Come to Altinkum! We’ve got sun, sand, sea, cheap(ish) beer and nice food.
Just a word of warning, though, while you’re sunning yourself on our beach don’t look too hard at the sand or you’ll see all the broken glass and plastic water bottles left by other sunseekers. Once you’ve had your cheap(ish) beer, watch your feet on the way home or you might fall into a pothole, and when you finish your meal tip your waiting staff well, they’re probably working 18 hour days, seven days a week and receiving their pay in cash with no contribution to their national insurance.
Didim’s town planning has been a bit mishandled, kind of like what happens when I let my two year old daughter brush my hair. The only recent big investment by the local council into tourism here left many seafront businesses stricken and caused hundreds of cancelled holidays… but at least we have a full line-up of dead palm trees along the promenade to raise our spirits a bit! As for the marina, it’s lovely but most of the employees were brought in from out of town and there’s been no attempt to tempt those rich yacht owners off their poop decks and into the resort – maybe the beer’s not cheap enough, or perhaps the music in the bars needs to go off a bit earlier? Or perhaps they’d be interested in a few more dead palm trees.
Didim’s official population is already 4/5 that of Soke (even before the drastic drop in residence visa prices), but if you’re in Didim and having a heart attack, or a baby, you’d better factor in that one-hour drive to Soke to their disproportionately better equipped state hospital.
Of course, the magic that is Tesco-Kipa could change all that with a wave of its blue-striped value wand.
- Kipa is big enough to attract plenty of interest from the taxman so generally their employees have a shot at receiving minimum wage, limited working hours, and their social security payments paid. Abracadabra, more families willing to settle here as their kids stand a slightly better chance of finding employment with Kipa in town, and fewer burglaries as there are more jobs to occupy those would-be burglars who are worried about their pension payments.
- Those families with family members employed at Kipa have that little bit more income to spend at Didim restaurants, shops, services (or just in Kipa), thus spreading the wealth (or keeping it in Kipa).
- Big Kipa stores offer a range and standard of goods and prices not currently available in Altinkum, your current best destination for poorly-made tat at exorbitant prices. And lo, and behold! Kipa’s presence would provide a new benchmark for Didim businesses, driving up standards and driving down prices (and possibly driving other businesses out of business, but that’s the price of competition).
- The statement made by a big, successful multinational business like Kipa opening up a big branch in Altinkum says, “look at us! We ruthlessly pursue BIG profits and we’ve decided to open up shop here so there are obviously big profits to be made – why don’t you come here too?”, thereby magnifying all the magic-wand effects of Kipa opening by bringing other big companies who also will do all of the above. Kapow!
- All these new big companies will raise the profile of Didim on a national level so it’s not just a down-at-heel resort town with no prospects but a town with a future, worthy of serious investment. Hocus pocus, Altinkum will start to regain popularity as a place to hide your wealth from the taxman by investing in cash in real estate and those unsold apartments will start to shift once more.
- The presence of the big companies will reassure Turkey’s talent that Didim’s not a backwater deserted by the powers that be and is a decent place to bring their families, a place with facilities to compete with higher-profile towns and cities, so, as if by magic, they’ll come here and stand for Mayor, transfer here as Police Chief, accept that job as Head of Tourism, fill those vacancies in the cardio and obstetrics departments at the hospital – thereby also prolonging Didim’s life expectancy and increasing its birth rate.
- Those ambitious, talented people will recognise that a bit of investment in cleaning, maintenance and tourism facilities might slow down the drain of better-heeled, deeper-pocketed visitors to posher resorts like Bodrum, and being ambitious and talented (and honest) they’ll do it right and Didim’s tourism will start to do justice to its sandy beach and shallow water (can’t get that in Bodrum), historic Temple of Apollo practically inside the town (can’t get that in Kusadasi), location between two international airports, traditional village culture right on the outskirts, nearby nature reserves, etc etc etc.
- All of these things will bring tourism money back to Didim and the core business of the resort will thrive once more until everyone is happy and rich and can afford to do their shopping in Izmir Forum every week.
And what about the street dogs? They will become well-fed and healthy on the food waste generated by Kipa, and will thrive and multiply until the only people who come to Altinkum are the ones who love street dogs, thus ending the street-dog debate.
Yes, I believe Kipa coming to Didim will do all that and so much more. It’s not just that I want somewhere I can buy a half-decent pair of new socks for my kids without making a two-hour return journey. Didim for Kipa, Kipa for Didim!