Thursday, September 12, 2019

Ally’s Amazing Turkish Adventure

 As promised Ally, who lives in the UK, shared news of her visit to Turkey. In a series of three comments. Excerpts from each comment below.
Hey Penny! How are you doing? :)
I came back from Turkey early this morning and all I can say is: wow. Turks are certainly not how they are portrayed at all. I met the loveliest people on holiday and even saw some family and they took drove me to Ankara and we passed by many small towns.
Walking into Turkey, it doesn't really feel like you are in the Middle East or an Islamic country. However, they do have a lot of Syrians and many people are bothered that so many have flooded into the country and there is more crime but they have tried not to be hostile.
One thing I notice is that Turkey certainly is a very colourful country with a very colourful people. They really are an extremely attractive people who dress very smartly/elegantly and I have seen a variety of fashions. Lots of very European looking people-very white, blue eyes, green eyes, grey eyes. and they have many ethnicities including Greek, Armenian, Zaza, Laz, Kurd, Circassian, Balkan. Men always in fancy shirts/polo shirts and nice trousers/jeans and even many in full suits. Women dress very feminine and colourfully and have a sweet attitude. Mini dresses, mini skirts, shorts, fancy blouses, shorts and nice top, nice blouse and skinny jeans, lots of nice jewellery, nice handbags, variety of hair colours (even blue, purple). Women with tattoos, piercings, dreadlocks. I personally was going around in mini dresses most of the time and had no problems. Even the women who wear hijab dress so elegantly; colourful/floral headscarf, nice colourful dress/long top with trousers underneath or slim-fitting jeans and a cool blouse. They certainly look and dress better than English people and most Europeans in my opinion. Very natural women too-little make-up as their skin is so good. Walking around the country, you do not see any tracksuits and scruffy clothes like we are so used to seeing in England!
Transport in Istanbul was very good. They have newly built trains, underground metro, trams, buses and ferry and to use all of those you just have to put some money on 1 card and you can access all transportation with that 1 card instead of having to buy different tickets for buses, trains, etc. When I went to stay with my cousin in Kucukcekmece, Istanbul, we 2 underground and a bus.
Wandering around Istanbul and Ankara it certainly looks extremely developed. Lots of tall buildings, stunning architecture, especially all the apartment blocks who are each unique and so colourful.
Bodrum was very nice. It's no different than being on a little Greek island. People sat outside till late drinking, playing games. Some pretty Westerm looking people. Families coming to the beach to play with their kids in their bikinis, young couples chilling out. in the hotel that I stayed in in Bodrum, there were several Kurdish waiters/cleaners and all seem to be getting along with the Turks. Many speaking Kurdish between them with no problem. A few tried to flirt but I was not interested. They say that Bodrum is a very nice place. One young man was from Cizre and I asked him what the situation there is like and he said that it is good and that the media exaggerates everything. Turkey has some pretty impressive nightclubs. I met this girl and her brother from Ankara at the hotel and we went out some evenings and the clubs are so good. Everyone gets so dressed up, dancing all night, drinking. They look more lively than the ones here in the UK.
          
