At the moment, Kabak is a relatively unknown and low-key, barely featuring, if at all, in most guidebooks. This is almost certain to change, but not in the conventional way that such places are "discovered." At present, it's a pleasant alternative to both Faralya and Olympos, which were formerly similar seaside hideaways but which have since morphed into well-established backpacker hangouts but also lost some of their prior charm. However, for a variety of reasons, while Kabak may come to be more developed, it is relatively unlikely to come to resemble either. This is a cause for both hope and concern.
Kabak's relative isolation and peace are, together with its natural beauty, its most appealing aspects to travelers. A local activist explained to me that attracting visitors is of particular importance to Kabak, since as a struggling agricultural community with relatively poor and hilly land (honey appears to be the main local crop) it cannot depend on farming alone for income, while the camps provide much-needed employment for its residents, albeit only seasonal. While the camps could further contribute to the community by purchasing food that is grown locally, many (the Olive Garden is an exception) are owned by Istanbullus who purchase industrially grown produce in Fethiye. In addition, several do not properly dispose of their garbage, with the result that areas of the road close to them can be filthy.
The land itself poses three further problems. First, Kabak's beach, while pleasant, is relatively small, and given how packed I found it in October, I doubt that it can sustain much greater usage than it currently experiences when the camps are full in the summer. Second, technically speaking, the land in the Valley is protected, meaning that permanent structures are prohibited, although it appears that this restriction has been flouted in certain cases. (Several people I spoke to alleged that bribery was involved and that the proprietors of the camp in question, noted for its loud music and littering, also condoned drug dealing). Third, property developers have begun to buy up the farmland above the Valley, with a three-star hotel planned for the area at the top of the Valley. Considering how uneconomical farming the land is, such sales are understandable, indeed Mr. Canözü has a sign at The Olive Garden offering family land for sale. Unfortunately, they have the capacity to destroy what makes Kabak appealing without delivering much benefit to the local community.
When I visited, there was a feeling of resignation that development may well come, probably accompanied by a clearing of the camps in the Valley, and the conversion of Kabak into an expensive and exclusive destination. However, there is also the possibility that the camps themselves may render the Valley sufficiently unattractive as to discourage much more development, which more or less describes the status quo. A more appealing possibility would be for Kabak to develop as a sustainable tourism destination, with people staying for an extended period to hike a growing network of waymarked trails in the vicinity while also eating locally grown food. This sort of development, which the activist with whom I spoke is seeking to develop, would both serve to give local farmers a non-barter market for their product and also extend the tourist season beyond the summer months. I hope you'll visit Kabak and also keep these concerns in mind when choosing your accomodation there.