-run hospital and financial aid for so many individuals to cover travel and accommodation when receiving treatment from further afield,” “I need to stress that there are far more hard-working and dedicated people than myself who are giving their time to our good causes locally and although I’m very proud to have been given this award, I accept it on their behalf," he added.