The earliest recorded name of a city in what is now the Kaya Valley was Karmilassos, a lycian city probably of minor
importance within the federation. Most remaining signs of that city are seen today in the north of the valley but there
are several tombs still surviving amongst the houses of what is now called KAYA.
Beetwen the lycian and current Turkish names, the town was called levissi and became an important town on the
Turkish coast. The original Levissi ( actuaally ” Lebissos” at the time) had been the island we now call St Nicholas or
Gemiler Island. It is thouhgt that the greek speaking christian population fled the island around the end of the first
millennium as the coast fell into the hands of pirates and raiders. They fled to the hidden and easily defended valley
just a mile or two inland and there are few remaains from that early settlement left, the ruins you see today date from just a few hundred years ago.
The new Lewissi prospered and grew, and on a map by john speed dated 1626 Levissi is distinctly annotated but megri ( now renamed Fethiye ) Not at all.
At its peak the town had about 500 houses, two large churches, 3 or 4 small churches and perhaps 20 chapels. There were half a dozen shops, a printing press producing a local newspaper and two schools. The buildings and
the roads improved over the years as did the water supply. Most houses collected rainwater from the roof to be stored
in cisterns holding from 4 to 8 ton of water. The public supply came from Hisaronu, firs in covered channels, the in clay pipes and latterly in steel pipes. That water fed several thanks and at least 4 public fountains two of which are
still in use today, thought the water is now polluted thanks to the tourist industry at the source.