Turkey – 46 Ha 811
Table of Contents

Bosporus/Taksim/Market Day
last full day in Istanbul
The trip to Efes
Clothes/Efes (part 1)/Fire!
Kusadasi/More Fire/Lambs Stomach (food)
A Day at the Beach
Food/Drink and more Beach
Turkish Marching
Language and hotels
My Good Friend Semih
Pizza by Zorba the Turk
Driving and life in Turkey and Gülat
The Family/More Language
A day of travel, impressions
Leaving Alany/Bananas/Konya
Backtracking finishing Alanya then Konya/Rumi
Kappadokya really
Gülat's Story
Touring Kappadokya and a funeral
After the Funeral and an underground city
Çatal Hüyük
Konya Arkeologi Muze
The Trip to Maraş
Music in Maraş
The next day
Meal prepared by Gülat
Exploring Maraş part 1
The Bazar
Ice cream and Neighbors
Turkey vs USA
The trip to Nemrut Mt.
Istanbul on my own
Pera Museum
More about Nemrut
My buying spree
Leaving on a jet plane again
Song to Turkey

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 * ---Page 1-Flying;

From August 14th to September 4th I was hosted by Semih Çağlar, his wife Gülat, and daughters Gülan and Gül for visit to Turkey. I had met Semih via the internet because he and I used the same music notation software. We began a correspondence because he was promoting Azerbaijani contemporary composers and I wondered why. We continued writing from 2000 through to today discovering our similarities and differences

The trip covered 2/3rds of the Southern part of Turkey and Semih drove more than 4000km or 2500+miles during the trip.

What follows are my daily journal notes this is a draft and will be updated as I get feedback. Any part that is * asterisked will be commented on in an addendum page Addendum

It may help to remember that on August 12th England revealed that there was a plot to bomb a number of airplanes flying to the US. Security was supposed to be a nightmare with long lines and missed planes.

Trip begun, checked my checklist twice added another pair of socks (should have taken one more 4 instead of 3) and rechecked my meds.

Shuttle express called at 4 am and picked up at 4:10. The driver was chatty and talked with his head. His GPS had an English accent. Even though he found me ( I was standing in the middle of the road) he confirmed that the GPS was wrong about my location.

We arrived at the airport before 5 am. I eventually found the correct line to stand in. The line to get a boarding pass took 20 minutes. Then on to the security line. That one took only 10 minutes. They x-rayed all the bags and we had to take off our shoes which was sort of fun, walking through the metal detectors in our barefeet or socks.

The security people were an interesting mix of totally stressed out viewers of the x-ray monitor and the harried people who had to transfer the trays for loose belongings from the examined end of the conveyor belt to the beginning. The man in front of the metal detector was wearing blue gloves and stuck one finger in the air to stop me from entering too soon.

Other than that this is all going very smoothly. Spending 3 hours in the airport is not fun but not as uncomfortable or as wearingly loud as I remember Chicago to be 5 years ago.

Music written in JFK Airport

Over Manchester, I begin to sing, my mind responds, my body wakes it's morning, It's morning, the sky above the clouds, the sun is rising, I am awake alert.

15 Aug.

Somewhere over Czech Rep. or Slovakia. Hard to impossible to sleep. The arm on my seat had a short so no radio/movie sound and the overhead light would go off and on by itself and so would the request for a stewardess. Plus the Stewardesses didn't believe me when I tried to explain that I wasn't touching the button

I finally moved to another seat which had a bit more legroom but was smack in front of the projection screen for movies etc...

I am forcibly reminded about how easy it is to judge TV or film when the sound is off. TV moves way too fast and the movies on planes are pretty awful too.

I tried the head phone and the coolest thing about the movie was one channel had the original soundtrack, 3 others had it dubbed into other languages. The Turkish dub was very impressive as the words seemed very in sync with the actor's mouths. Flipping back and forth I could hear that the distributors must get the whole film minus the spoken word tracks because the background soundtracks were exactly the same. In the past, there were movies with the entire sound completely changed for a new language. Maybe this still happens but while in Turkey I found the dubbing to be remarkable.

Food: Snacks are at least edible and dinner was tasty. I feel like I'm involved in one of those diet programs that provide the meals. Little plastic trays and dinky portions. But it beat the chef-Boyardee-like 'spaghetti' I had some years back. Breakfast included a warm foil sealed bagel. White bread mushy squshy and rolled and made into a circle more like a snake coiled than a bagel.

My seatmate (until I moved) is a cosmetician from Vancouver B.C. who specializes in Laser Hair Removal (She tells me that the men who are her clients scream and cry while the women don't . She had an accent possibly from living in Spain for 6 years (I was not able to get her to tell me where her accent was from) but she had a Turkish speaking Iranian Father.

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 ---Page 2-Arriving;

Semih met me at the airport without a moment of wonder. It was like a repeat of when I was met in Spain. I'd only seen pictures of him and thankfully he moved when he saw me and I then recognized him.

He immediately offered me tea and we sat in the Airport and had the first of about a million tea's çay Then into the car and driving for a long drive to an impressive suspension bridge (one of two) connecting Thracian Istanbul to Anatolian Istanbul.

Istanbul is huge. Bigger than I can imagine. A landscape of red tiled roofs with a distinctive style of chimney and a mostly beige reddish stucco appearing walls. The business sky scrapers are very interesting, some seem well thought out to go with other buildings. Then you see a tall asymmetrical building, white smooth sides, inset windows and what looks like a Pringles tube against that rising above the structure and then sliced at an angle. ( I eventually saw many examples of this cut tube idea but was never able to find out what function it served. ) It was eye catching and interesting and completely visually isolated from it's environment.

Later a ferry trip- after lunch of a mackerel sandwich, onions and lettuce- to Büyükada 'Big island' from there we sat and looked at the panoramic view of Istanbul. Semih says it is 100km end to end and it goes back from the shore many km.

Other than all the satellite dishes on the roofs of Thracian (Old) Istanbul the first thing I noticed was how I couldn't smell the salt sea – Marmara Deniz. Seagulls were to be seen, fish smelled but no iodine seaweed smell.

I met Semih's daughters Gülan and Gül after we returned to the flat, had chicken piliç for dinner, with potatoes, squash and carrots. patates, kabak ve havuç. It is hot and somewhat humid, there is some haze with wind and at times I had some trouble breathing but it is not bad.

After dinner Semih, Gülan (the younger daughter) and I walked a popular boardwalk like street. I had aşure a dried fruit and nut pudding and Gülan had a burnt chicken breast pudding (Caramelized sweet custard with shredded chicken breast).

Language difficulties; Semih, explaining that Gül's fiancée is working on his Master's Thesis/research, pronounces Masters in such a way that I think he is saying mustard hardal.

    Korna bus horn solak left handed salak right handed or stupid sağ turn right or life or survive

    sağ ol alternative to Thank you the original Turkish version it was interesting to notice when Semih said sağ ol and when he used teşekkür or teşekkür ederim I couldn't really figure out what the rule was who you used one phrase toward and who you used a different one towards.

    Köftes ground lamb and beef with some spice biber, soğan onion

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 - --Page 3-Istanbul

16 Aug.

Yet another very busy day. Breakfast Simit an 8 inch circle of bread, like a big bagel baked and crusted this time with sesame and a loaf of brown bread (slightly sweet), a nearly hard-boiled egg, which there is a story to but comes later * , olive paste, sliced cucumber, coffee, a paprika tomato ground walnuts paste, rose marmalade, sliced tomatoes.

Dolmuş, a small vanlike bus, to tram to boat ferry, then a rapid tour of the main sights- Topkapı, Ayasofia, the Blue Mosque (because of the colors of the tiles on the walls), the serpentine column (sought out because Thom asked me to look for it), Theodoses (520AD) obelisk, and then a brick obelisk of Constantine's (ugly). Put a toe into the Bazar not far enough, Nay end blown flute has a mouth piece to make it easier to play in instrument store. Saw an oud for 250 YTL (Yeni new, Turkish Lira they had a currency revaluation/crash about 5 years ago that's why it's the new and not the TL). Semih and Gülan said that a better place would be cheaper. No fountain pens to be found. (I didn't want to bring one on the plane for fear it would leak or not work this proved not to be so on the return flights. I thought they would be more common and it turned out not only to be a difficult thing to find but more expensive than I hoped. From now on the journal is written with a nice Turkish fountain pen).

Gülan tells me that Turkish folkmusic is making a comeback as it was 'out' until recently.

Topkapı is interesting, a cool breezy huge place. The wind is welcome as the weather is the hottest day of August so far it is to get much hotter before my visit is done. Ayasofia is dark and very big but much of it is under restoration, once I realized that the images were mosaic (little bitty tiles) I was much more impressed. Blue mosque, big white with pain on raised designs and many tiles with 'blue' colors. Obelisk- Egyptian- Theodosis 520 AD, Serpent column – short bronze black, no top so no serpents, only viewed snake-head in paintings and no lion head in paintings.

    Saat hour Indirme sale/discount

Much tea; tried to explain Geoduck. I was asked what special foods there are in Seattle, I came up with nothing except seafood but that was not accepted. Does Seattle have a food?

We sit down often, for soda (small carbonated water) su water in bottle, sometimes ½ liter. Under trees, under awnings, sometimes breezy sometimes no.

Before dinner Semih and I have Efes a 5% alcoholic beer, 'true Turkish beer'. Now I've had both local brewed beers Tuborg is the other both light pilsner like beers.

Dinner is piliç çorba chicken soup, then spaghetti and some bread there is often a doubling or even tripling of starchy food, bread and pasta, rice and bread, potatoes bread and rice.

After dinner we walk up a hill to a park to see Istanbul by night.

We went to Gülhane, a park up on a high hill (Anatolia side) another occasion to walk. The pathway is lined with multicolored yo-yo sellers, popcorn and grilled corn on the cob, cotton candy in pink. At the top of the hill the trees and some other objects are covered with line/rope lights, so it seems like an amusement park but it wasn't. We sat on a Terrace had soda and çay while looking out over one of the Japanese built suspension bridges and the night lights of Thracian Istanbul. In the background was Nat King Cole singing Mona Lisa. These contrasts came to symbolize much of urban Turkey for me.

Spend time learning words and discover that Arabic/French etc words are varied in pronunciation.

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 - --Page 4-Bosporus/Taksim/Market Day

17 Aug.

Trip by boat up the Bosporus to Semih's home town, the location of a Genovesian Fort. We take a taksi taxi up to the fort and walk down. The fort was Semih and his friends' hangout where they would go have a drink and talk while looking at the boats coming into, going out of the Bosporus.

Istanbul extends to the Black Sea (which we could sort of see from the Fort)but nearer the Black Sea the homes are in bunches much like other rugged seacoasts- where valleys run to the sea there are villages separated by the ridges of the hills. In many of the villages the homes of residents are on one side with docks at water's edge and between them are home of the wealthy 'summer people'.

The difference is mostly in landscape. Once we traveled North of the 2nd Suspension Bridge (Japanese built) the houses are no longer as far as the eye can see but in groups with forest between.

A tanker loaded with tree trunks from Ukraine or Georgia passed us and Semih tells me that, because the quality is better, most of the building lumber in imported from those places.

Once down from the ruins of the fort, we sat at a table practically on the street and had fresh bread, garlic and curd sauce sos and skewers of midye mussels- way yum.

I woke from a restless sleep with a sore throat and before the trip got some aspirin and we found a store with a fountain pen and a box of ink cartridges. As a cartridge pen it means that I can take it on the plane home and put in a new cartridge without having it leak all over me this actually worked out better than I hoped.

On our way back a very pretty young woman sat next to me and asked me a question in Turkish. I reply 'sorry' and she instantly changes to English and we have a conversation. Her name was Harmony/Song Ezgi and studies to be a translator, is going to the USA next year for 3 months on a Work Study Program and wanted to know of a cheap city to live in and work as a waitress.

I don't know the answer.

She said that she knew of Tom Robbins and Jack Kerouac but for the last year was studying US history “It was very short” laugh.

The air here I think is a bit more polluted, I am having a harsh throat and dryness in my chest. Also I cannot seem to smell as well as usual. I could smell the strong horse urine smell while we were on the Island of Büyükada where no cars are allowed, but I cannot smell the sea or perhaps the sea does not smell.

The color of the Marmara Sea was always green hued, the Bosporus changed between real green to turquoise to an inky nave blue and did so seemingly independent of the sky.

    haber news (like on TV or in a newspaper)

Evening- Gül/Gülan have a new microwave and dinners have been created in it – we had last night was chicken and steamed vegetables and tonight steamed vegetables and beef (I think, forgot to ask). Potatoes, zucchini squash, carrots and then pasta with a nearly pure tomato sauce.

Later we went to Taksim some of the oldest streets created to look like Paris. At 10pm they are filled with young people, punks, tattoos, piercings, tourists, druggies, drag queens. The streets are walking boulevards though cars do drive on them in daylight.


So far, everywhere we have gone, on any day, there are people, children sometimes, occasionally women, mostly men in they 20's and 30's, selling something one the sidewalks. If it's water they will have a bucket with ice and bottles of water. The blind often have what appears to be packets of Kleenex or a refreshing type of handiwipe. Here and there in heavily traveled walks there are shoeshine men. The set up they have looks very 'mosque-like' brass, with decorations or perhaps koranic writings on the front. These little bulbs on the top that contain the dyes for shining the shoes. In the center which is lower has a kind of small platform. They do not call out or try to get business and yet while sitting on the ground behind their shrines to shining shoes they have a sort of dignity that is difficult to explain.

