Things I Like About Turkey

They love their flag… and you gotta admit, it’s pretty cool.

Obviously there’s going to be things I don’t like (I’m that kind of person). Sometimes they’re the same as things I do like. For example, how friendly people are, which you’d think would be a good thing until they persist in trying to have a conversation with you despite not knowing more than 10 words in English. But it’s hard to fault people for trying.. unless they’re trying to get you to buy a carpet, in which case a kick in the fork is tempting.

Mosques. That’s also in the ‘don’t like’ basket – but Turkey’s not alone here, if that makes any difference. And they’re fine buildings (if you like your women in a tiny box at the back of the room where they can’t … god, don’t even get me started) but the noise. ALL THE TIME. Well, ok not all the time. But just once at 4am is enough. And you’d think Allah would deserve some decent speakers but mosques seem to have made a bulk order sometime in the 70s, so they’re more tinny than a B&S Ball in Dubbo. If you don’t get that reference then you haven’t been to a B&S ball in Dubbo and are free to congratulate yourself on a life well lived.

Tonight we’re in Pamukkale and there’s one right outside our bathroom window (a mosque, that is, not a B&S ball.. thank god. I’d chose calls to prayer over Cold Chisel any day). As we left to walk up to the travertines (more on those later) the call to prayer started with an ear-splitting shriek and we seriously contemplated some kind of criminal action after sundown. Honestly, I’d love an opportunity to find out exactly how many muslim people are hitting the mosque at 4am compared to, say, midday. Although I have this image of Muslim people as far more reliable in that regard than all the Christmas-Christians I know.

Aaaaannnyway, I hear you – this is a post about what I like about Turkey, not religious intolerance (which, by the way, I feel equally towards all faiths. Churches can keep it down too, particularly on Sunday mornings).

The delicious iced tea. I may never be the same again. I found peach iced tea in a large bottle today (rather than a can) and rejoiced. That’s right, Jess, Amanda rejoiced about finding more tea. You possibly won’t recognise me when I get home.

The tiny little cups of hot apple tea. If I have to drink a hot beverage it may as well be super sweet and in tiny quantities. Turkey *gets* me.

Lanterns. Like I haven’t raved enough. I have a certain electrician friend who might want to avoid my calls when I get home.


The food, obviously. I mean, who doesn’t like Turkish food?

tee hee.

The landscape. It’s so god-damned dramatic. Steep mountains, azure seas, fairy chimneys. Sometimes I read my kindle just to give my eyes a break.

Just some ol’ beach, you know. Nothing special.

The price of stuff. Things are so cheap here. The boys got kebabs (like the ones at home) for $2 each tonight. Most meals are around $5. Getting back to $30 restaurant meals at home is going to be a sad shock.

The way everyone comes out at night, even on a Monday night. Every night is time to socialise and sit out and have a few drinks in Turkey. I’m still not on ‘siesta then stay up late’ time… but I wish I was.

Plus I can’t help noticing that Turkey has taken on about half a million refugees from Syria. These people have big hearts and with all the ‘stop the boats’ rubbish going on at home, I can’t help feeling more than a little impressed by the way people here open their country to others in need.

Don’t go changing, Turkey.

7 thoughts on “Things I Like About Turkey

  1. Each to their own, so I won’t pass comment on the religious bit :), but the main thing is that you guys seem to be enjoying our country on the whole – excellent…
    As for costs, yep, for westerners it’s darned cheap I’ll agree, the problem comes when you factor in Turkish salaries, then it’s not so pretty, especially on the tax burden side, hey ho. On a recent trip across the water to Greece (part of the EU state), we felt like paupers, as our hard-earned lira, converted into euros, disappeared like water in a matter of hours 😦
    For example, a high school teacher will earn about $800 a month here, so on that scale, a $30 meal is a killer, and a tank of gas costs us 15% of our take-home pay, so that’s why people don’t go far away. But… we have sun, we have scenery, and we have excellent grub, so all in all, I guess it’s cool 🙂

    • I like your positive attitude! But I can see where you’re coming from, for sure. Most of the places we’e delighted in the ‘cheapness’ of are that way because wages are so low and their currency worth less. I daresay Australia’s currency will fall at some point, we’re just the lucky ones right now…. except the people in tourism and exports, who are cursing our high dollar!
      Don’t mind my cursing about mosques, I’m sure if you live here you get used to it, it’s just a bit of a shock as I’ve not experienced it before this trip, and the apparent sexism really doesn’t agree with my ‘leftie’ sensibilities. I’ve met some incredibly non-sexist and open minded Muslim men and women in my travels and I don’t know much at all about the Muslim lifestyle in general. If you are Muslim I’d love to ask some questions.

  2. Haha I had great laughs at the opening paragraphs. It reminds me of my own love-hate relationship with Morroco. The country is stunningly beautiful…and different. But having store owners yelling at me with hundred different Asian languages, or annoying kids asking me for money to show me directions when I don’t need one- NOPE.

    I had hope to include Turkey in my itinerary this trip, but Greece kept my feet bound. You are right, Turkey, you better don’t get changing until I get there!

    • Heh, we were thinking of Greece but now we’re running out of time! Too many interesting places, not enough time to see them all. After reading your blog I also really wanted to see the coastline of Montenegro but that’ll have to wait as well. Le sigh!

  3. Turkey is amazing isn’t it? The food, the people, the colours, the landscapes…everything about it made me want to stay longer, a month just whizzed by!

    I hear you about the mosque thing though. Strangely enough I never really noticed it in Turkey (well, not to the point of annoyance) but in Indonesia (Aceh in particular)! We were kept up all night, in THE WORST room I have ever stayed in (think mushrooms growing from the ceilings…) one night by seemingly endless calls to prayer. But then again, in London there are sirens blaring all night so every city has something.

    • True that. Here in Selcuk it was some kin of festival happening right outside our hotel window… you couldn’t even hear the mosques over the blare of the speakers. The only solution was to have a drink and go watch.

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