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Turkish Culture Due to History, not Nature

Turkish Culture Due to History, not Nature

Old Sep 9th, 2019, 11:33 AM
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Turkish Culture Due to History, not Nature

The new thread, which hopefully will run another year or more, starts on my birthday. I am still avoiding senility as confirmed by a new two year
contract for the only job i have, auditing accounts of an international reinsurance pool. So far, I have survived seven or eight technical boards and almost as many chairmen. But, Eser who has survived with me for over fourtyone years as the chair person of our family deserves the bigger accolade.

Turkish culture is actually a maelstrom of ancient Anatolian civilizations, Barbarian and semi-barbarian migrations, major pagan religions, traditions and beliefs intermingling with Zoroastrianism, Judaism and various Christian and Moslem sects. We have a Zeus temple built over an accessible Kybele temple, churches converted to mosques but still carrying original name, i.e. Saint Sophia Mosque, in Nicaea,Iznik, and charms, talisman, black magic practiced or believed by Moslem and Orthodox Christian clergymen. We even have a religion which believes in God but decides to pray to Satan because God is good and does not pose any risks whereas if you do not offer obeisance to Satan, who is evil, you may be in trouble.

Tomorrow, we will go for a longish day trip to a hitherto unknown to us beach and flood plain on the Marmara Sea. It is just over two hours from Iznik, past Bursa and through Karacabey. Eser will swim and I will look for sign of the ancient Greek city Plakia.

I will hopefully write about the trip and post some photos here rather than start a TR.

So, welcome to the fresh new thread. Ask your questions on anything you like and I will try to respond as much as possible for a qualified sciolist and hopefully not as the pataphysicist that I am.

Last edited by otherchelebi; Sep 9th, 2019 at 11:36 AM.
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Old Sep 9th, 2019, 11:53 AM
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Happy Birthday.

Would you agree Turkey owes much of it culture to its unique geographical position. It has long been the crossroads of both commerce and battle.

N.B. There are many ads on this page on how to remove 25 year old ear wax.
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Old Sep 9th, 2019, 06:06 PM
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Happy Birthday, otherchelebi, and many thanks for sharing your insights and observations!
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Old Sep 9th, 2019, 07:42 PM
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doğum günün kutlu olsun

and many more, otherchelebi. You are an invaluable asset here!
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Old Sep 10th, 2019, 06:26 AM
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Thank you all for the good wishes.

I think 25 year old wax can only be removed with drilling because soaking the head in hot water for long periods may not be conducive to good mien.

We drove partially on the new toll road which made google crazyand gave us twenty additional miles but within the same period given by google.
Almost all the route was motorway till Karacabey, famous for raising and taking care of horses. After Karacabey it was a very narrow two narrow lanes which required driving mastery when over-taking a truck, winding for about fifty kilometers.

Yenikoy, unfortunately, is a rather ugly seaside town, but has two expansive beaches. The secon one was elected by Eser, possibly because it is called "Women's Beach" or maybe because the sea was closer to a cafe where I could sit, have tea and read my paper while Eser swam and then dried on the beach. First she was alone and then a young couple came to the beach near where she was. The whole town looked semi deserted because the vacation period has ended, schools opened on Monday and the middle classes who frequent this type of beach town needed to get back to work in order to pay for the education of their kids or spouses, whichever came first.

We then went to see the flood planes `Longoz` in Turkish, a word that sounds intriguing. We could sea very little water because the Fall rains have not started yet. The sign advertising boat rides stood forlorn and absurd near a jetty stretching over a late swampy ground. There were few birds, no wild animals but lots of cows and their plentifull poop adorning the sides of the dirt road. We did not walk into the forest any more than hundred feet because Eser said she could not trust an old man to protect her if wild beasts attacked althogh the pnly warning sign we saw was regarding cautiion on treading over dung beetles. We saw an African village which had no blacks in t=its vicinity. Would that be related to the sign that said visitors are expected to protect endemic (meaning native) species and not remove samples from the area? The trees and the bush and the foliage ere definitely worth our visit. We may do it again in late Spring when the whole plain is inundated and we can take that boat ride with mosquitoes and dung beetles as company.

Eser found the sea warm enough and relaxing. I found my chair hard and the grilled cheese sandwich terrible, but accompanied by excellent freshly brewed Turkish tea. The conversation with the owner's wife was suspiciously followed by the owner who seemed to be repairing an aluminum pot lid, a task that must have taxed his abilities because it took as long as our conversation.

We bought a fourty ounce jar of mixed linden and chestnut honey, a kilo freshly dried chick peas and a kilo of home made tarhana soup mix for less than twenty USD, a few kilometers out of Yenikoy from a couple who were minding the stand of a neighbor whose husband had recently died and whose son as about to be married.

Then Eser slept, I followed Google's advice, driving less and not paying any toll. The whole trip, about 380 kilometers, was done on half a tank of fuel

Last edited by otherchelebi; Sep 10th, 2019 at 06:34 AM.
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Old Sep 11th, 2019, 03:33 AM
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I can hardly find any references to Plakia on the net. Possibly at Kurşunlu, as mentioned on this page - https://aliyilmazflk9.wixsite.com/sitem-1
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Old Sep 11th, 2019, 04:56 AM
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Croesus, We should have driven the few kilometers to Kursunlu from Yenikoy to attempt to use our sixth, seventh eighth senses to discover Plakia.