    Düz straight (as in keep going) Hayır no

In the parks or promenades often lined with street carts/vendors there are boys with bags of chips for sale.

While driving to Taksim we passed a small truck. The back was open and was empty, as we passed I looked into the cab and a woman was holding a small child, caressing his/her head. The light was on in the cab so I could see them and lighted from above there was a sort of religious painting glow on them. What I didn't see was anyone driving the truck.

While driving in the car we are constantly lowering and raising the windows and turning on and off the A.C. . Partially because most of the trucks blow their exhaust directly into the car windows (exhaust pipes point out the sides not as often to the rear).

We sit or stroll through some of Taksim. From a distance it appears the the promenade is a sea of heads. Once we entered the throng it was not the crush of bodies that it appeared.

Young people in groups gathering greeting meeting. On side street loud music is pumped from the clubs below street level. On the main street the clubs are on the 2nd floor.

At midnight we sit in 'flower row' an alley of tables and branching off restaurants. Sitting below a screen of a soccer game have beer- it is draft and tastes so much better that the cans we have drunk so far. I was surprised, I have never noticed that the same beer could taste so different between the two containers. We ate salted peanuts and talked until 1am and then came home. Gülan and I talked for nearly another hour before I had to sleep.

Gülan is the one who has cooked each evening meal and is very sweet to me, pulling me out of the way when I don't notice cars or holes in the sidewalk. Taksim was a hangout for her at the beginning of her college days, but she says it is not so much for her now.

I am getting the sounds of the language a bit more everyday ~ sometimes I can read a sign or word from the newspaper and Semih or Gülan will understand me the first time. When I was talking to the young woman on the ferry I tried to mix a Turkish word in with my speech and that did not work at all. I 'knew' I said Dolmuş correctly, but she did not understand I just confused her. But I think Semih and Gülan are more used to switching back and forth, so I am allowed to practise the few words I know.

I think I can finally say teşekkür ederim, which on day one just seemed too much of a mouthful.


Semih tells me that to make the olives beige and green they use a caustic soda.

It was Thursday and the streets in this neighborhood are filled with vendors- a bazar- just as in Spain on market days, vegetables and kitchenware, clothing, shoes, but mostly food. Semih bought nectarines, plums, huge black figs, seedless green grapes. The first fresh fruit of my stay, I was surprised that the nectarines were my favorite.

Thompson seedless grapes, the origins came from Turkey and the vines exported to the US where it was renamed. I think I understood that then the vines were imported back to Turkey. Much later in my stay, Semih tells the story of the phylloxera which nearly wiped out Europe's wine industry finally migrated to Turkey and now is approaching Iran/Iraq. The solution to the problem just as in Europe is to import American rootstalk that is resistant to the disease. Semih's role has been to work on this part of the project and the next step is experimental plots using the French method of raising the vines off the ground thereby increasing the yields by, I think he said, 60%!

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 - --Page 5-last full day in Istanbul

18 Aug. Friday

Music Stores and camera stores. I bought a Zurna and 6 additional reeds, and an Oud method book in Turkish- the book I mean is in Turkish.

The camera is for Gülat, Semih's wife. All along the trek to find the right camera (video and photo- small compact) Semih is using the phrase I am buying this for Gülat because she wants it so much, it will make her very happy. I'm assuming that he is buying her a gift- it turned out that she paid for it and that it wasn't a gift but rather the completion of a shopping list. I found this out from her after 2 weeks of traveling alone with Semih. Each evening they would call each other on cellphones and talk sometimes for as long as an hour. My impression was and remains that they are extremely fond of one another.

We ate Börek a filo savory pastry some meat but no cheese like I have experienced in Seattle.

Later back home they order in Lahmacu/pide which is going to be a staple of my trip but I didn't know that yet, it is a bread, thin rolled, base and lamb, onion, and spice pizza-like dish, you add parsley and eat with fingers. Maydonoz = mayonnaise, lemon and salata salad usually salata was a mixture of minced cucumber, tomato, and yellow onion squeezed together (mashed) and then topped with lemon juice or sometimes another spice and oil (rare). Sipil mt -a Greek import(?)

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 - --Page 6- The trip to Efes

19 Aug Saturday

Woke up @ 6;30am showered, packed woke Semih, ate Standard Semih Breakfast of bread, olive paste, rose marmalade, margarine, boiled egg, Nescafé. I say goodbye to Gülan (I think for the last time only to be told midday that she and Gülat [maybe] will join us in Alanya and then to Kappadokya Cappadoccia and to Maraş, with us).

Then into the car. We miss the ferry and the next one will be at noon. So we 'drive around' memories of living on the Kitsap Peninsula and having my Dad decide that we should drive around instead of wait for the ferry. We make it to the next landing (where we would have come if we had caught the ferry) at 10:30, so we did save time. Drove to 11:30 had çay/kahve coffee, then drive until 1:30 and stop in the Turkish version of a Truckstop Denny's called Varna there are buses run by the same name so I would guess it's the same company as there were tour buses stopped at Varnas all through out trip(s). Except that the food was much better. I had döner pilav 2 pieces of brownish bread, tomato slices and good rice. Döner is much like what we know as gyros from Greek restaurants here in Seattle at least the ones that have a spit upright laden with a mix of lamb and beef. In Turkey there is also a chicken version. On top of the first rice of my trip were slices of the meat.

Yes rice is grown in Turkey but not enough so they import it from Texas

    Manisa magnesium, magnetic ore plain before Izmir, the hottest place in Anatolia Anatolia is the foreign word for the non-Thracian part of Turkey the indigenous name is Anadolu

I saw fields of sunflowers more on that later. Fields of peach trees, a field of cotton pamuk which there will be a lot more to talk about later in the trip. A really large horse farm for breeding race horses. I didn't see a single horse, Semih said he saw some.

A tractor pulling a wagon filled with women in colorful headscarves, who had been working a field- probably sultanas (vineyards full of seedless grapes harvested to make raisins). There are factories that process them for export and the ones for local use are spread out to dry on sheets of plastic (I think). The olive groves smell of a most wonderful olive oil as we pass by and we make a point to roll down the windows whenever we see a grove. Big rough melons, yellow and black/green, hanging in stalls like deflating balloons. Roadside stalls with big wide braids of yellow and red onions look gorgeous.

Once we pass into the Aegean climate zone, it becomes much like California on the coast, and somewhat like Spain was for me. The landscape; trees, brown earth and mountains.

We were stopped by Poliş Police entering Kuşadası, which is the tourist staging place for visiting Efes Epheseus/Ephesos (the place the letters to Ephesians in New Testament Bible refers to). I don't remember why we were stopped but there is heightened security around the country at tourist locations so maybe that was why. We arrived and Semih found a place to stay, and after a shower (now 8pm) it was a long day of driving. We had stopped for desil diesel and we have finally agreed that if a place accepts Credit Cards I pay, so I was able to pay for the diesel and lunch. This was a concern for me as I had tried (being put on hold for an hour talking to the bank) to make sure that my atm card would work in the machines here in Turkey but the 1st week none of the machines would accept it and I was left with the little Turkish cash I had brought from Seattle. I was worried that I would not be able to pay my share of our costs- especially as in Istanbul, Kappadokya, and Maraş Semih had already told me I would not be allowed to pay for anything. Eventually the atm's worked but I had to insist on paying for things even though Semih kept a balance sheet of who paid what. Even that was biased against me paying as he did not always enter drinks at stops for su/çay/birra beer/kahve. He was generous, his whole family were generous beyond what I could have imagined. We drove almost 600km on 80YTL of diesel, I'm impressed since 25% of the time A/C was on.

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 - --Page 7-Kuşadası

20 Aug

It was probably due to no nap and endless travel but the end of last night got to me. We drove all over Kuşadası looking for a pension. Then walked to the center of the town, but at every moment it seemed like we turned so there was no way I could help find our way back after a walk and dinner. We got lost.

At another time I think I could have approached this an an adventure (which it was) but mostly no one had heard of our pension or if they had they misdirected us. We literally went in circles. At one point returning to the same store where the shop keeper had led us through his store to an alley and given us directions to ~ well a circle.

We did, after 1 hour of wandering, find the place but now I know that I have to get some kind of address or bearings where ever we are or I can't help get us back.

Good news was that this was where we found an atm that worked with my card and it is Semih's bank i.e. convenient for us both and I have access to my money!

We also walked past a Turkü Bar. Semih says we will return there tonight because the name means they are playing Turkish folksongs (there was a saz and guitar being played and sung to as we passed). I must remember to bring earplugs as they were amplified and too loud for me.

Semih has his own way of wanting to do certain things- like how to explore a place or site so he was not interested in the 'help' offered by the people of this Pansiyon Pension. He did not accept their offers of help or even of literature ( which I have now looked at this morning before anyone staying here has woken, to orient myself to our visit to Efes). Most of the pamphlets are in other languages (Italian was the best one). I am glad that I speak/read other languages as this material broadened my information base. It was fun to read the Dutch and Spanish bits on the site. It seemed natural that the Italian (best photos too) would focus most on the Christian aspect, but I hope there is more to gather on the oldest times because I read the Efes was begun in Hatti Hittite times.

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 - --Page 8- Clothes/Efes (part 1)/Fire!

20 Aug Sunday

I was woken by the call to Prayer.

Clothes- before leaving Istanbul Gülan offered to wash my clothes- the detergent had a very strong perfume to it and now I have socks and my t-shirt that are scented and I am allergic. I rinsed out the shirt and dried it about 5 times before I could use it- the socks were far enough from my nose that it didn't matter. The temperature was record breaking in the hundreds most of the time for the 1st two weeks and I found that a tight t-shirt was just too uncomfortable to wear. So I used it as a pillow case around a short Thermarest pad that I brought to use as a pillow. This way I would not have to worry about what kind of pillow I was laying my head on (concerns about allergies again). Due to the heat, I brought a pair of chef pants (baggy, houndstooth pattern, 100% cotton, elastic waistband), 3 pair of socks (should have brought more maybe 2 more), 2 swimming suits (should have brought 1) and underwear (which it was too hot to wear). All of this plus two books for presents fit nicely in one Filson shoulder bag- at the end of the trip this, which I was so proud to accomplish, turned into a liability.

Some 'hotels' are 'apart' which means a refrigerator, bathroom, and some kind of kitchen. This one was more Hotel though called pansiyon (pension) all I could tell was that the difference between a hotel and a pansiyon was a hotel cost much more, but really there was not much difference between here and the hotel I will stay at for my last day in Istanbul- the rooms we had were strictly a bed and bathroom. The 'hotel' we stay at in Alanya is an apart but did not call itself that.

I woke Semih at 8am we had breakfast then to Efes, and probably swim in the sea of Kuşadası (which means Bird Island).There is a large castle in the middle of the Bay of the port which may be a habitat for birds.

What follows is very out of time order but due to the 'events' there was no other way to get it down without losing some of the 'excitement'.

Huge forest fire began in/near Selçuk while we were are at the Efes museum (which you have to go to if you go to Efes- you must go!), after Efes, after kahve, after lamb stomach soup.

Swam at a beach over the peninsula from Kuşadası and the fire seemed to go down (military helicopters circled overhead with great buckets scooping up sea water and racing to dump it on the fire the entire time we were in the water- they had to stop as the wind came up when the sun began to set) Now sitting eating lamb kebab, fava humus, eggplant meze and drinking Raki, sky is darkening, wind up helicopters can't fly and the dark sky is from black smoke as the flames orange and red show against the blackened sky. Kuşadası seems alive, lights, wind from the sea, trying to go on with normal resort life yet often stopping to look up at the hillside back of the village – the fire just on the other side and the flames seem to have reached the top. The black smoke coming from the fire reminded me of Mt. St. Helens. It is like sitting on the deck of a landlocked Titanic wondering waiting for the captain to yell evacuate and hoping that the community government is active and going to inform us that all is well. But at the moment it is very ominous and so dark that the great billowing clouds of black smoke are invisible in the night sky, so we only can see the Halloween glow behind the mountains behind Kuşadası.

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 - --Page 9-Kuşadası/More Fire/Lambs Stomach (food)

21 Aug Monday

Fire, I am told is out but came very close to Kuşadası. I was woken by the smell of smoke which I had feared. So I rose gathered my belongings, showered and in the middle of that came the call to prayer. The smoke smell is too heavy, I can breathe easily through a towel or something but the smell is very strong. Trucks are beginning. I do not want to wake Semih because he will be driving another 600 km today and asked to be wakened at 7:30, it is barely 6am. I will see how long I can last (my breathing is very affected by the smoke and ash suspended in the air)before I must wake him to leave.

I go below to the terrace of the hotel, at first the air is better but after 5 minutes it's pretty thick here too.

The sky is lightening and I can see some stars and twilight blue.

Yesterday was such a full day. But little things first.

In Istanbul I would discover that I got bit by something while asleep. Not many and only a few raised big welts but they don't itch. One on my right arm is finally going down but it is often the size of a quarter.

