By: Peter Marshall. Founder   •   email:

It’s very rare that I ever write about myself. But this year has been truly weird. First the hold up at gunpoint in Belo Horizonte when filming there in March, now a direct hit by a tornado in my home in Kas, in the south of Turkey.

You know when you say: ‘it will never happen here’. How wrong can you be! Kas is an earthquake zone, yes, but it has never experienced a tornado in living memory.

Until Monday 13th, that is. It had rained throughout the day and this developed into a thunderstorm at night. That, oddly, brought hail stones the size of marbles. Then all went quiet and Hulya and I thought the storm has passed. This was around 9pm. We were both in the lounge at the time – I was working at the dining table, Hulya on the sofa.

Then, out of nowhere, we felt the wind increase. It started rattling the front door. I went to investigate and then, within seconds, all hell broke loose. The roar of the wind was absolutely deafening. I cannot adequately describe the sound. I was suddenly blown 3 metres back to between the marble table and the wall and Hulya was lifted up and literally flew across the room. The speed of this tornado was later clocked at 200 mph. It was an utterly destructive force. You can see the devastation from the images provided. The house is a complete wreck, concrete landed on our stairs, all our windows blew out from the sheer force of the wind, one car was located in a tree and many of our neighbours lost their entire roofs.

Strange, but our motorbike was largely unaffected!

The main areas that were: Kas, Demre, Kemer, Kumluca and Finike. 38 people were hurt.

The whole event lasted no more than one minute. One minute! Hulya and I were so very lucky. There were shards of glass everywhere. Large pieces of wood had speared some of the furniture. Scary! The walls were covered in all the dirt that this tornado had at its centre. We both suffered cuts and bruises but came out of it largely OK. Still shocked at the severity of the tornado and its impact, of course.

Our friends there have been fantastic. A bunch of them helped us remove our stuff the following day and we can’t thank them enough for their support and generosity of spirit. Of course we could only see the real devastation in the light of day. Only our side of the Kas peninsula was hit and the radius of the tornado was around 80 metres. Outside the path of the tornado, nothing else was damaged at all.

A visit and chat with the Governor of Antalya followed during the day. Just a photo opportunity for him as he came with an entourage of around 10 people. By that time the local Town Hall had got the roads cleared.

So there you have it. The idyllic place that Kas is turned utterly upside down in once crazy minute. Just hope that 2018 turns out to be a much quieter year.

Peter Marshall

Founder: Arts
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