Cevdet Bayburtluoğlu is an archaeologist. He started working in the early 1970’s with excavations in Xanthos and later in Arykanda and Phaselis. It is clear that he fell in love with Lycia, a bulge in southwestern Turkey and since I shared this love, I could not find anyone better than him to be my guide - in book form that is.
The English translation is not the easiest to read and certainly not the best, but the clear and lively descriptions of the sites, their history and the directions to get there largely compensate for that shortcoming. I had visited several sites while on guided tours but when I decided to drive around Lycia by myself, this guidebook turned out to be a most wonderful travel companion. It is richly enhanced with many photographs and detailed maps of the excavated cities, done in such a way that you immediately recognize the spot you arrive there.
My highlight so far is Arykanda, where Cevdet Bayburtluoğlu spent many years of his life and it did not come as a surprise when I saw his map on a big billboard at the entrance. The place looked familiar to me even before I had entered it!
His book starts with an introduction stating his passion for Lycia and the progress archaeology has made over the years. Another chapter handles a very useful and comprehensive history of Lycia set against its geography for one needs to understand both to get the complete picture of that area. The front cover is folded in three and holds a summary map of Lycia where the ancient sites are marked in typical brown frames.
It goes without saying that I highly recommend this guide to anyone who wants to discover Lycia on his own or simply wants to know more about this beautiful region of Turkey. Just make sure that pages 280-288 are also translated into English for mine were inserted in Turkish by mistake.