Semih is often surprised at what I know about Turkey, or food, or plants. It is becoming a joke between us. He will say something and I will give an indication or add or translate or... or... and he will say “How you know this?”

At lunch yesterday he asked me what I wanted and I said soup and salad çorba ve salata. He asked some men sitting in the shade (there are always men sitting in the shade everywhere we go) by the side of a street in Selçuk and they directed us to a street and we found a cafe/restaurant, open on all sides, roof, tables and the kitchen is open to view too. We are taken to look at the pots of soup and other dishes and Semih says “Oh Jay I think you will not eat here these soups.” ? “It is lamb stomach”

I tell him that of course I have eaten stomach and that it will be fine...”How you know this?”

So I tell him about Menudo and we sit. A small, mostly carrot salad, the soup is white and the stomach is cut into very small pieces, chile (mild) oil is lightly drizzled on top and the flavor and aroma has a hint of intestine to it.

This was followed by a soft-cooked karnıyarık which technically is stuffed eggplant with tomatoes, ground meat, spices and roasted down to a very flat dish. But the versions I have eaten the eggplant was halved and the center scooped out and the half filled with meat, tomatoes and spices and roasted sliced side up either to a caramel sweetness or in this case a softer and with the flavors more distinct. with a small single piece of meat. It was good.

A light breeze is rising with the sun which is behind Kuşadası and coming up over the hill/mountain that burned. I just asked the main person at the hotel who has been active all times of the day while we have been here “when do you sleep?””wintertime”.

We return from dinner; last night was an important (they say 'special') night, the night Mohammad rose to heaven (very loud mourning dove in background) so the Turkish folk music bar is closed for special night. But as we walk there is loud music from a cafe and Semih tells me this is a very good recording. We stop and the waiters line up and begin dancing through the cafe out onto the sidewalk and back into the cafe from a different entrance, make a circuit and they get faster and zurna, an oboelike instrument, drums from the recording louder -then another man begins beating a drum (ash occasionally lands on my pages) he is badly out of rhythm and we walk on. (I need to get a shaver, my neck is getting too fuzzy and I didn't want to bring one and risk getting stopped at the airport)

Why don't people in hot countries get up early and live, instead of rising just before it's hot, suffer in the heat and then stay up late~ relishing how it cools off? Maybe I just answered my own question. But still often it is cool waking and working in the pleasant morning temperatures makes more sense to me- except for the ash and smell of smoke in the air this morning is very pleasant.

The billowing clouds of smoke rising from the fire yesterday browns some blacks, but billowing really seems like a weak word for something that actually looked aggressive, plus the fact that so much smoke meant so much destruction.

From the Dinner restaurant we could see red and later actual flames on top of the mountain. The flecks of ash landing on the table and this book remind me alittle of when Mt. St. Helens erupted and the column of smoke yesterday did too.

We went swimming after Efes and all the art and ruins and soup. I kept on seeing too many lobster red people and did not want to become one of them. At Efes, which is not very shady, I rolled my sleeves down and bought a hat, but still could tell that I was getting a lot of sun on my nose. Swimming, I tried to stay in umbrella shade or in the water but afterwards I could feel that my face was sunburned. Semih said that it was only a little red. However when I went to room to sleep after a cold shower my body was pink, my arms looked deep red and my face was very burned looking. The inflammation has cooled down this morning but I'll try to be more careful today. Happily we will mostly be traveling so I will not be in the sun except for the hour or so we will be at Pamukkale (cotton castle).

Ash is falling more, the sky over the sea has a light brown haze to it. the attendant has just extended the awnings to protect the terrace tables from the ash

At dinner we drank raki had lamb kebab and fava (“How you know this food?”)

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 - --Page 10- EFES!


Too much, there's just too much this was the second time I was just overwhelmed the 1st being when we were looking at the whole of Istanbul and I began to take in just how big a city it really was, there will follow one more time that words will not be possible to describe the scene or experience, I just don't have the skill. Slope houses- amazing. These are under excavation and you pay extra to go into it. Below are all these 'homes' of the wealthy/upper middle class. However the informational displays as you walk along do not seem so related to where they are placed and you come to realize that there must be a museum with the things in the photos, because many very interesting and beautiful things cannot be seen.

The slope houses~ you walk on Plexiglas walkway with stainless steel banisters, so every 10 steps or so the static electricity, from shuffling along the plastic glass builds up and you get zapped when you touch the banister. The reason for the Plexiglas is that you walk above and over rooms and are able to look down on frescoes (birds and fish and heads of women, goddesses.....more

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 ---Page 11- Pamukkale

22 Aug Tuesday (I think)

Monday the fire burned 200 hectares 480 acres and the air was not so much smelly (smoky) as it was coarse and I am/was having a hard time breathing. We left Kuşadası at about 8am and drove around to Pamukkale. The Poliş police stopped us from going the 'short' way due to the first and helicopters (3) were still bringing water from the sea to douse the remaining flames.

Pamukkale ~ as seems to be a pattern ~ some men sitting on white plastic chairs in the shade of a tree ~ one rising and waves a tourist book and shouts pointing toward parking. Sometimes this is good, sometimes not so good. This time the parking is attached to a restaurant and we go in for kahve before the walk up to Pamukkale.

    kale castle enek cow eşek donkey at horse koyun sheep keçi goat pamuk cotton

Pamukkale is also called Heirapolis or {cool pictures}. The hillside has a spring (gusher actually) and the water is heavy with calcium carbonate which deposits on the hillside making it white. Real white, the ledges have stalactites hanging off of them. It looks like a cross between cotton and a snow covered hillside, in 90 degree weather, bright bright white. The water is hot/warm and thousands of people climb the hillside (or take a tour bus to the top and walk down or soak in the ancient baths still being operated at the top) to sit in pools carved into the material (also called Tavertine and used to create meerschaum pipes) and soak. Tiny bikinis and speedos, amazing dark tans on bodies of all shapes and sizes and tourists walking along barefoot ( a requirement as the material, until exposed to air to dry is a bit slippery and soft) so we remove shoes and socks and climb the hillside, sometimes kneedeep in a pool of milky water to the ruins of the castle (which is closed because is was Monday and from the outside look very restored). Semih was very disappointed because the museum was closed the last time he was here too, and he was looking forward to getting inside.

The 'pool' with ancient columns laying in it is filled with people (mainly Russians it seemed to me), soaking in the water which looked clear here.

We walked out to the edge of the grounds. The castle is above the plain and from the white cliffs you can see all of it. A perfect vantage point for protecting and controlling the people/land.

We climbed back down (just as in Efes we did the 'tour' backwards- tourists usually go by bus to the top and walk half way down and then back up to the bus. In Efes, we parked at the 'end' of the site. This was not due to the excellent advice of Bruce and Cynthia about doing this (and going into the Slope houses) but rather just the way it works if you drive to the site. But the result is that you are walking against the flow of people and actually until about the middle of the site(s) you are walking free of crowds.) Once down we go back to the restaurant attached to the parking (or the parking attached to the restaurant), have lunch and then off to Alanya. Pamukkale was a 2 hour visit.

The estimation of time in Turkey is always a bit off. Generally I found that if anyone said it would take 1 hour to get somewhere or do something it usually took at least 50% longer.

We go from an Aegean climate zone to Central Anatolian zone to a Mediterranean Zone. From soil that is tan to chocolate brown to red. Through towns that sell wine or ceramics, we bought green figs in a hand woven wooden basket made locally. The Anatolian plains, the mountains of them are barren, tan rock on the Aegean or Mediterranean, Pine trees in Aegean, more corn and cotton in Mediterranean. Cabbage, oranges, pomegranates. High up crossing the Taurus mountains up and down on roads that have reversible lanes if you a going up 2 lanes so you can pass slower cars and trucks, if you go down 1 lane and sensible people remain stuck behind slower vehicles, insane people pass at blind curves and illegal parts of the road to get ahead of the slower vehicles. Trucks often do not cover their loads so there is debris flying out of their beds, a good reason to try to pass them but not always safe.

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 ---Page 12- Alanya

Much of the road to Alanya is like Highway 99 i.e. through towns and cities- meaning stop lights and tractors with people coming or going to work in the fields, roadwork etc.... So the 450km travel took 9+ hours. I was at the end of my stamina. We would listen to radio and Semih would tell me about the song, where it came from and if it was a good singer etc. But it was a very long day and then it took until nearly midnight to find a place to stay. I think Semih knows and I feel impossible. I try to calm myself because I know he will find a good place but really I just want to stop riding in a car and lay down and sleep. The next morning I apologize for any bad behavior.

Alanya (better pictures) here

We go to one place and they have a room but they won't take us for the shortness of our stay, also perhaps I said something wrong. So we get close to another place and Semih has me stay in the car while he walks around to find a room for us. It took him at least half an hour (probably more), he returns having succeeded. A one bedroom 'apart' which means with a kitchen. He is sleeping in the sitting room and gave me the bedroom. (It was his 'turn' to sleep on the couchbed as I slept on it is Istanbul ~ at least this was his explanation ~ and it's probably for the best as the 'couch' room has a TV and balcony so he can turn on the TV or go out and smoke on the balcony. Also he stays up later than I can and has a beer.


    bir, içi, uç, dört, beş, altı, yedi, on, bin

    one, two, three, four, five, 6, 7, 10, 1000

Also the first night I crash and burn asleep in moments and don't hear him when he returns. I'm not entirely comfortable with this as I get the room with the air conditioner and it is really warm, so we may have to trade off. That never happens but there are many times that I leave the bedroom door open so the cool air drifts into the main room. I also have been waking up as the sun rises (before 6am) so now I must be careful not to disturb his sleep.

Every morning new bites, here in Alanya they itch a little, slight don't see/know exactly what is getting to me.

I've not yet seen Alanya by day, but at night it looks very very big and jammed with tourists at this seaside resort. On the hillside above the city is a castle (or at least it's walls) which are artfully lit at night. The beaches are long and sandy. There seem to be more blonde people here than in Denmark.

We ate at a place Semih knew but that had changed. Even in Turkey you cannot return to a place after a year break and find it the same, in fact maybe you won't find it at all. We had beer and kalinya pide a Gaziantep version of the take out we had in Istanbul. With no spice and the flat bread instead of a long flat bread spread with meat and spice then folded in half, this was more like it was shaped like a double ended boat and the edges folded up to form the hull, inside was the filling.

I was able to get shampoo and a razor. After Semih left ( for beer? for morning bread and newspapers? I don't remember) I cool showered and shaved for the first time since leaving Seattle. aaaaaah

There is a haze everywhere we go. Semih told me of meeting a Mormon who visited from his missionary work in Greece, who told him that he didn't like Turkey and pointed to the haze and said “it was bad”.

Sometimes, like in Istanbul, the haze does seem like pollution. Looking through it along the horizon it was tinged with pink, but most often it was like a moist scrim just slightly obscuring the distance. Semih tells me that it is a heat haze.

Other times it did not/does not seem much different than that but my lungs rasp and burn.. The difference is not visible. I think that because we had hours where the smoke from the forest fire was in the air that my chest has not had time to recover, now in Alanya I am not as fit as I would like.

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 ---Page 13-A Day at the Beach

The city is waking, the sky seems very blue, a good day to relax and swim. I will just have to see how it goes.


As we passed through the Taurus Mountain range (which lines the Mediterranean coast, keeping moisture out of Central Anatolia) Semih tells me of original Turks as nomads and the government (Ottoman 1st, Ataturk later) insisting on settling – Ottomans to control the people ~ Ataturk to educate them. But that some are still nomadic shepherds. As he is telling me this we pass by herds of goats and a few tarp structures and later large brown woolen tents, a set of 3.


That was written early this morning. Semih woke and we went out to get Turkish Breakfast; hard boiled egg ( the yolks are beige, not really yellow and the texture is slightly different, grainier, less fatty or lecithin, perhaps), white soft bread, honey, jam, margarine, tomatoes (sliced), cucumber (peeled and quartered), olives (instead of paste), and Nescafé. I asked Semih if we could sometime have real Turkish coffee – but not at night as Gül and Gülan did that first evening in Istanbul. He said ok. (his agreement phrase in English is often yah sure-nearly in a Norwegian accent ;-}*) We walked under loquat trees but they are not yet in season. The leaves are almost like Madrona leaves, I wonder if they are somehow related.

We went to sea to swim, lay about after breakfast.

Water is warm and very salty, I cannot sink, even with no air in my lungs, my head bobs to the surface. I think it would be hard to drown here. We get 2 chaise lounges for 6 lira and that reserves them for us all day. After swimming, laying and swimming, laying reading and swimming laying we rinse off lay our towels on our lounges and leave, the sun is mid-sky and the sand is burning. I should get flip flops for the beach and maybe shorts, only street sweepers are wearing long pants outside. The waiters and hotel people are indoors with long pants too. I'll decide later. Semih had changed to shorts and told me that I had to get shorts otherwise he wouldn't feel like he was on vacation.

It's really hot now and muggy. We are staying in our apart. Semih says until 4 or so then back to the beach for a couple of hours then ~ eat? walk? I don't know Inşallah I think 'technically' that this means it's in Allah's hands, but here in Turkey it's more I hope so or whatever........