Apparently, the Byzantine monastery at the steep mountain slopes near Kursunlu was built using remnants of Plakia like Roman columns.

Our next trip to see the flood plane actually flooded and to get the boat ride among the trees should also include a visit to Kursunlu.

I should check John Freely's book when we get back to istanbul.

It is now the time of The Fresh Walnut. my favorite nut sensation. There was only one stand at the farmers market which had them with peeled green skins, and there was one with the green skins.

There was also a very old woman selling rose hip and just three large bags of edible weeds which were mostly different types of sorrel and mallow. I bought one for the equivalent of half USD. also bought some local leeks one stalk of which i will stir fry to replace onions when cooking the weeds.

The market was inundated with tomatoes from 0.25 to 1 USD/kilo and sweet red peppers at $0.55.kilo, The cheap Roma tomeatoes were for making tomato paste. Many combine the red peppers with tomatoes for the paste.

i will buy our tomatoes to take back to Istanbul from one of the frequent roadside stalls on our way back on Friday or saturday.
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Old Oct 15th, 2019, 10:32 PM
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Thinking of you, other, and wishing you and yours the best.
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Old Oct 20th, 2019, 05:58 AM
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Was in Chicago two weeks, just to see DW SIL and GD again. Stayed at Knickerbocker, a short term condo and the Sofitel and spent most of the time in Ceylan's home where i helped Eser to cook, while she cleaned, did laundry, etc. while the cherub
was in kindergarten. shopped for stuff for the grandchildren in turkey and also brought a suitcase back to replace the hand-me-downs we had taken to Chicago. 4.5 to 2.5 and 2.5 to 1.5.

Found Turkey pretty much the same as we left it except for cost of living and increase and tax raises to meet cost of invasion of Norther Syria.

There are new safety concerns.

Those who are worried about specific issues or fine tuning some preferences should post or even send me a PM here.

Just do not enter into any conversation with locals on politics, human rights, freedoms, etc. (except for complaints about Trump on domestic issues.)

Turks love to talk. Feel free to talk of family, education, traveling, global warming, climate, economy, antiquity, and so on.

At least a few pages of the epic poem, Landscaped from my Country by Nazim Hikmet will give you the best perspective on the Turk.
The book has very good English, French German, Russian translations. (I reviewed the English translation on Amazon US)

The film, "Winter Sleep" is also excellent for some insights to cappadoccia.

The documentary on music of istanbul, titled "Crossing the Bridge" is another recommendation. This is a great excerpt for today:

here's my review of the over four hundred page Nazim Hikmet poem:

<i>5.0 out of 5 stars</i> 5.0 out of 5 stars
An Epic Train Journey in Time and of Humanity An Epic Train Journey in Time and of Humanity
October 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Format: Paperback
Writing poetic prose and prosaic poetry and allowing the reader to discover the joy of reading such writing is the sign of a good writer. The ability to load humble every day words with so much meaning and emotion is the sign of an exceptional writer. The ability to do this for a long epic poem without losing the interest and attention of the reader is the sign of a great writer.

Usually only the names of good poems are remembered or some stanzas, a line or two, or four, an interesting name like Madame Sosostris, or sounds that tintinnabulate, a general meaning or such. Here we remember a gamut of characters, normal, standard, everyday people who come to mind and disappear again to be remembered once more on another day of introspection or remembrance or association. They are not that special, their names are not strange or funny. They board a train, travel and leave. They remember, reminisce, talk, complain, brag, lie, cry like all people do. But they are sometimes you and sometimes others that you already know although the time is 1941 and you were possibly not even born then.

It has been so short since Nazim hikmet wrote his epic, just as it has been very short since the tragedies of Aeschylus were written or the comedies of Aristophanes, or the plays and sonnets of Shakespeare. Time stands still for the common man as it does for kings and cabbages. But Nazim Hikmet's train continues on its never ending journey and will do so as long as a single copy of this book remains for someone to read.

And a special note of thanks for the translators. I have read it in both Turkish and English and must say that I enjoyed it equally. T

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Old Oct 20th, 2019, 11:32 AM
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Thank you kja, StCirq, et.al.

Imvasion of Syria not affecting daily life.

Still writing simple playful rhymes like

Dreamers travel
from success to fear
from joy to fear
mostly in reverse gear

and rather complex poetry in my blog, dreams and perception

Obtuse Annihilation For Suspected Rebirth



Apropos of not much

For space, a plant
Weaker than stem
Of thistle
As for time, a seed
Than cauldron
Of eld

The thought so still
The daze
So disconcerting
Like stars
And mysteries
Of asteroids
Retrospectively silent

Until they deign
And signal
One more synergy
Of happenstance

Hemmed Effendi (another alter ego)

October 2019
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Old Oct 21st, 2019, 01:05 AM
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So inspiring! Thanks, o
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Old Oct 29th, 2019, 10:47 AM
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We had the greatest fireworks display in Istanbul since Aduchamp's lucky visit to our balcony sometime in pre-history.
There are also good concerts at different parts of the city, from jazz to pop, from classical to folk. this is definitely a first in my memory.

