Cuma, Aralık 17, 2010

A Rookies Impression of Turkey

Be careful one visit will not be enough Turkey can be addictive. 
Turkey for many is a paradise of sun, sea, mountains, and lakes offering the chance to holiday from April to October.
Turkey has a magnificent history, and is a land full of historic treasures from 13 successive civilizations spanning some 10,000 years. Is classed as a middle ranking country which is rising fast on the GDP scale ranking currently at 16 and figures intensively in the international community.
From the first time I set foot on Turkish soil I fell in love.... the old Turkish lira made me an instant millionaire and I was able to indulge my passion for shoes and handbags The fakes were second to none ...I have moved on from the shopping now but have many happy memories of bartering.
As I said I fell utterly in love not with the brown skinned handsome bar boys that so typify a tourists experience bussed in from far flung villages and with little experience of European ways these boys have been tought that passports and money are easily obtained throught the love of a gullibable woman.... no I learnt quickly that this was not the real Turkey and to avoid at all costs the cry of seni cok seviryorum, although on occasion I could have let myself be seduced by the moment..... That Turkey was not for me. I remember clearly on an early trip to Turkey, I went to the beach to book a boat trip and the man turned his mega watt charm on me to ask for ‘giggy giggy’ and I said Akardas I just want a boat trip nothing more and he laughed said no problem there are many, many, more women to choose from this attitude is so common in the tourist areas, so cheeky yet so equally laid back; it was I thought, something I could adopt but it is not an easy way to be it takes a lot of effort not to be so reserved. He was actually an ok guy; but for many Turks they play a role for the tourist like a performing monkey and equally the tourist plays out their own role abandoning sense and sensibility to the heady delights of sun, sand, sea and yarak (pardon my Turkish) sometimes behaving in ways they would not dream of doing in their homelands and a down side of this is the predatory males who feel that young girls are easy targets with increasing reports of rape this is an unattractive side of Turkey. The tourist is seen as cash cash cash instead of a friend of the country this is a dangerous path to take countries have lost tourism with such an attitude. Greece, Spain to name but two.... Turkey should take care to keep its tourists close to its heart. Equally tourists need to take account of different cultural expectations.
It is not this Turkey that I love..... I love the turkey of warm smiles wonderful tea and moments that warm my soul. The first time I laid eyes on Pamukkale, I felt a bond that would never move from me. So many hidden treasures and so much more than 5 star hotels and all inclusive deals. You have to get out and walk, explore, if you sit on your ass you will only see the bottom of a cocktail glass...well it would be like going to Egypt and not seeing the pyramids.

For example visiting Ephesus, I looked beyond the clichéd tourist traps and sat in the middle of history soaking up the utter beauty of the place. Each time it is like unwrapping the best gift ....the burial tombs and mud baths, the old man selling cashews, a boiling thermal stream with village women cleaning clothes, the belly dancers, the music, the air, the bustle of the markets. For those who love food, the variety of dishes, would keep you discovering for a life time. Making a friend that brings you many years of joy and an enduring friendship.
Each little area has its own little jewel to tempt you with ...caves to explore, animals to coo over and the oddity of olive oil wrestling so diverse so contradictory so beautiful.
I don’t even have to tread on Turkish soil to experience Turkey it is everywhere in popular culture. It is said that it was the Ottomans who introduced coffee to Europe when their retreating army left bags full of the black gold in Vienna.

Whatever your interest is diving, golfing, caving, it is all there in abundance
Top ten for turkey.
  1. Be safe
  2. Be open
  3. Don’t make assumptions - learn some little things about the place you are visiting
  4. Learn some Turkish - please and thank you go a long way
  5. Explore
  6. Make a friend (a Turk is for life not just for Christmas)
  7. Expect the unexpected
  8. Don’t measure Turkey against what you currently expect
  9. Eat something Turkish
  10. Assuming you like Turkey Save a new place to return back too there is more to Turkey than the med side

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