Why is Father Mountain called by this name?


Father Mountain is the largest and tallest (almost 7,000 ft high) mountain forming the beautiful centrepiece of this relatively small but impressive range facing out to sea near the Gulf of Fethiye. This is what you see from the eastern side the Gulf: from the other side, it presents the finest view on the coast.

Its whitish limestone composition and steep slopes with fewer trees than some hillsides make it look like a gigantic white beard. Father Mountain’s Turkish name, Baba Dag, is very appropriate.

Positioned as it is close to the safe haven alongside St. Nicholas’s Island, it is tempting to see it as a natural monument to Santa Claus (St. Nicholas) or Father Christmas. In Turkey, I hear you say. Yes, Turkey was his birthplace (the Roman city of Patara) and the seat of his bishopric was at Myra, further down the coast. Hence he is known as St. Nicholas of Myra in the Orthodox Christian Church but St. Nicholas of Bari in the Catholic Church, but that is another matter.

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