Travels in Turkey: People

This time last year I was in Turkey. It’s a place that will not leave my thoughts. Before I went, what I expected was mosques and sightseeing. What I got was a cultural infusion of sights and people that left me feeling both awed and happy.

Today, let’s start with the people. Turks, especially those in the countryside and outlying towns, really like Westerners, perhaps because we’re different, or come from such faraway places.

At one restroom/convenience-store stop along our bus route, a wedding party and family (sitting at picnic tables in front of the store) offered us food from their post-wedding feast. “Turks love to feed foreigners,” our guide told us. Everywhere, groups of wide-eyed schoolchildren and their teachers surrounded me, practicing their limited English by asking the same two questions—what is your name, and where are you from—clamoring to hear me speak or just wanting to stare at me. The lack of a common language didn’t seem to matter. Somehow we communicated. And they were eager to jump in front of my camera.

If you’ve been to Turkey, I invite you to share your stories of this amazing place by commenting below. Or perhaps you’d like to author a guest blog. And look for more—much more—from me on this subject.

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Categories: Travel, Travel: Turkey | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Travels in Turkey: People

  1. Chuck Little

    I went to a nine-week military training course on the east coast in ’97 for work (I work for the Marine Corps), and one of my classmates was a Turkish Army lieutenant – his name was Ozgur, but he insisted we call him Oscar (close enough). His command of English was good enough where he quickly grasped the course materials, but where he shined was in our social outings outside class. He loved American slang (we had to clarify the difference between slang and profanity a few times, much to his embarassment), and he really loved Marines. We gave him a Marine Corps t-shirt a few weeks before graduation, and he proudly wore it to all the social functions after that. If he was typical of the Turkish people, I can see why you were made to feel so welcome – he was an amzing ambassador for his coutry during our time at school.

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  2. That’s a great story, Chuck. Thank you so much for sharing it. There are people who categorize Turkey with radical sectors of the Middle East, and that is so not the case. I’m hoping that these posts will dispel fears and promote understanding of this delightful, democratic country.

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  3. I’m lucky enough to live in Turkey, am a brit and have been living here for 12years. Bodrum for 5yrs and now Kuşadasi. Can’t ever imagine going back to live in England haven’t even been back for a visit in at least 8yrs.

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    • It always amazes me how far so many Brits end up from the U.K. I, too, am an original Brit, and I’ve lived most of my life in the U.S., first Pennsylvania, then California and now Hawaii. I agree, you are lucky to live in Turkey; it’s a wonderful country. I’m not a knitter, but I also think it’s wonderful that you support so many worthwhile causes through your knitting. I would love to read about your everyday life in Turkey, too.

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      • Thanks. A group of us women from around the world have got together to share a web site http://beautifulwriters.wordpress.com/ and although I don’t have time to write every day, every now and again I will share a tale from turkey. My first is about a traditional turkish engagement – Put salt in his coffee posted today. Maybe you’d find it interesting. Dianne

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