The fish restaurants of the Turkish coast offer lots of unusual meze dishes -specialities based on recipes which were originally brought from Greece by returning Turkish people.
As a customer in one of the many seafood restaurants you will find lots of cold meze starters such as fish food salads like cuttlefish in lemon juice, which is a well-known speciality in Bodrum, or layered bream and crab salad in Marmaris.
Two quite well-known sea food meze specialities are golden-yellow fried rings of squid and midye tava (common mussels) in sauce.
In tourist areas, the list of dishes on the menu is even longer. For instance, sea food börek (fish in a dough roll) may be added. A very tasty speciality, particularly well-known in August when the fishermen are out for sardines, are these fish rolled in wine leaves and then fried.
Normally, Turkish cooks only use the meat from large, fleshy fish. The best season for fish menus is between autumn and late spring. Because fish can be really expensive in Turkey, the waiter will, more often, give the price to you per kilo than the price per piece.
The tasty "ton baligi" (small tuna fish) is a speciality of the Aegean coast. It is best tried simply fried and served with lemon. Swordfish is often served with tomatoes, green peppers and onion grilled on a skewer, while the smaller dil (common sole) is prepared in one piece.
One of the best fish from Izmir is called trance (halibut), prepared with tomatoes and green peppers, onions and kasar cheese, cooked in the oven (bugulamasi) and served in a pan. This dish is normally served for a group of customers.
Another speciality you will quite often find on the coast near Mersin is "balik doldurmasi", a pike filled with rice, pistachio and spices.
On the Mediterranean, giant shrimps are prepared with butter and garlic. This is especially popular with local people because of its size and really tasty flavour.
Please read as well: