Living in Turkey for a number of years has been a privilege and a pleasure. This vast country has given me some unforgettable memories of people, places and events, too many to list but here are my highlights in no particular order:-
- The freshest of fruit and vegetables, nothing can compare to the taste of fresh strawberries in April or honeydew melons in May. I have enjoyed the crispiest of salads and the tastiest of juices. Who cannot juice in Turkey – the fruit and vegetables just cry out to be juiced. Listen for them next time you visit the bazaar.
- This one inevitable follows on, the bazaars where everything is so fresh and vibrant, like a walk through a colourful art gallery. I once was given half a loaf of bread by my Turkish friend and guide so I could taste the cheeses, I tried so many I could not remember where I had been and where I had not. The vendors joined in enthusiastically with this, sitting me on a rickety stool and just filling me up with cheese. I could eat nothing else all day.
- The scenery, everything from beaches to mountains. Beautiful and awesome whatever the season, although travelling in the mountains in a blizzard can be a bit scary.
- The desserts, I could write reams about the desserts here, from the famous baklava to lesser known but equally delicious milk puddings. All come with a sense of the history of Turkey.
- The people, I am so thankful for the Turkish people I have met and consider friends. Of course I am not naïve, there are people out there who will hurt or cheat you but let’s face it isn’t there all over the world? I have found the hospitality, curiosity and welcome from Turkish people is in part why I am still here.
- The way of life – now this differs for everyone but I have learnt to take a step back, to not forward plan all the time, which irritates my European visitors no end when I will not be drawn into making set plans. Again the ‘boş ver’ attitude can be irritating but with tact and understanding not insurmountable.
- Last for this list, I really could go on for pages, Turkish ‘dizi’ (TV serial), especially ‘Muhteşem Yüzyıl’, along with thousands of other fans I watched this without fail when it was on, missing evenings out to do so. I loved the interpretation of the history (not a factual series), the characters, the colour and the drama. I can watch it again and again! Even made my guests watch it and they found to their delight with only a little help from me with translation (I got irritated when interrupted in my viewing) they could enjoy viewing it too. I have added just a snippet from YouTube to enjoy.
I hope you enjoy sharing some of my special moments that make Turkey very important to me, as I mentioned there are many more, like a certain Tarkan concert at Aspendos but that is for another post, I am off to watch some more episodes of Muhteşem Yüzyıl.
Muhteşem Yüzyıl – with English subtitles