2nd swim after 4:30, sand was not scalding and water seemed less salty, still couldn't sink but needed more effort to keep my head above water.

After 2nd swim (5th by Semih's count) we went to a grocery store and bought breakfast things and beer and a cork screw. Then off to Centrum for new food experiences. Kocoreç which is a lamb meat sandwich. It is rotisseried on a spit and the meet part in on the outside (a thin layer) and an immense amount of fat is rolled up inside. Seems like it would be the meat of the ribs but I've not figured out where all the fat comes from. It is attached to the meat so it must be connected on the animal.I have since my return been told that it is intestine turned inside out but I still don't understand where the fat comes from.

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 ---Page 14- Food/Drink and more Beach

22 or 23 Aug (I'm not sure)

New Day Semih did not sleep well so sat up and drank all the beer and tomato juice leaving only my experimental dark Efes (which is the brand of the beer and actually says 'dark' on it in English) and the bottle of wine.


Wine, I have not gotten to the wine story. Semih explains that one of the regions we travel through from Kuşadası is a wine region. Şarap is the grape and there are different varieties of Şarap. I ask if we can try it, and he tells me that he doesn't think it is very good as he always tastes vinegar.

But he sees a winery and when we leave Pamukkale we stop there. It is a wine shop and in a lower level room are brick square boxes with 4-8 bottles of wine in them. It is barely lit and many of the bottles are covered in dust. They suggest Cabernet but we seek Şarap so they get a bottle of 6 blended varietals and 15 lira later we have a bottle of wine. They did give me a taste, it's ok not great but is wine and I feel tired of beer, which as a pilsner is nothing special.

So there is still a bottle of wine and a little bit of raki in the fridge. Along with my Portalak orange juice, oranges came to Turkey via Portugal thus the name for the fruit and juice is similar.

While swimming today there is more salt again and later (2nd dip, same beach essentially across the street from our apart) debris, candy wrappers, cigarette packs and a lime are floating in the sea. I pick it up and it's intact and now in the fridge it turned out not to be very juicy or ripe eventually I opened it up and took a taste and tossed it into the garbage. Limes came to Turkey via the Silk Road from China.

    tama = ok, çok = without, yedi = seven, sekiz = eight, seker = sugar

We have breakfast from the groceries we bought last night; a salami with pistachios, black oil cured olives and a vinegary green olive called volkan volcano, margarine and the bread which is like our hot dog buns. The hot plate in our kitchen takes 20 minutes to heat the water for our Nescafé.

The beach

The beach- Russian, German, Turkish men, women, children. It is a pleasure to watch the beach attendants sometimes, so attentive, youngish men tanned from a summer in the sun, the man who collects the fee for the chaise lounge and umbrella has a head scarf and short sleeves rolled up to bare his shoulders. The attendant has a Gilligan hat and he helps with our umbrella and tells us where the best sand beach entrance is into the water and that the toilet* is free. That is a different story and comes near the end of the trip. Then he roams with menu in hand bringing drinks of beer and cola and water to those who order and did not bring their own (us).----- A moment ago 2 men with platters walked by shouting “Kebab Kebab” I could hear the sizzle of the food and see fries peeking over the edge of one of the trays.

There are many topless women, it seems like mostly German women but I am not sure. There are a couple of men who walk around with Polaroid-like cameras. At first I think they are voyeurs but then understand that they are offering 'vacation portraits'.

There are 2 women from Moskva laying next to us and a man comes by and asks them what they speak (first in Turkish, then English) and then begins speaking Russian to them. He wants to sell them tours and seems to have succeeded. The attendants try to chase him away while he pitches but he doesn't move. Suddenly a receipt book appears and they are all laughing and a deposit is made for some kind of trip.

I'm now 'cooked' Semih calls it grilled on both sides, yesterday (day 1 at the beach) red on front, today 'grilled' on back and alittle on front, my face feels beaten by the sun and that is probably because in the water we stop and float, head up, body down for many minutes at a time. There's really no way to protect yourself, though I try to float facing away from the sun.

We had lunch and a nap. I realized that I did not write about the marching band in Topkapi Palace.

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 ---Page 15- Turkish Marching

Marching Band, tourist show, in Topkapi Palace Istanbul.

To march long and fast they developed a way of marching still in 4/4 but 1-3 steps is forward and 4th step is with a turn to alternate sides. If you think about it this releases muscles from the repetitiousness of going on straight for miles. At first it looks like a show dance, but once explained it makes some sense.

I have been looking at postcards and having trouble deciding what to do. Most of the card shops offer 12 to 14 cards for a set (cheap) price but I can never find that many cards that I want (It's the same problem with the offers I have gotten to join cd clubs, How do you find enough to fill out the 1st order of music that you actually want? I once wrote back to one of those companies ~ the signer of the come-on who asked to write to him if you decided not to join. I think the response was “thank you for writing we will take your comments into consideration at a later time”).

So far there are easy Pamukkale and Topkapi etc cards to find but mostly it is one or 2 cards per shop. I would like the Caesar and Livia and bronze snake card and the Artemis statue even Socrates would be cool but I just can't find then in one place.

Alanya is so Tourist that I think it is going to be hard to find really special things here anyways.

Maybe in Kappadokya it will be better, or Maraş- I'll have to see. it wasn't

Soon to swim then to find a Backgammon and bookstore for a holiday novel for Semih (maybe me?). We will now be here until Saturday so Semih says we will swim at a different beach tomorrow just to swim in a different beach.

    Evet yes hayır no

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 ---Page 16-Language and hotels

24 Aug

This is day eleven on bir last night Semih asked me if we have 'apart' in US. This apart has a bedroom and a main room, plus a bathroom. A refer, sink and hotplate, TV and AC in the bedroom. He tells me that this is a little below standard place ( the toilet runs constantly and the light above the bathroom mirror makes my face look like a Japanese demon mask. I did get burned yesterday but not that badly).

We are next to the Poliş station but far from the mosque, so calls to prayer do not wake me (which is a shame I liked that in Kuşadası).

If I am reading the newspaper (yes, I try everyday to read some of the Turkish newspapers) I don't know if Semih always gets 2 papers but he does now and tells me what kind of paper they are (left, right, liberal, conservative etc..) with my sightseeing glasses it is difficult sometimes as Turkish has two 'i's one with a dot as in English and the other without the dot as in Kuşadası. Even capitalized there is a dot so sometimes words on signs with all capitals look very odd with dotted 'i's shorter than the rest of the letters to accommodate the dot. Turkish also has the umlaut over U and O and I suspect that all those dots and missing dots make reading Turkish daunting.

An interesting thing is that in the dictionary, how the letters flow, I would have thought that abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzçğıöşü but that is very wrong.

[sahibi owner]

abcçdefg but no words begin with ğ which is silent just as we have silent vowels so ğ is, acts like a silent vowel not technically but that's kind of how it works to my ear. Officially it's supposed to elongate the preceding vowel but that isn't what it sounds like to me.

h then a surprise as ı comes before i with a dot. There do not seem to be words that have a vowel followed by a normal g (with the ˘ ) j (which is not a Turkish letter “how you know that?” “because all the words with j in them are foreign words transliterated into Turkish spellings”) k, (I found one word kâgir but see there is an ˆ over the a which means it's sort of pronounced æ and the use of it is very irregular so perhaps that explains the anomaly of the normal g after a 'vowel'.

Store names in Alanya; Al Pacino Butik, Hotel My House, Boutique, Big Ben, MiniGolf, Sun Hotel, Kleopatra Beach; signs in German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, not much Russian even though there seem to be many Russians here. Semih says their Parents came here, know the place so they later send their children.

We spent about 45 minutes this morning looking for a Kitap book çi (store?). Semih says to watch out for that word and then, (eventually – after asking many people) pulls up to a store that says Kırtasiye which means it is a stationery store with books floor to ceiling in the back, dark part of the store, which is a single storefront wide and maybe 10meters deep. There are many religious tapes and Koran and religious books but also novels (roman) and I was able to get some children books 5 of them for 5 lira which I think was less than the posted price. I am getting better at reading out loud even if I cannot understand very much of what I read. Sometimes my guesses are good though.

kan blood

Last night Semih bought a Tavla backgammon board. So when we came back from swimming this morning and then ate seçuk sausage with peppers, something special, with pickles in bread, with the wine I bought near Pamukkale. Then a nap and then 7 games of backgammon (except I think it was only 5), then back into the water. Semih meets Gülat at the bus station @5am and Gülan @ 10am, tomorrow so I will finally get to meet his wife. She will stay in Sun Hotel in Alanya for 5 days while we 1st go to Konya (Sufi center and special slow cooked sheep) then to main village in Kappadkoya the day after tomorrow. Travel 1 day, stay 2 days, then 1 day travel and the rest of my stay in Maraş, except for a day over stay in Istanbul to go home.

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 ---Page 17- My Good Friend Semih

It is remarkable that 2 strangers can be together for so long- comfortably. he is very considerate and I try to be too. We have many similar sensibilities and he is comfortable with my silences (I think, I hope) it is also my good fortune that he speaks English so well. It is tiring enough to be surrounded by sounds and words you do not understand and also to be changing in my ears the words or sentences he makes that are just enough off so that I have to translate it in my mind to understand him. Pronouns are a big problem as are tenses~ Turkish doesn't use pronouns the way English does, nor would it seem that past, present and future is so clear. Whether this is hard to learn (probably) or something that is handled differently in Turkish (certainly true) is unclear.

Semih is a balding grey haired shortish rotund man with sort of a pug nose, glasses, a quick smile, and an eager manner. He is 50 years old and has a small diabetic problem and apparently a big cholesterol problem. He smokes but is very considerate and always opens the car window and we check the wind so he is downwind from me in all the restaurants. He has a cough and one day he described what sounded like arrhythmia. I think it frightened him and certainly makes me look out for him getting tired. I am in better shape but I find it relaxing to keep to his pace. he always starts out walking fast, a comfortable fast, and then slows down when I least expect it, and he shouts yavaş! slow, Jay. I think his right hip is bothering him too as he often walks with the slightest of limps and a hand on that side. It's most noticeable when he tells me to slow down.

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 ---Page 18- Pizza by Zorba the Turk

25 Aug Friday

Gülat arrived 5:30am I woke before that and in fact didn't sleep that well. Semih made a lot of noise coughing and speaking in his sleep. Last night we went to a place that he always goes for Pizza. The owner is a Zorba character, big belly, tall man, short grey hair, big nose. He has been making his business in Alanya for 17 years. He went to Austria and learned to make pizza there (not something I'd expect). He is ribald in his stories (never go anywhere with a girlfriend for more than 10 days in a row). He has a flat in Ankara, Istanbul, Alanya, and one other place that I couldn't catch. In the winter he has a Russian girlfriend ( a steady one it seems as she comes to Turkey 2-3 times a year) he is thinking that he could stop with pizza and just live on the rent of his flats. But then he realizes that meeting old customers and their children when they grow up and become customers, that is his joy and it is too great so he returns to Alanya and continues on.

He recognizes Semih, waves ( he was sitting with another table of guests) rises and greet us. We get seated and he comes over sits down, his waiters hover bring him his cigarettes (he offers me one Semih has already lit his) and begins his stories to Semih as he does not really speak English- then he says it's no good to leave me out. Stories slow down and Semih gets to translate as he goes on.

He has the cooks make me a special pizza; ham corn seçuk, it was really good, the crust was crusty a thin crisp yeast bread nearly like a cracker and the toppings were delicious. We finished (while eating he comes to tell us that an old girlfriend and her new husband have just come in ~ there is a moment when the new husband leaves to do something and she looks to Zorba and he joins her for a chat).

During the meal one of the waiters comes over (Semih is in the bathroom) and says “Shakespeare”. I can't explain why, but I just started laughing. here I am trying so hard to understand a few words in Turkish and in the middle of a torrent of stories and Turkish pizza and beer... “Shakespeare”. So now we have Zorba and Shakespeare in the same restaurant.

This is Turkey, a mixture of old/very old/new agriculture/gypsies/conservative Islam and nearly naked women on the beach. Marlon Brando on TV in Viva Zapata speaking Turkish until there is a Spanish part which is not dubbed but subtitled. A man holds a camel by the side of the road waiting for some tourist to wants a ride or to take a photo (there are maybe 100 camels in all of Turkey, they arrived via the Silk Road caravans, they are not indigenous.)

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 ---Page 19- Driving and life in Turkey and Gülat

My first days in Istanbul riding in the car was very surreal. Semih's car is very good-solid, so I was not aware of the road surface. It seemed we were gliding swim-like through traffic. But it was an unfamiliar rhythm, so people step out into traffic and car doors open and people get out as if there is no danger and sometimes a bus will signal and change lanes and sometimes just float into a gap that looks much too small. One evening I mention this experience to Gül, Gülan, and Semih- he makes the joke that signaling is 'optional”.

I think staying inside the white lines of your lane must be optional. Some traffic lights flash green just before becoming red, some have seconds counting down to green, some go from red to yellow to green. All of these allow rushing the lights one way or another.

There does not seem to be a sense of 'right of way'. People are just little cars. If you step into the street and a car or motorcycle is coming, they honk at you but don't slow down at all, it is your life, your job to get out of the way.