So travelling through Turkey felt very safe. The people have a very warm and hospitable nature. They are so peaceful. The people also seem to be thriving. Nice luxurious apartments, sooo many BMWs, Mercedes and other fancy cars. Often you see young couples out enjoying themselves, men/women going out with their friends, having a drink, eating dinner/desserts (great food!), going shopping, going to the gym. Lots of women walking by themselves during the night. Lots of sports too, including female volleyball/netball teams. The portrayal of Turkey as this hostile, barbaric, Islamist country is very untrue. People in Turkey were very nice and they went out of their way to ensure that I had a good time. They also have a huge love for animals and do what they can to feed/protect them. Everything from the dinner service to transport seemed to be very efficient and quick. The majority of people in Turkey have a university degree, including women and there are many engineers and doctors.
The people that I met there were very interested in Western countries and wanted to know more about them. Talking to Turks, they seem to have this perception that Western countries are so perfect but looking at Turkey, it seems to be doing better than most European countries, particularly Eastern Europe. People in Turkey were shocked to hear about homelessness in Manchester. One girl that I met in Bodrum is studying construction engineering in Ankara and she wants to come to Canada or England for a few months to improve her English. I was sat alone in the hotel bar once and she came over to me and asked me to join her and her bro. Her brother is a petroleum engineer/geophysicist and he is away for five weeks and then comes home for five weeks. He tells me that on his ship, there are some English people and he has become friends with them. The boy was 27 and he owned a BMW. The girl and her bro told me that the western media exaggerates a lot of stuff. One bad thing happens and they make it look like it's everyone.
Next, I went to Istanbul. I arrived during the night and a taxi came to pick me up. It took 45 minutes to drive me to my hotel and driving through Istanbul was very nice. Just seeing the lights on the bridge, the huge, tall, almost skyscrapers everywhere. Newly built roads. I was not expecting this. It was my first time in Istanbul. Istanbul has over 4 million Kurds and all seem to be living peacefully.
They are mostly a conservative Muslim people and Turks that I spoke to had no problem with them. But they do say that the southeastern parts are more conservative/religious. Many honour killings happen in Kurd families.
Another thing that I noticed in Istanbul were flags of opposition parties. Twice I saw CHP flags hung almost like washings. When I met up with my cousin on the 2nd day in Istanbul, she took me to Istiklal Caddesi and as we were walking down the street which was very busy, she was saying that Istiklal used to have more trees but they got chopped down because the gov was bulding more roads. She also mentioned that near there, the government was planning to build a new shopping centre but decided not to as people protested that it would destroy more nature. So definitely not a dictatorship. The same also happened in a small town called Artvin where the government was planning to build a shopping centre but environmental activists did protested as it would destroy so much nature so in the end, the gov decided not to.
 Ally returned home, safe and sound, to the UK. Which surely made her mom very happy :) 
Mom's worry like that. I know.

14 comments:

  1. speaking of scruffy clothes- 'round the region there is this idiotic practice of wearing pajamas outside- In the grocery story. Walking down to the corner store and we were at the beach on the week end- a guy was wearing one piece pajama looking attire- or maybe like one piece longjohns- I don't get the look at all?!

    Unkempt. I don't care. I'm a slob.
    That's the message I get from people who dress like that

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  2. Same here, Penny. I don't see it often, but I do see people (mostly young women) running out to the store in what appears to be pajamas and slippers. Between the slovenly dress, obesity, tattoos, piercings, the U.S has become a very slobby people.

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    1. So, I'm not alone! Amen to that Gwen.
      What's with the pajamas and slippers? And yes it's mostly women. I don't get it.

      Don't get me going on the tattoos and piercings. Ugly, ugly, ugly. Giant earlobes. Mishapen brows. Mutilated skin. Gross. Someone told me the other day the ink from tattoos doesn't harm you!!! Whaaat.
      Skin is the largest organ your body has... How can one think piercing your largest organ thousands of times, injecting it with dyes, is a good thing??

      These are almost always the same people who are "vegan" as well- Shakes head. No rhyme or reason

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    2. Schools and universities in countries like India actually have stricter dress codes than in the U.S. It's amazing how American aesthetics have degraded.

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    3. Yes, it's true. We have lost our values. Here in the UK, we have women applying large amounts of fake tan and going on the sunbeds to look like oompa loompas.

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  3. Glad you're home safe and that you had a good time, Ally. Thanks for the report. I tend not to believe the BS we're sold all the time regarding other countries.

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    1. Thank you and it's ok. I am happy to share my experiences to clear up very bad misconceptions.
      Good to hear you're not one to follow the crowd. :)

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  4. Just why are alt-media so hostile to the AKP? During the first half of the decade, Turkey's economy grew more than Germany's, and the AKP refused IMF loans, among other things. And they voluntarily took in more refugees than the rest of Europe. And the 2010 humanitarian expedition to Gaza on the Mavi Marmara. Doesn't sound so bad to me.
    It's shameful that otherwise rigourous pundits like Ronald Thomas West lent their talents to the smear campaign, him outdoing everyone else in accusing Erdogan of everything, including killing Bambi's mum. Every epithet from "sultan" to "king of sleaze". I think THEY'RE the sleazy ones. West even baits you into expecting some essays to be unrelated, but then injects anti-AKP sideswipes.

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    1. They are so hostile towards the AKP because the alt media are really run by our governments. :(

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    2. Martin: "During the first half of the decade, Turkey's economy grew more than Germany's, and the AKP refused IMF loans, among other things."

