Saturday, June 25, 2011
Sarah Assian inspired me to compile a list of "Turkishisms" that we will never forget....
1. Calling old ladies "teyze".
2. Wearing "teyze pants" around the house.
3. Making fun of apaçi hair styles.
4. Overnight bus rides, especially since there are no hostesses, cakes or çay.
5. Turkish kolonya
6. "Meeting up" at the Mediterranean or some 2,000 year old city for the weekend.
7. Yelling çok ayıp! to young boys on the street because of their foul mouths.
8. Gastamonu, Gastamonu, dep,dep, dep
9. Telling the garcon, "bir tane of this and bir tane of that".
10. Wearing my Ataturk necklace and shirt and having people be impressed
11. Talking about people in English.
12. Playin with those erkeks......................
iyi şanslar arkadaşlar!!! This was quite the year!
Sunday, June 5, 2011
I’ve never been one of those people who is passionate about politics. I never really liked civics class or paid much attention to political upheavals around the world. Since living in Turkey, with a political connoisseur as a roommate, I have taken more of an interest in the subject.
It is an interesting time to be in Turkey right now. Not only is the Arab world i turmoil with uprisings and overthrows, Turkey has a critical election coming up. This country has no doubt been a shinning star as an economic and political power in the past few years and it has shown itself as a major player not only in the Muslim world, but everywhere.
I attempted to attend the AKP rally, but was stuck in the courthouse because we were told that the Prime Minister would visit there after his speech at the center of town. He never came to the court house because of a security threat and was whisked away by helicopter after his address to the town. Later that day as I walked down the main street, I noticed many police, ambulances and secret police cars ( black with tinted windows and people screaming into walkie talkies) rush by me. Tory and I did not know what was going on at that time, but it was definitely bad. Our friend Silan met up with us and told us that there was a bomb threat at the hospital down the street and that Prime Minister Erdogan’s caravan had been bombed on the way out of the city. When we came home and turned on the tv, we realized that there was a shootout happening at that very moment between the police and members of the terrorist organization, the PKK. We watched in horror and read in all the major newspapers about what was going on just 15 min down the road from my flat.
In a country that is currently in a bloody civil war with the PKK, the organization ran by Turkey’s largest minority, this was the first terrorist attack in this town. Most of the violence is in the southeastern part of the country. There has also been bombings in Istanbul since I have been here. There was a show of unity by the people of Kastamonu that day when they all came into the streets and blew whistles and honked their horns to say “Get out of my town!” to the terrorists. There was also a rally the next day that we missed because we left on a previously planned trip to Antalya. Unfortunatly, a well loved police officer was killed and the town morned his loss over the next few days.
Back to the elections and voting.......The AKP is the current ruling party and is controverial both here and abroad because of its Islamic roots. Some Turks and American for that matter http://www.economist.com/node/18774786 , believe that Mr. Erdogan, the Prime Minister and AKP leader, will eventually turn Turkey into Iran.
My town is small and conservative and has an overwhelming support for the AKP.
All I know is, it will be quite a fascinating and possible less friendly next few years if the AKP wins again.....which most agree that they have a pretty good chance. June 12th is election day and I am interested to see what happens next.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
The last weekend in May, Tory, 3 of our students(Selma, Ozgur and Ozcan) and I traveled to the town of Safranbolu. The town is famous for safron...of course and for their large amount of restored houses from the days of the Ottoman Empire. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site because of the restored homes. It was a very cute place and I was able to buy some good souvenirs. We also met up with 3 other Fulbrighters Hayfa, Sarah and Rachel. We had a blast that day......