There are no life guards on the beaches. There is a line of buoys (small round floats on a line) marking the end of the swimming area that a boat 'should' stay outside. There is a pole with a round lifesaver hanging on it but it took me 3 days to even notice it.

It is easy to say that life is cheap in Turkey but it is not that because the people I have met enjoy life very much. In a village we saw a wedding party. The woman dressed in glittering traditional costume riding horseback and all the friends waving flags, playing Zurna, banging drums, blocking traffic on their way to the ceremony and inviting anyone everyone to come too. The circumcision ceremony- a restaurant was closed for a circumcision party and the men outside are both smiling and serious. They think I will not know what it is. There is an openness about sex- even if public displays of affection (like kissing in public) are rare (though one night Semih saw a couple kissing on a bench on the grounds of a mosque and commented that “This is the new Turkey, they are kissing in the garden of a mosque”~ something a bit scandalous). I have seen much hand holding and some men have their arms around a girl's shoulders but~ well maybe it's just too hot to be physically close while walking in the street.

Yesterday I saw an older man walking, his arms straight and pointing a little back and he was wearing black baggy pants with big crotch like I have seen in street scenes of Morocco. Later I see another man in those pants too it will become more common for the rest of the trip. It is the 'old' way.

When we went to a different beach to swim we passed many banana groves and I am told that there is no money in bananas because the imported ones are so cheap and Turkish growers cannot compete. This is part of becoming part of the EU and free trade agreements, Turkey must let bananas into the country that are grown in poorer countries where the added (true) cost of transport and labor is hidden, destroying a local cash crop.

We went to an Internet Cafe (we've actually gone a few times on the trip there was one across the street from the pension in Kuşadası- it's allowed me to delete hundreds of emails that I don't have to read and answer the few that I must). They are very inexpensive and charge – well I never did get a handle on how they charged, I thought that it was by the minute but the final cost was so small that I'm still not sure. We made my plane reservation for the trip from Maraş to Istanbul.

I finally get to meet Gülat, a lovely woman, with smiling eyes and a gentle voice. She does not speak English to me but I imagine she understand it well as time went on she spoke more and more. She and Gülan are staying at a hotel on the other side of the castle peninsula from us and so this afternoon we swam there.

The water at the 'different' beach and this one are different from 'our' beach. The upper layer was very warm but not deep and that was a surprise because the beach is very shallow for a long ways out.

This hotel is one they have often spent their vacation in. It will be torn down next year but they told Semih that a replacement should be ready for the next summer as buildings go up very fast in tourist locales.

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 ---Page 20- The Family/More Language

This is in juxtaposition to the evidence or lack of rebuilding from the devastating earthquake a few years back that killed 10,000 people and when we traveled (earlier) through the area hardest hit still looked like a bombed out war zone. Rubble everywhere.

They are a loving family together laughing and hugs and it was fun to swim with more than one other person- we actually swam more and floated less (though there is absolutely nothing that can beat floating for an hour in the warm Mediterranean!) We will go up to the Kale tonight to eat and look at the lights of Alanya. Then tomorrow off for Konya home of Mevlana (Rumi) and tandoor kebab a slow cooked lamb specialty of the area (Gülan tells me that she doesn't like to eat much meat but in Konya she eats the whole plate of it). Then on to their flat in Kappadokya (Ürgüp).

I was able to surprise Gülat while we were swimming ~ coincidence, I saw in the K's in the dictionary a week ago the word kalender and it is not calendar rather it means bohemian and either Gülan or Gülat used it and I suspect it was about me. I spoke up an said what it meant in English and instead of Semih saying “How you know this?” Gülat did. Big laugh and Semih puts a finger to the air and this 1st surprise of the day ( and probably the only one). All this while floating far out from the shore in Turkey.

There had been so many times that I knew something that he didn't think I would know about Rumi for example. And it became another of our 'jokes' that I only had to surprise him twice a day. One day I did it 4 times so the next day coasted.

    Translation example of Turkish language structure from one of the children's books I bought:

    Beautiful Anatolia in birds fly not, caravans go not one mountain on the one village there was.

    there was in beautiful Anatolia a village on a mountain so remote that caravans didn't visit and so high birds didn't fly there.

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 ---Page 21 A day of travel, impressions

26 Aug. A day of travel a page of impressions

    bal honey kekik thyme doksan ninety gözleme onion, cheese, potato pancake

High passes Taurus mountain grey rock pines lower plateau donkeys, honey sunflowers fresh banana ground brown soil, someplaces sere rocks, green lichen, fields of sugar beets, high rolling prairie

High up trees in perfect pointed ovals pines stone house some without roofs

Mevlana Rumi and slow cooked sheep then steppes and sudden kervanserai a caravan stop/fortress on the Silk Road, stench of animal urine hangs over a large stone Selçuk building (largest in Turkey), 2 wedding parties on our way to Ürgüp for a funeral. what a day

Volcano midst of flat steppes aside from no snow it resembles Mt. Rainier with 2 tahomas (little brothers) on it's slopes.

Şehir town/city hisar castle or fortress

This is one of the things that is making learning much of this language difficult. On one hand they have words for 'things' that seem concrete but it turns out that they have many words for the same thing.

ama, fakat, oysa, olmasa, başka, yoksa, veya, ve all of which can be used for; but, or, else, and

And I never can figure out when which one is the most correct

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 ---Page 22-Leaving Alany/Bananas/Konya

27 Aug. early am Kappadokya

Yesterday woke 6ish gathered my things and after Semih woke and went out to get papers and bread we ate breakfast, packed and about 8am he got a phone call and we left to have coffee with Gülat/Gülan to say goodbye to Alanya.

At Sun Hotel, the women are eating breakfast and during coffee Semih says something to Gülat and it is as if darkness descended. She does not cry – not big tears or sobs, and Semih does not take her into his arms or even hold her hand but she looks down and pinches her nose, eyes closed and lips tightly together. We are silent and watching, witness to her sorrow. Later Semih explain that a cousin (but close more like a brother) a military man, parachutist, who would be dropped into a place to provide medical care, had died last night from some painful form of cancer. He lived in Izmir and his body would be brought to Ürgüp as we traveled there. The funeral to be the next day, so Gülat will be coming with us to Ürgüp with us.

With dampened spirits, when Gülat has packed, we leave Gülan and head North through high Taurus Mountain passes and see gypsy herders, onto plains/steppes of Central Anadolu. It seems like everytime we stopped for coffee/tea/petrol we are near a wedding party, a beginning of lives together while we are heading toward a funeral and geological monuments and ways of living by people in exile from long ago.

After leaving Alanya, they stop (Gülat and Semih in front I'm in the back and the experience is very different and of course I am not able to follow the conversation at all because I catch only a few words in every 100) and buy bananas. They say eat and they eat/we eat. These are fresh and ripe. Small, they are a hands breadth long and maybe 2 inches around. At 1st I couldn't place how they were different, then realized that they had the taste I knew of bananas from childhood, no stickiness or starchiness and the flavor was full and round, no chemical banana taste.

Later, we stop again and Gülat buys 3 sunflowers for the seeds. She and a short headscarved farming woman discuss each 'head' and Gülat eats a seed from then all, perhaps to judge which one(s) have good seeds in the shells. This is something they eat directly from the flower head, no salt or anything, while reading or relaxing on the raised Divan, in the flat, in Kappadokya.

So we go on to Konya, home to Tandoor Kebab and Mevlana.

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 ---Page 23-Backtracking finishing Alanya then Konya/Rumi

The night before this;

We go to the top of the peninsula inside the walls of the Kale that once protected the port of Alanya, to eat and to watch the lights below. Streets winding, narrow, 2way in name and unlit. The restaurants the Semih/Gülat know are closed and so we go a big one lower down, with many terraces/different levels- it is nearly empty. We are seated at the banister and can see the Eastern harbor with the casino cruise ships from Israel below us and the lights and clubs extending into the night haze.

But the waiter does not seem to know what he is doing or how to write orders, or if dishes on the menu even exist. Appetizers are ordered and a bottle of wine (beer for Semih). The wine was good but served at room temperature. In Seattle that can make sense but if you are outside in Alanya in August the “room” is 37C (or more, and the wine was at least that warm)

They decide not to stay after we eat appetizers as the service etc is not good. As we travel down to Alanya proper Gülan says something about not knowing why the other restaurants are closed and the bad one is open and mentions the word Mafia. So my version of this story is -----

As a money laundering method – drive out competition (the other restaurants) and scare away customers, with bad food and service (the bill had elevated the cost for the wine and 2 beers which Semih did not drink or order) and that way you can pay your 'workers' – they weren't well trained for food service, that's for sure. Alanya has good waiters really good ones. So you have lost money in your venture and your people have it available to spend.

yesterday again;

The meat was tender and fatty and delicious, just slow cooked with salt and then cut/pulled from carcass and set on a flat bread that looked like it was made by dipping a tanged thing and then baked on a grilled. There were cylindrical holes in the bread (though it really was just a pide like bread) the cola was Pepsi for the first time- up until now it's been CocaCola.

Konya is a conservative town and nearly all the women wore their head scarves in Turbanli style (all head hair is covered and neck and upper chest is too.) which is ironic as Mevlana is a movement (Sufi) that has some of the most liberal ideas in Islam.

The Mevlana Museum is one of the most beautiful mosque/sites we've been to.

The Arabic writing, Koranic texts, everywhere,the painting in the domes, especially over the sarcophagi of Rumi and his followers were glorious, intricate mazes of words and design. Followers stood praying or honoring him at his enormous sarcophagus which are covered in exquisite cloths like saddle blankets, embroidered with texts.

They stand with their hands raised to their chests about 4 inches away and palms towards themselves,the the backs of their hands toward the sarcophagus of Rumi.

The place is one of pilgrimage and Tourism, it is jammed with people of all nationalities, I did feel a religious electricity while in the room stuffed with the living dedicated to someone dead.

There is a room full of books of his poems, gorgeous Kufic examples of the Koran and hundreds of cellphones taking pictures.

Later we stopped at the largest Selçuk kervanserai in Turkey. A huge stone fortress where the merchants could spend the night. Mostly utilitarian, the rooms off the open courtyard are narrow and tall, curved ceilings with a narrow arched opening in the 2 foot thick outer walls. At one end is a covered courtyard with a Selçuk dome (flat sides more like a pyramid or Mongolian hat) and this part was most remarkable because the whole place is covered and you could still see inside from the light coming through those tiny windows.

By the time we get to the Kappadokya region it is dark and so we stop at the out skirts of one of the fields of peristaltic formations to sit and feel the slightly cool breeze and surprise! It sprinkles, just a bit, and one flash of lightening. Unusual at this time of year. So Seattle brings 'rain' to another high dry region for a moment. (this also happened when I visit high desert plain in Spain in August 5 years ago).

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 ---Page 24-Kappadokya really

We stop in Ürgüp proper for groceries and hot pide take out, before going to their flat.

Their flat is a 2nd story concrete 2 bedroom apartment. The floors are Turkish carpets (I learn later that they are kilims (thin) instead of carpets (thick)) and the beds are raised about 2 feet above the floor. They each have a thick comforter (it's not cold at the moment) with a duvet. But the main room is the surprise. There are 3 sides of the room are lined with thick cushioned banks raised again at least 2 feet above the floor, so it is like a version of the old Turkish style instead of sitting on the floor (which I have done with Semih in the occasional cafe) it is raised up to window height and they can sit, read, smoke and eat seeds while relaxing.

The sky has clouds bulut and there is a slight breeze it is not warm but it seems like it might get that way.

As a guest I never know when to emerge from my room so I will not interrupt my host's private morning moments. This time to write allows the household to wake. Gülat's parents have come for the funeral and I went to bed before they came in, so I have not met them yet and it could be difficult without a more 'formal' introduction.

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 Page 25-Gülat's Story

Gülat's story;

Her father abandoned the family and went to Germany (and from the breakfast table conversation it sounds like he at least traveled through much of Europe) and her mother refused to divorce him.

After 15 years (so Gülat did not really know her father) her older brother went and found her father and returned him to their mother, who forgave him and they have lived together ever since.

Gülat's mother dresses traditionally, colored headscarf and pantaloons that are so large they look more like a skirt, the crotch descends nearly to her ankles.

Her father was wearing beige, is thick in the middle, short grey hair, glasses, one eye looks a bit lazy.

Gülat's mother recently fell and was in bed for 2 months and now walks with a slight limp.

Gülat's father has a car but the family fear for him as a driver.

Gülat has a brother near my age (he's 54) who is on call as a Doctor in a hospital and cannot come to the funeral.

The funeral takes place in front of a Mosque, then everyone goes to big-house co-owned by Gülat's father and his brother.

I meet another cousin and he is in beige too as is Semih. Gülat is wearing a colorful blouse- funeral dress is not black.

Pazar Prayer beads Sunday 27 Aug. written in Ürgüp}

Turkey – 46 Ha 811 Page 26 Touring Kappadokya and a funeral

On our way to tour Kappadokya we stop at the Bus station to get return to Alanya ticket for Gülat. Men, too far away to see, are playing something that has chips that they slap onto the table to play, I hear the crack slap. Above them on the outside of the building is a circular staircase, metal, like fire-escape but delicate in that each step is supported only by rods extending from the step up to the top of the building. This is more common than I realized at the time, the flat in Maraş had the same thing. It's quite lovely to look at and looks too fragile to depend on in an emergency, obviously that's incorrect.