      I think you answered your own question about why the hostility and I agree with Ally, most alt media is an extension of the msm- five eyes all of them

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  5. Hi! Thanks for the post! I tried to send some pictures from my phone but failed to so I will send some from my laptop.
    So continued:
    I got to spend some time with family which I had never met on this trip. So I texted my cousin and we met up and spent time together. She took me around the main attractions and we even found this area with these rainbow umbrellas in the area and as you walk down the streets, there are so many cute, hipster bars playing cool music like Miles Davis. Funky menus. Hippie/chic bartenders/barmaids. One had tattoos all the way up to his neck. On that street we saw a Turkish Orthodox Church. Outside the church, they had these gigantic posters with nationalist quotes of Ataturk. The church has a big garden with a huge Turkish flag and picture of Ataturk. My cousin said, 'I'm surprised to see a picture of Ataturk there.' She had never seen this church either. We walked inside the garden and there were people sat outside the church talking and we asked if we could go inside the church but they said that it only opens on Sunday and to come back then.

    My cousin will go into her last year of dentistry this yr and she has a younger bro who is studying engineering and a younger sis. I stayed over with them for a couple of nights before. The father owns a fast food restaurant in a shopping mall and the wife is a teacher. Their apartment was far from the city centre but we got there ok. They took me out to eat in nice restaurants and then desert places. Turks eat lots of meat and dairy and some like to eat a chilli after every meal. No vegans around. they have a good knowledge on health and often appear much younger when they're older. We watched TV together, talked about stuff, had a laugh.
    We drove to Ankara and it was the most beautiful journey as we passed by many small towns with so much greenery. You have never seen this many trees in your life! It was so different from being in such a cosmopolitan city with big buildings. After one hour, we stopped and ate some food we had prepared/bought in some picnic tables near the motorway. there was so much greenery and the weather was so cool. Then we headed to a small town called 'Bolu' and there were whole mountains full of Christmas trees and a nice lake in the middle. We got out to take a walk in the park and the weather was sunny but cold. Lots of families out with their kids-fathers, mothers, grandparents chasing after toddlers. We went into a restaurant to use the toilets. People in Bolu look very smart and are peaceful, not much different than the cities. Girls in crop tops, skinny jeans, bright hijabs and nice outfits. We continued and for almost 3 hours, you are mostly seeing trees on the motorway and cute houses. We passed by Kocaeli, Bolu, Izmit, Adapazari. Also, there are many restaurants and shopping places in these small towns. On our way back from Ankara, we stopped by a small town called Adapazari where there were some shopping centres and nice restaurants. We ate some food in a restaurant next to a beautiful lake and train tracks. People there all seemed to have coloured eyes, white and blonde hair as they were Circassian Turks.

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    1. Anyway, we got to Ankara which was a lot less busy than Istanbul but still looked developed. Nice, colourful apartment blocks with balconies. Kids playing outside. Clean and newly built. Big office buildings, hospitals, stadiums, hotels, shopping centres, restaurants, dessert places. We stayed at my uncle's brother's apartment and they were very sweet and lovely people. They have a son who lives an hour away and has a little girl and a daughter who lives in Kayapinar, Diyarbakir. It's the same place where my family live. They miss their children/grandchildren so much and frequently talk about them and they especially worry about the one who lives in Kayapinar because it is right next to Sur and they say there is PKK terrorism there. Their daughter's husband is a police officer and he got sent to Kayapinar so that's why they had to move. Sweet people. So caring/hospitable. They took me to lots of nice places in Ankara, including the mausoleum of Ataturk which was very beautiful and had lots of people. I actually went alone with my uncle and as we were inside the museum bit, he was showing me a map of Turkey in the first world war. All set to be divided. One piece to Italians, one to the British, one to the French, one to the Russians and one to the Greeks. My uncle said, 'they tried to divide us but we stayed united. They also tried to do the same thing on July 15 but they could not succeed. Everyone is fighting over Istanbul. The Greeks, English and French. They all want it.' My uncle was also out on July 15 and witnessed civilians dying. He used to live in the city centre in 2016 so it wasn't far.
      So that's my Turkey experience.
      I found Turkey to be a very diverse country with a wide range of people. They are all united behind their flag whatever their ethnicity. I highly doubt that Erdogan and his government, with all the developments that they have brought to Turkey are going to be supporting head-chopping jihadists in other countries and creating trouble on their. Highly doubt it.

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    2. Thanks Ally
      I'll work that into part 2
      And have checked for pics, which would be great to feature.
      thanks so much for sharing your experience :)

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  6. Thanks, I'm so surprised western media would lie;-)

    This sounds like Rick Steven trip to Iran, No Propaganda.

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