The new and progressive mayor of Istanbul has managed to bypass presidential decrees and governor's edicts to have the best Republic Day celebrations ever.
Many joined the festivities and used them as a protest against Islamism.

Eser stuck her new IPhone 11 in my hand while she took over the Canon, but she had difficulty finding the video mode and took single shots of the fireworks while I tried to injure
both shoulders managing to keep th phone still for most of almost eight minutes.

Will post some of that soon.
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Old Oct 30th, 2019, 04:14 AM
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Firewors in istanbul:

Also Eser posted my video on youtube under her name. She says the iphone 11 is hers and I only served as a stand.

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Old Oct 30th, 2019, 09:44 AM
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Thanks to Other and Esser. What a spectacular display. I love fireworks. Time to return to Istanbul.
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Old Nov 4th, 2019, 04:36 AM
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Re: prehistory - an 11,300-year-old neolithic "temple" discovered in Mardin province - Ancient temple found in Mardin

Not quite your Gobekli Tepe but probably worth a visit if one's in the region. Now on my to-do list.
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Old Nov 4th, 2019, 09:16 AM
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Thank you Croesus,

I had missed this exciting news.

Yet, the region is now on my warning list. So, I do not know when and if I will get to visit it.

For the planners, my safety advice stands, with no new warnings. No omens or signs of danger in touristic areas and major cities.
The Black Sea coast has weather risks, and the first snows fell at Erzurum and kars and the high elevations of Kayseri and some other provinces.
Istanbul is due for 5-8 days of warm weather.

It is a good tie to cCheck for concerts and festivals at Biletix.com
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Old Nov 4th, 2019, 11:41 AM
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twenty years ago, I had the good fortune to be on a cruise ship sailing into Istanbul on the night of Republic day with a full moon and fireworks overhead. It was one of the most spectacular sights I’ve ever seen. I think I have old photos just like yours. Unforgettable.
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Old Nov 4th, 2019, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by otherchelebi View Post
For the planners, my safety advice stands, with no new warnings. No omens or signs of danger in touristic areas and major cities.
The Black Sea coast has weather risks, and the first snows fell at Erzurum and kars and the high elevations of Kayseri and some other provinces.
Istanbul is due for 5-8 days of warm weather.
As winter approaches, can you provide any advice on visiting areas on the Aegean coast? I was interested in visiting around Çesme and Alacati in late December. Worthwhile if visiting in the Selçuk area for three days? Or is winter not a good time to enjoy this area?
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Old Nov 4th, 2019, 11:14 PM
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Alacati and Cesme have year around residents but few international tourists in December and January. most restaurants will be open the large weekly market will be active and the open hotels may give better rates. More of a chill-out holiday.
There may be some Greek tourists crossing over from Chios for the NYE programs which are probably better than they can get on Chios.
Some day trips to places like Sivrihisar, Teos, Ilica and its antique sites.
At Alacati, there should be some festivities on new Years eve with restaurants offering live music, lots of food and drink at inflated prices.
This is in Turkish, but will give you an idea of what to expect on NYE:

Some of the venues include street seating. it is all bound to be loud and fun for the young or young at heart.

You will probably need a rental car.

Selcuk and environs will also be good for visiting antique sites. One day Ephesus, Saint john's Basilica, Museum, Mosque. One day for Prienne and maybe Didyma and Miletus.
One day for Herakleia and sites around Milas. It will be fine as long as it does not rain. So check the weather reports.

Your biggest problems will be the very short days, especially early sunsets, and rain. December and January are the rainiest months in the region.

Average temperatures are about 9 C or 48 F, minimums of 40 F and maximums of 58 F in both Cesme and Selcuk. Selcuk just a teeny bit warmer but with a teeny bit more precipitation.

I suggest very light hoody down (or similar) coat rather than layering for ease of movement and comfort indoors.
And waterproof hikers or trainers like the ones Merrell has. I find Merrell bare foot types the most comfortable for very long walks but they may not be waterproof.
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Old Nov 5th, 2019, 09:30 PM
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Thank you for the thoughtful response. I do have rental car, so I'm flexible with my time in the Selçuk area.* *I arrive there on evening of Dec 26th. Definitely one day exploring Selçuk/Ephesus. Will stay night in Selçuk Dec 26 & 27. One day to go visit* Alacati or Priene (may depend on weather). Was interested in the Saturday Market in Alacati. Then* would drive to Parmakkale for an overnight stay on Dec 28th. Then a visit to Aphrodisias and, if time allows, Priene. I then fly out of Izmir late evening on Sunday, Dec 29th. I also have interest in other sights in the area, like Sirince, Didyma, Miletus, and the sights you mentioned, such as Herakleia. Sadly I cannot see all of these things in three days, and weather may dictate what I see. That is my loose itinerary for the moment and is always amendable. I appreciate all of your insight and advice I've read here and in other threads that have helped with trip planning.
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