Kappadokya ~ a large area in Central Turkey, high plains or steppes, an agricultural area (kind of the bread basket of Turkey and many other countries) of Almonds, grapes, wheat, some apricots and livestock.

There are two tall extinct volcanoes and their ash and lava have left the area's soil very fertile and loose, perfect for potatoes.

The lava/ash has also flowed over the top of sandstone and as rivers and snow melt/run off, it erodes in conical shapes with 'caps' of hard lava on top. Known As Tuff and for tourists called "Fairy Chimneys".

Early Christians came after Göreme Hattusa and Hittite people to live in homes dug into sandstone, either in hidden valleys, up on cliffs or even in extensive underground cities, to escape Roman persecution.

There were numerous small 'churches' created with different degrees of elaborate 'eastern' church paintings, sometimes floor to ceiling. Since many are light tight (small doorways or none but a channel connection from another room) the colors in the paintings are vivid.

The two things I was surprised at were 1] the many images of St. George and the Dragon from very early and 2] how much of the Christian mythos was in place by the end of the 1st century AD.

I loved the changes in imagery from the very bird-like wing details (you could believe in the angels flying with those wings) to stolid later (1000 years) imagery that looks more like armour than wings at all.

We also climbed the Kale/fort, the highest point in the area. A steep dangerous set of stairs leading up to, ....mainly a view point as the fort has mostly eroded away.

When we returned after another valley, this time with a pinkish sandstone. Semih had me try gözleme a potato pancake really thin tortilla like thing extremely thin, 1st rolled out to about 2 foot diameter with a dowel rolling pin the dabbed with a mixture of cheese (not in mine) onion, spice and potato, folded in half and then placed on a slightly arched flat hot iron plate heated either by wood coals or gas. Cooked crisp on both sides then coated with butter/margarine and rolled wrapped in paper cut in half and served.

We returned to the Ürgüp flat. When Gülat returned from the funeral party she brought her father/mother, cousins (2), An in-law Meryam (Chechen woman), her daughter, the dead man's two sons and their wives. Suddenly a house full of people, Çay and kahve served, too few people spoke much English and some were in mourning.

When they eventually left Semih and I went to Ürgüp centrum for a walk, something to drink and we got some wine and dried apricots, came back to the flat, drank wine ate sunflower seeds from the flower and played tavla backgammon, then went to bed. I lost, I lost most of the time and certainly lost the groupings of games that it took to end play.

Page 27 After the Funeral and an underground city

28 Aug. Monday

During the after-funeral gathering the daughter of Meryam (probably spelled wrong BTW) tells me she is an EU assistant Expert and with 2 years of study will become an Expert. She likes Bush, spoke decent English and translated between the rest of the guests and myself the questions they had (which were few). She was one of the few people I met who did like Bush, I found out that two novels had been published about the coming war between Turkey and the US. Semih told me that many of his students- not the illiterate or rural- believed that Turkey was the next country to be attacked by the US after Iran.

Post Office, I did succumb and bought a bunch of postcards and wrote them out- it's probably not clear, I did not attend the funeral but was left to myself in the flat, which gave me time to write postcards, compose the Prayer Beads piece, read, translate some news articles. It was the first time I was left to myself except for the brief period when Semih got Gülat in Alanya. I had early mornings to myself to write until he woke up but that was not really by myself..-no sign on the door that it is the wrong door, I am directed by many people to the correct door, stand lost as no way to know which line is correct. Someone asks stamps? I forget the word for nine dokuz so use my fingers, then no sign of where to drop the postcards, someone asks in Turkish and many point to the correct slot. Mission Accomplished Görev Tammanlandi (this is the Turkish translation of Bush's words on the Aircraft Carrier.)

The cousin died on Saturday morning and Semih gets the call 8am, within 24 hours 200 people have traveled to Ürgüp from all over Turkey, and from Germany for the funeral Sunday at noon; by 9pm 200 people have left for home, away from Ürgüp.

Underground city; more sandstone but this time it was truly below ground and accidentally discovered when a tractor tried to move a stone. It revealed the entrance to a 7 story complex of rooms for people to live/hide below the ground.

We are led to believe that they were Christians, however no symbols are evident and in the other sites there were constant drawings, etchings, carvings and churches. Also the importance of Communion was paramount in the cliff dwellings. None of that is here. Semih is the one who noticed this first, postulating that it was a different people who used this place and it makes sense to me.

Maybe one of the other underground cities (there are 3 that are known) is more Christian but Kaymakli probably isn't.

After a short nap we went out to one of Gülat's father's vineyards and made a very small hot fire and ate suçuk sausage, cooked on sticks with bread and fruit and finished with water and sunflower seeds.

The plots of land are very small and along a narrow stream in a green valley. It put me in the mind of Odysseus on one of those islands he kept getting shipwrecked on, a small fire, cooking meat on a spit, eating ancient variety of grapes, in a vineyard with almond and apricot trees. Quiet in the afternoon sun, only a few cars came by and no birds were to be heard.

While driving around we had what looked like a Turkey run probably a rooster or chicken across the road. Black, lean body and a bright red neck piece. I also saw a small beige brown bird with a tuft on it's head similar to a stellar jay but the tuft was distinct and not so contiguous to its head. The crows in Istanbul were black winged and brown/grey bodies. In Alanya they were black. the pigeons in Istanbul and Alanya were whitish to grey/brown but here in Kappadokya they are more colored like the ones in Seattle.

We are going to Çatal Hüyük!!!!!!!!!(kid's version) tomorrow, after finding out it is near Konya and much easier to get to than where Semih thought I was interested, in the Hattasu (which I am but not with a 6 hour [Turkish hours] drive out of our way and I've wanted to see Çatal Hüyük all my life). So even if it's not much to see, I'm totally jazzed to see the site.

We are off to see the sun set with a bottle of wine. Last night I looked up and the sky is so clear and the Milky Way and more stars were out so I'm excited to see the sky tonight.

Page 28 Çatal Hüyük

29 Aug.

The night sky was full of the Milky Way at a high windy place, yet even here above all the small villages the lights from homes made some of the sky hard to see.

To get to Çatal Hüyük we must go through Konya. So we stop for lunch and another plate of Tandoor, not as good as the 1st one in Centrum (this restaurant is on the road). we have now traveled across salt plains where nothing grows, past herds of sheep and ziggurats of hay bales. Gypsies, pulling potatoes out of the ground turned up by a tractor and endless stretches of mown straw/hay fields and green alfalfa.

Refik Başaren folksong collector from Ürgüp sort of the Alan Lomax of Turkey except that he wrote out rather than tape recorded the song.(I couldn't find a link in English- sorry)

Leaving Çatal Hüyük, I was so excited to have seen it I had tears in my eyes. Our Guide/guard (you must be accompanied at all times) has been here 14 years. he unlocks the museum room and plays a video that is half tourism and half really informative and thankfully short. The room is small but has very good explanations of the site that you will see.

The Guide really only speaks Turkish and mp3 players are provided as narration as you walk along (in fact the current director of the dig Ian Hodder is the English speaking narrator so that's pretty cool too) The entire tour is actually quite short so I asked if we could revisit a part as I had been told that the two European looking workers on that part were English.

We go back (the guide looks at his watch says we must hurry as the site closes, or he goes home, in 20 minutes- so we practically run up the hill). I am able to ask questions, like what lever they were digging at (7000 years- level 6 [of 13]) One of the archaeologists was from New Zealand the other from the UK. A red and white fresco on one wall had just recently been revealed so Semih and I were one of the first people to see it in 7000 years. They will work 3 more weeks to try to unearth a whole room and then after that if it's important, stay on to finish the job.

-- Page 29 Konya Arkeologi Muze

We then returned by a remote 'shortcut' to Konya to go to the arkeologi muze.

The shortcut was basically a 40km long one lane farming road with barely enough room to pass the tractors or horse drawn wagons on the way to Konya. But the road worked and then a new adventure- how to find the Arkeologi Muze which is not the Mevlana shrine which everyone knew and tried to direct us towards. We are misdirected again and again. Plus, due to a major push to lay natural gas lines throughout the city before winter, when we did know where the place was we couldn't get there in any direct way. So I got so see the inside of Konya, narrow streets, kids, vans, small shops, block after block, it seemed like repeat lines of goods.

Turkey is very much like that. Even along the road there will be 5 fruit stands in a row all selling the same thing. The other true Turkish scene is men sitting in while plastic molded chairs with glasses of tea (or not) talking and watching traffic- seemingly all day long.

The Arkeologi Muze is incredible- again a guard/guide must unlock the door and turn on the lights revealing the most spectacular marble roman/Greek sarcophagi I have ever seem. then behind them are mosaic's, for floors, of peacocks and vines and other designs. The next room contained small objects from Çatal Hüyük and other sites in the Konya area. No catalogue and the signs were brief but the objects themselves all helter skelter, leaning against the walls or put behind glass, at least either by site or material of the object. the the breadth of history in these 3 modest rooms was breathtaking. Not even a postcard and in fact the guard seemed really excited that anyone visited and more pleased that we were pleased to see these exhibits. The long trip home to Ürgüp was filled with comments about the two place we had seen.

Arriving back in Ürgüp ~ it is late and the air has cooled, we enter the flat, have wine talk some politics and then Semih gives me a lecture with diagram of how folk music developed in Turkey. I have the diagram and it looks like one of those rocky and bullwinkle plans of attack – at the moment I can't decipher any of it but maybe later I'll figure out what it means.

Page 30 The Trip to Maraş

30 Aug The day of the turning point in the war of Independence

When Ataturk somehow defeated the Greek Army (British supported Churchill's first term in office which ended with this defeat) outside of Ankara. The top Greek General was executed for his failure.

I have managed to be in Turkey for the worst forest fire season, the special day when Mohammad dies and goes to heaven and today's victory on the road to Independence.

We clean up the flat in Ürgüp and leave on a 2 lane (and narrow) road that is one of 3 'shortcuts' to Kayseri. we stop there and have coffee with Gülat's mother and buy pastırma (pastrami? no, but I think that I read that Italy got the idea from Turkey) is a dried beef coated with paprika (?) and there was a special man who sliced it for us. (Special as in he was the only one 'qualified' to cut it and had to be called from the back to do so) He used a large blade knife, not a cleaver but that wide of a blade and in seconds he had thinly sliced 400 grams of the meat. Very fun to watch as he was very good at it and stopped once to weight and resharpen his knife.

Then back to mountain roads that switched back and forth from 2 lanes to 4, gravel, dusty blind curves, roadwork, goats, sheep, nomads, a cow in the road. Sometimes it was so dusty you couldn't tell which 'lanes' were the correct ones and out of the dust an oncoming car would be heading at us.

We stopped at another old/large kervanserai surrounded by a dirt road village (woman was sweeping litter into a dustpan, the 'road' began at her door). Men sitting watching traffic on the paved road, drinking tea, direct us through a tiny opening leading to the Selçuk structure (1100's AD) one man leads us through the labyrinth of the village, he has the key – spoke no English, opened the metal gate and children gathered around wanting to enter too.

Inside was a better preserved serai, with kitchen, bath, and rooms, outside courtyard (smaller than the one in Sultanhanı) and an inner courtyard again very dark yet somehow light enough to see- barely- for winter months' stays. There was a prayer room and opposite was a sarcophagus of an important Selçuk women- women were very equal in power during the Selçuk times, unlike in the Ottoman period that followed- (we do not know who this woman is/was), covered with decent/recent carpets.

Later a lunch break for Adana Kebab, a groundmeat and spice dish on pide (bread) and the standard onion, cucumber and tomato salad- however this one for the 1st time was sprinkled with Sumac, it really sparked the taste. (Semih by now has given up on asking how do I know things so he didn't even ask when I make sure that it really was Sumac).

2+ more hours through high ear popping mountain passes, past more beautiful alpine valleys, some more of those amazingly symmetrical pines and sometimes in a mountain stream valley with deciduous trees.

Once we crossed back into the Mediterranean region, the mountains and soil changed.

Cows, horses, people in wagons being pulled by donkeys and now the roofs are sheet metal instead of brick red tile and some of the houses seem square so the roofs have a Selçuk ziggurat look to them.

We arrive in Maraş, Semih points to the new campus far from the city center and soon we drive to the build where and Gülat live. A 3 bedroom, kitchen and liv/diningroom filled with furniture.

Page 31


Furniture in Istanbul, the living room furniture was bright red velvet, plush, 2 chairs and a couch that folded down to a bed. The plastic bases for these were white and silver.

In the Kayseri Mother-in-law's home, very plush, tan, many pillows, short couches on three sides with one matching chair that joined one side of the couches. The 3 sections all faced a TV.

In Maraş the living room has 2 chairs that I thought, at first glance, rocked but it was the design of the wooden parts, painted black, that gave it the look of a recliner. The upholstery was red/gold. In this room dominated by a wall of bookshelves and a corner largish wide screen TV, again 3 sections of couches two short and one long. A short one in front of the bookshelves facing the windows/south, the long couch facing West and the TV, and another short couch beneath the windows. There are kilims or rugs centered in every living room (including Ürgüp), and in Kayseri and Maraş (and Istanbul) a small coffee table is centered on the rug.

Evening: I went online and deleted/read emails and since Semih and I use the same notation software I put a 1st draft of 8-27 Prayer beads in so show off (sorry) and to check my work. It is a draft and needs work but has kernels of nice ideas.

- -------Page 32 Music in Maraş

While I was working on that Semih announces that 2 musician friends are coming over soon to meet me and play.

I panic, take a quick shower (I'm really tired too from the driving). Worried that I am not the musician that Semih may have presented me as.

They arrive, speak practically no English, a Nay and bağlama player, both exquisite musicians. And with a lot of help from Semih we talk music. The Nay player went to conservatory and has 2 lovely sets of Nay for different Makams/Taksim and 'keys'. We talk and he plays examples of comma's (which he can hear 14 of between whole steps and describes as thoughts not physical actions) I know the name of 4 of the makams and can follow what he is doing some of the time.

I was surprised that the fingering style is what is called piper fingering for pennywhistling (usually low D which approaches the length of some of this man's Nays) a flat straight finger is laid on the holes and the upper left thumb is against the back of the instrument, holding it away from the palm. He had made and tuned his instruments too.

The bağlama player was amazing in the he had many techniques that were unusual for that instrument and often used only his fingers to pluck, stroke, strum the notes/strings. It is usually played with a long skinny pick. He also used both hands to hammer notes up and down the neck.

Raki strong licorice/anise flavored liquid, mixed with water and ice like Pernod or Anisette , food, wine, water, some words, much music. I played Semih's guitar (badly, I hadn't played or practised for a month) but what I could hear I played along with.

A grand night on a balcony in Maraş. Tomorrow, I think, plans were made to see these 2 again and get new strings for the guitar as they have never been changed in 10 years!.

There is a piano in the dining room, an upright, it looks like a V. Berdur & Heilbroun but I'm not sure. I played on it alittle but, as I had been told, it is out of tune and sounds like the dampers need either to be adjusted or replaced, as it rings and rings ~ it's like playing an out of tune cymbalom.

In a few days Gülan tries to play her old music and I turn pages, and I play a bit of Haydn which she didn't think was 'fun' to play at all (which I do). We did lift the lid and look and the dampers are wrecked. Semih says that he has the tools and materials left from his father so that when he has the piano tech. come to work on the University's pianos he will have him come and fix this one too. Semih's father was not only a pianist (there was a picture of him on the cabinet with graduation pictures of the two girls.) but also a piano technician. Gülan told me that she looks like her father's mother and that Gül looks like his father, they are quite different from one another in body and face. One of the son's of the cousin who died, his wife looked so much like Gülan that I was sure she was the blood relative and not the husband, I mentioned this to Semih and he agreed.

- -------Page 33 The next day

31 Agostos

There have been cicadas chirping throughout the journey. I asked Semih what the sound was and he said that it was Agostos insects. They are only heard in August and he had never seen one because they hide themselves in trees. He looked it up here in Maraş to tell me what I thought was correct.

The sun rises into my window, roosters call out, the call to prayer can be heard. and the complex begins to come alive. Given the mixture of alcohol I'm surprised that I don't feel awful, however I was moderate and we did eat some of the pastırma, bread, olives, melon, and pickled vegetables.

Only 4 days left here, and only 3 really with Semih and his family. Amazing.

1st Sept

Yesterday, lamb shank soup (vinegared and chile oil mild). Sweets a lot of pistachios ground up very green and I tried Kahramanmaraş ice cream (the place is noted for this, in fact everywhere we went there were vendors claiming that they had it, Semih said that it wasn't the real thing.) very smooth, and though soft, it was firm, so a guide book that said it was special and made with mastic is probably right. And my first and last real Turkish coffee, which tasted loaded with cardomon but Semih and later Gülat insisted was just coffee and nothing else. It never settled and was incredibly thick.

(this morning found Semih sleeping on the couch) We went to the bağlama player's shop, I played a not very good Oud and we bought a set of strings for Semih's guitar (the strings were not only 10 years old but whoever strung it did not do it in a reasonable or traditional way- so unstringing it was a project)

We swam twice in the unheated (except by the sun) pool, 24 meters long and the chlorine they use comes from Germany and doesn't smell or hurt my eyes. the 2nd swim we were met/joined by Semih's best friend a mountain climbing Prof. of Animal Husbandry, and a collector of objects made in copper. he has been to Arkansas/Lousiana and spoke reasonable amounts of English. So when he, his son, and another neighbor dropped in after dinner (when they left, Semih said that is what they do ~ just drop in and talk until late, no warning) there were some conversations that I could follow and some I could take part in. The neighbor had his Bariş Manço and another player from Georgia or somewhere in the former USSR. So I guess I do.

Bariş Manço was a folk/pop singer who also did children's shows sort of a cross between Captain Kangaroo and Ivar (of the Acres of Clams). He was immensely popular and died recently- I should be pleased to resemble him.

--------Page 34

Meal prepared by Gülat

Guveç Garlic diced onions diced cover bottom of casserole pan add 1 kilo cubed lamb butt spread it out over the garlic and onions cover this with 4 large sliced the long ways lightly fried medium oval type eggplants, top with slices of tomatoes bake until mush.

Salata chopped onion mixed squished together with chopped cucumbers and chopped tomatoes, lemon squeezed over the top. Often served with flat leaf parsley.

--------Page 35 Exploring Maraş Part 1

25 Aug

5am, woke to roosters crowing and far far away the calls prayer from various mosques in the old part of Maraş. restless night as it is/was hot and close. Yesterday was exhausting mainly because I was doing some computer stuff or because I was immersed in groups of non-English speakers and my Turkish is not even remotely good enough to understand what anyone was saying.

Part of the reason that Gülat did not join us earlier in Alanya is that she is the head of a symposium that begins on the 19th of Sept. an International Symposium (someone from Tennessee is coming to speak about growing asparagus- I didn't know Tennessee was famous for asparagus?) and so she was busy with the preparations of that.

Gülan, Semih and I (after a meeting that Gülat had with her staff and lunch with many people in the Agriculture department/school [Adana Köftes and çorba]) went to the Maraş Museum~ again a small museum that neither Gülan or Semih thought would be interesting., but then Gülan told me that when the family moved to Maraş she and her sister thought that their parents 'had burned our childhood'.

However, once again, the small museum held surprises. Hittite stele, Greek and Roman, Selçuk and cuneiform stone pieces, a terracotta sarcophagus that looked like a large enclosed bathtub or isolation chamber or space time capsule, tapered at both ends, a large opening at the feet with 2 round drawer handles on the cover and a small opening at the head with one handle on that covering.

When we tried to enter we were told it was lunch time and to wait 5 minutes which became 15 and then they had to unpadlock the doors and turn on the lights to each of the 3 rooms. Even so it was not well lit and sometime details of some objects (most bronze/metal figures are very small- clasps and pins for clothing, many figurines that when you see a photo in a book looks to be crudely made is in fact so small that it's amazing that it has any detail at all)

As you enter the 1st room you are confronted with the bones of a mammoth or elephant (they aren't sure which) grey fossilized 2 legs complete most of the spine, a lot of the skull, and it's huge.

In a case nearby is a much smaller skeleton of a mammoth (no question). After going round seeing costumes and silver/gold coins, those little signature roller clay stamps (which are really little and very cool). the pistols and bullets of heroes' guns in the war for independence. We are able to get a booklet that is mostly a tourist guide to Maraş province/state and it has some photos from the museum. Unlike the Arkeologi Muze in Konya this one had many signs and even a few in English so it was well worth the visit.

- -------Page 36 The Bazar

Then off to a centuries old Bazar, in the oldest part of the city. A narrow labyrinth of intersecting streets/walkways, a long part is archway covered.

Here, Semih said, things have not changed for centuries and at first I cannot see why. As we walked further into the place I begin to understand. Coppersmiths pounding away shaping large cylinders of thin copper sheet into pots that are often used as tables, the pounding puts a 'hammered' design but also is the way it is shaped into the walls with a distinctive fez-like shape. I think it probably makes the walls stiffer too.

Saddlemakers of a type of saddle that at first I thought must be for Camels as it is leather on top of about 4 inches of wool padding, stitched by hand to the leather but there is a large wooden structure that you might sit between and the whole thing is big, yet they were for horses and a 'smaller' version was for donkey's. It looked a bit like having the saddle blanket attached to the saddle.

Leather workshops, mostly shoes, their sewing machines clacking away.

There was a man sitting on the ground using a plane with 2 handles projecting from each side. He was using one bare foot to hold a slender light colored piece of wood that he was shaving to a thin shape to bend and bind the wooden 'hat-box' like containers that he made.

Candy/sweets ~ bakeries there is a sweet that is walnuts threaded on a string and dipped into thickened grape juice over and over again- I will not say what it looked like but I ate it watching the movie and it was waaaay rich using wood ovens to freshly make pide and other bread shapes.

Spices alongside a mountain of green Henna (which I thought might have been ground pistachios)

Fresh and older pistachios. The fresher ones have a red and a tan end, the colors fading into one another. The older ones are tan and taste rich and wonderful. Semih told me that they call California pistachios “like eating paper” and compared to true Turkish ones he is right.

The sun is rising, and there is a chord I can hear as though the city and landscape were singing, while people sleep and truly before the call to prayer (5am-ish) it seemed as if I were the only one else in the place was awake.

There were stalls with entire wool fleece from different sheep hanging and laying in piles for sale, smelling richly of sheep and lanolin.

After the Bazar we went and had lemonade in a dark cafe that had pictures on the walls of ice cream shows the cafe had given to generals and dignitaries.

-- ------Page 37 Ice Cream and Neighbors

The mastic in the ice cream gives the confection enough texture/elasticity that they can mold and pull it like salt water taffy or like the hand made Chinese noodle shows we have in Seattle restaurants. I asked if it was still cold after being stretched and tossed about and Gülan said yes, so the ingredients of this ice cream from such a warm place ( I sweat all day long today) is quite an invention, sweet, cold, and it melts really slowly and actually tastes good like the very best ice cream.

On the way home Semih drove through the new campus which is still under construction, on a hill, far from the main part of the city (in fact signs indicate that it's outside Maraş), with a lake and extra land for experiments in agriculture.

Occasionally, since we've been in Maraş, Semih has had me eat one of 'his' pears or apples, fruit that he developed for Turkey in one way or another.

The Mountain Climbing Man (who does numbers of reverse push-ups in the pool and long running dives that look too much like flying belly flops) has 2 sons, one 18 who is going to become a Medical Technician, and one who is going to start Elementary School this year.

Usually it is a man/close male friend who holds the boy in the circumcision ceremony and from then is sort of a Godparent to the boy. Gülat did this for the youngest son and so she bought him (buys him) presents, today it is a radio controlled big wheeled car. Gülan put it together and got it to work before the boy comes over to see it. I wasn't there when he got it but is seemed like he was excited.

Later I watch him in the pool and he is a strong swimmer, and likes to dive to retrieve things, he throws from the bottom of the pool.

Semih bought me a small wooden carved chest at the bazar. Wood inlay and intricate carving is another craft that Maraş is known for. Happily it is the perfect size for the Zurna reeds so it make sense to bring it back to the US (ABD) .

The sky is becoming blue I can't see Orion anymore and a soft cool breeze is coming through the window. I saw a flock of magpies 2 days ago startling in their black and white feathers.

After swimming we ate dinner and talk and laughed then sat and watched Last of the Mohicans in Turkish. Semih fell asleep and snores and coughs and makes this kind of shout, eventually Gülat drags him to his bed. Gülan falls asleep too and Gülat and I finish the movie ( does it really end so solemnly?). One interesting thing about the movie was that the sex scene was started and interrupted by a commercial not to resume and a head scalping scene was too.

- -------Page 38 Turkey vs USA

The image of the US in Turkey is interestingly twisted by our violent crime laden TV shows, movies and by our warmongering President. Semih told me that most of his students believe that the US is going to bomb Turkey soon. There are 2 near-future novels about the Turkish American war that were/are very popular. This (the TV shows) was one of the reasons that Semih has not been too keen on my offer to host him when he comes to Seattle- he's not been sure it would be safe).

He says the students really believe that after we attack Iran we will attack Turkey. It is so depressing.

This is the last day with the Çağlar, car expedition, and goodbyes, I am not sure how I will thank them enough. They have been so good to me.

Günaydın Maraş

Pistachios*, Turtles*, goats*, cat*, trout*, feudal landlord*, dangerous*, restaurant*, all on the way to Nemrut Dagi Şalgam**** sugar, salt, vinegar, red carrots, turnip, hot spice (Adana).

-- ------Page 39 The trip to Nemrut Mt.

2 Sept

Dangerous winding road 2 lanes (sort of) sometimes dirt sometimes asphalt and 2 different kinds of brick/stone ~ the worst seemed laid and then a winter freeze heaved them up and down. At the last village before the site we are stopped by a road grader working/filling/blocking the road and 3 or 4 dump trucks, as the road was too deeply rutted to get through without bottoming out. There is a cafe and on the other side of the road a white donkey is tethered to a telephone pole. We wait shaded by mulberry trees and grape vines, drink tea, the wait is short by travel standards maybe 15 minutes probably 25 but soon we are in a caravan-line climbing to the top 2100 meters. At the end of the road is another cafe/kiosk and a steep hike up large/high stone steps. The Eastern Throne is more intact but the Western one has heads that are in better shape.. I enjoyed the hike up and some scrambling after what had turned into a 4+ hour drive. On the way back I kept pretending/clowning that my legs were killing me and ended up sitting in front though that was not my meaning, I was making fun, a joke (didn't work).

On the mountain top at sunset people gathered from all over the world including a group of Kurdish Men who had wine and a drum and a cellphone that played Kurdish music while the sun set. We scrambled back down and joined a long line of vehicles through the darkening mountain passes. I thought we should be on horseback carrying contraband through an isolated and barren mountainscape.

As the sun had set the shadows on the heads of the Gods were exaggerated and details became clearer. There was a moment that I had the feeling that these Gods were looking over the wide world panorama to the West.

We got a bottle of wine so I could make a toast in thanks to this generous and kind family. Then a few hours sleep (5?) and off to airport and Istanbul.

--------Page 40 Goodbyes

Semih tells me that the towel he gave me in Istanbul for the beaches, he had bought for me to take home but I have so much stuff that I asked him to keep it for my return. Gülat and Gülan give me a small statue of a skullheaded man playing a standup bass as a going away present which just stuffed my bag. I brought the shorts and hat from Efes but think I will leave them in Istanbul (I kept the hat).

I was shown the 'play' books, that Semih's father Ismail wrote (by ear) from songs he used in his bands. They were yellowing and water marked and I told him they were treasures and that he should make copies of them for his children, and he made a copy for me... I have books and pamphlets and Muze tickets, some postcards, 2 statues a box, Zurna, reeds, and think I will need to get another bag to return home with and what instrument to get? Adventures continue.... one more day.

With tears in my eyes we exchange a confused mix of American hugs and Turkish air Kisses to both sides of the face. The Muezzin called out at 5am and I woke and showered before the alarms went off, had a quick cup Nescafé and I ate the last bit of Guveç, with a piece of bread and we left for the airport. I don't think I have ever felt so warmly towards people in such a short time, but I will miss the long car drives and the misunderstandings and pleasures of the daily life with Semih and his wife Gülat, and daughter Gülan.

- -------Page 41 Istanbul on my own

The small plane was a Canadian Bombadier jet and take off was so smooth, it took a moment to realize we were in the air. Arrived 1½ hours later, in Istanbul and managed (fairly easily) to get out and onto the bus to Taksim. Asked Poliş which street was Istiklale and even without street signs found the Hotel.

My room is smaller than a double bed but has a shower and Air/con and a room refer. I napped for an hour. Went out, paid 65YTL for the room, and began to walk along thinking about finding the music stores and where to get a Çay and a map. I dropped the map after not seeing one that was small and I decided that I didn't want to get lost and that I could spend an entire day in this 16 block area and still not see everything.

It's too early, shops are just now opening. Down one street and another alley and another alley I came to the Crimean Church, the courtyard is filled with people. I heard children's voices 1st and I thought there must be a tour group. When I got closer I realized IT'S SUNDAY Pazar and church had just let out.

Folding chairs for pews very nice (inaccessible) stained glass windows, many black families, a very old oxidized pipe organ.

The 'pastor'(?) had a UK accent and was speaking to someone who sounded American. The black families were speaking in a language I did not recognize.

As I walked away I discovered myself in an Alley of a German Bodschoft school and another turn found a black cat perched on the seat of a motorcycle and behind that on the 'porch' was a form. I stopped and think that it is an oud form and intend to retrace my steps to see if there is an oud maker there.

I returned to Istiklal to see if I can recognize the alley my hotel is on and to find a cafe. I found the alley but didn't recognize it, so tried to study the landmarks better.

Walked on and see Gloria Jeans a coffee place in competition with Starbucks here in Istanbul. Gül (oldest daughter) said she liked the coffee at GJ's better than Starbucks. So I am sitting in a plush chair, low table before me, with a really alrge cup of black coffee. It's ok, not bitter, and I am so tired of Nescafé that the change is appreciated.

Istiklal is one of the walking boulevard's that spoke off of Taksim. Now that it's 11:30am the street is filling with a mix of Turks and tourists ~ after 3 weeks away from native English speakers I am surprised to hear the American accent and clothes and way of walking.

0n Nemrut there were Americans too, but not very many and they were most often talking to each other but I think for today I am a tourist again. Semih told me that they say after 3 days in Turkey you are no longer a tourist and I always laughed since one of the unnerving things that happened when we weren't in tourist places was how often boys and men would stare at me. My long hair was/is just not common ~ in an alley just now a little boy called out to me “Boy George” which considering that he (Boy George) shaves his head is a bit odd ~ but I understand the implication. But I became, have become, accustomed to being surrounded by people speaking a language (sometimes languages) that I can only barely understand. In fact sometimes, due to the other languages I know, languages I misunderstand. It seems an abrupt change to hear Americans speak American.

I finish the coffee, really expensive in comparison to Çay (6.50 instead of 0.75) but the payment transaction was conducted in Turkish ! I walk a ways back toward Taksim, Buy a Bariş Manço CD (paid too much again) then begin to explore. If you choose only small alley streets you will soon discover an old Turkey, it is a classic example of an old European City. Towering apartment buildings, women shouting down to the baker her order, while she holds a rope- at the end is a basket at street level for the baker to put the Etmek bread in. Taksi roar up the alley with a light honk to warn or attract you. When I first came to Istanbul, weeks ago, Semih and Gül were complaining about the Dolmuş honking all the time. I had just been thinking how nice it sounded compared to Seattle. The Dolmuş drivers give a gentle honk to anyone they think might want them so there is a continuous light honking going on during the day along main streets. In comparison to the big aggressive honks that one can hear in Seattle. Semih couldn't believe it, then said it made him feel better about what he had.

Istanbul is not completely given over to Tourism. This Sunday many small shops seem to be closed for the day. It is a shame as I found an alternative comic outside a closed used bookstore and I would have bought it. And near the Goethe Institute was the storefront door for Arkeologi Ve Sanat a journal and publishing house for archeology. A natural soap shop is closed too.

I haven't seen a baggage shop yet but it strikes me that I have a lot of time.

I walked to a street because I liked the name Tom Tom Kaptan there is a mosque at the end of it that from the outside looks like darkened ruin but people were entering to pray. next to it was an old derelict hamam Turkish bath, I couldn't find an entrance so I'm guessing it's defunct. It kind of looked like a place you might get ill from if you used it.

Sitting in a park, near that hamam on a bench near a basketball court and a flat concrete area that might become a wadding pool, near the main boulevard is a modern sculpture, a block of granite cracked in half, carved to fit together in jagged lines. There are modern sculptures throughout the old Istanbul.

The muezzins from 3 mosques are competing in their calling 3 different styles too. The counterpoint of one caller's phrasing and another's' is pretty interesting and further away one more begins. Earlier I heard church bells as I seem to be housed both in the Christian Quarter but also where many Foreign Embassies are located.

--------Page 42

Pera Museum

Odakule had a sign something about Funny or Comic art. I go down the alley and nothing except a large Otopark. But to my left is this museum that is showing graduate art project in many media. I think it would be interesting (and was) to see some current 'new' art after 3 weeks of ancient.

Video, lots of mixed media, traditional arts, fashion, industrial and architectural design (one really cool folding modular cottage) 3 floors of it then bang Portraits of Ottoman Empire by Western European Artists. 1st floor (in fact the lowest floor is not counted in Turkey so the 1st floor is always the one above where-ever you enter)[I was directed to take the elevator to the 5th and walk down] is a display of ceramics on one side and the other is an exhibition of weights and measure from 1300 BC to metric and perhaps one of the Nemrut mysteries is solved.

--------Page 43 More about Nemrut

I realize that I didn't really explain Nemrut Dagi. It is a 2100 meter high mountain in what is now the middle of no-where in SE Anatolia. The top was flattened and a 50 meter high hill of small stones was built. Facing East and West are two sets of huge stone thrones with Gods (Mithraic and Greek) remember that Troy is in Anatolia, in fact much of what we think of as Greek (like the myths) take/took place in Anatolia, current, and past seated on them including the 'King' at the time who created the monument so he was a god too. Archaeologists think that he is buried in the hill but they can't get permission to dig in it so no one knows for sure. The thrones were toppled long ago and some of the heads have been set upright though the entire thing has not been put back together. It looked to me like all the parts are there but the effort to get a helicopter up there to do the work might destroy the site. I don't really know.

While on Nemrut adjacent to the Eastern Throne were a number of carved friezes and some of them had these round things in their hands. I guessed that they were symbols of the sun, the edges were scalloped and the centers implied that it was an object that was attached and had been 'removed'. The shape, the scallops, and center look exactly like early weights shown in Pera Museum!

Don't really know what that could mean except that of 'governing' but it's a possibility.


-- ------Page 44 Buying Spree?

I discover that a book on Turkish music that I just bought is translated into Turkish from American and the Author got his ethno degree from the University of Washington. So after that I become more careful. I did go back to the Oud builder's shop and talked to him through his friend who was an Archaeologist. This man's ouds were expensive and he was kind of hostile, I might have bought one of his instruments anyway as his father was a builder too and from the bit's I could see/touch the instruments were fine. But he didn't have any that were finished. So that was a bust and the good instrument shops that Semih and Gülan took me to were all closed. The only kanun I found wouldn't fit into the only hard-shell case the shopkeeper had so I bought a kemençe, a balaban (the Iranian name I can't find the Turkish name yet), a çifte, and a nice hard shell case for 110YTL down from 125YTL so probably not a bargain but the case made the deal for me as I want the instruments to survive the trip home.

I'm going to try to take the bus back to the airport havaalanı since the bag is heavier but the instrument is much lighter than I hoped.

Got some postcards and a train card for Roger.

I ate a döner on the street, unbelievably cheap 1YTL, wasn't bad either but I'm tired and know that going to bed this early (6pm) won't work so I'll wander I guess for a bit, get some dinner somewhere then go to bed.

Got really tired walking around, finally got confused and walked by a restaurant Çağlar ~ how can I go wrong? except the sardines are almost raw and there are jalepeño peppers in the fasulye (black eyed peas) and the salat but that's just the way the day goes.

Taksim is jammed after 6pm, mostly young Turks and older tourists, the restaurants are beginning to fill and remarkably most of the noise is conversation on the walkways, street seating and from inside all the restaurants which are open to the alley anyway. It is much cooler this evening than 3 weeks ago. Night might actually be chilly.

- -------Page 45 Leaving on a jet plane again

Slept badly- the sardines I think- so I was up and down all night long, the wakeup call came at 7am and I showered and at 8 had a small Turkish (Semih) breakfast- bread, tea, a nearly hardboiled egg and cucumber, in the hopes that it will stay down/in. Seems ok, decided to take taksi to havaalanı as it is cheap and my feet hurt yesterday, my shoulder bag is absurdly heavy, now filled with pamphlets and books, postcards and Semih's Father's music copies.

Turkish Airport security, Intense. I was under suspicion because I had only one bag for a 3 week trip in Turkey, they opened the instrument case twice and felt around in my bag. Again shoes off, questioned again, it was interesting as I had no good answers for their suspicions being a light traveler was not in my mind as being suspect and, of course, I did know the instruments would be questioned- but it was only that I had no luggage that was the problem. I was also followed (trailed) the entire way through the airport until I boarded the plane. Boarding was a bit of guess work as I couldn't understand enough of the blurry sound system to know when to board.

Then a repeat of the childrens' movie and then Nacho Libre (sheesh) and now the new version of Poseidon. My seat mate is a Princeton headed PhD candidate, originally from Iskenderun but from University of Ankara, coming for 5 years study in Near Eastern Studies-Ottoman Empire 1800's. I first notice he was reading White Palace by Tariq Ali (who I had read but not that one) so I asked him about it. We later talked about buying a guitar in the US I gave him my email address and some names/brands to considre.

Apparently Ernesto (tropical storm? Hurricane?) is giving us some turbulence- I thought it had died.

Song to Turkey

There are children selling shoeshines
in the parks and boulevards
Grilled corn and sesame circles from the stands on the sidewalks
Nomads on hillsides herd sheep and goats
Their woolen tents at a water's edge

Walls of castles sunset lit and homes of Hittites dug from pits
Farmer's markets close city streets
Every stall is selling figs
Bananas so fresh and sweet
They bring back childhood memories

History is everywhere (you walk on it)
Swimming in the sea, buried in the sand
Bus tunnel excavations reveal Ancient Assyrian Galleons

Everyone stops to help though you end up going in circles
Not uncommon in a land where history repeats itself.

Children look down from their bus window
When they catch my eye I wave, They grin and turn away.

Cotton clouds and cotton cliffs
Palaces of stone and brick
Mountaintop gods stare into the sun
Watching over the land and everyone

Young handsome men and women gather in the cool evening
To stroll along the boulevards meeting friends and Sharing

Where turn signals, white lines, and don't walk signs
are optional
Where stones, like characters in cartoons
wearing mushroom caps throw moonlit shadows

I have come to love
The people in this land
And someday I'll return
To give something back to them
It'll be the least I can do