Romancing the Kebab

Saturday night.  You’ve been out clubbing until late and you’re hungry.  What do you want?  A kebab!  You race to the nearest kebab shop (and it doesn’t matter where you are in the world there is always a kebab shop) and you order your kebab “with the works”.

Within minutes you are holding your kebab, smothered in chilli sauce (or God forbid BBQ sauce) and you find your mouth filling with saliva in anticipation.  You’re excited.  You know it is going to be the best kebab you have ever had – and it is.

Fast forward to Turkey.  You have arrived in Istanbul, ready for adventure.  There are historical sites, amazing beaches, gorgeous people – and kebabs.  Yes Turkish kebabs.  The real thing.  You make your way to the first lokanta you come across ready to order your first genuine kebab.  With confidence you place your order.  They speak English!  A bonus.  Your table is laden with a basket of bread, a plate of lemon and pickled chilli and a small salad.  Am I going to have to pay for all this stuff?  Um?

Within minutes a plate is placed before you with a smile.  You look at it.  What is it?  It is not a kebab.  It is not what you were expecting.  You try to get the waiter’s attention but he is too busy with customers.

What just happened here?

Heads up folks.  There are a variety of kebabs available to you in Turkey and each one is unique.

sis kebab

You’ve got the Şiş kebab.  This was what I received the first time I ordered a kebab in Turkey.  Large cubes of meat threaded onto a skewer and grilled over charcoal.  Usually served with grilled domates and biber.  Just a warning for you though, keep your wits about you when ordering.  If you are not sure check because instead of siğir eti (beef) or piliç (chicken) you may just end up with offal as your meat of choice and nobody wants that to happen.

iskander kebab

Then there is the iskander kebab.  It’s got the shredded meat (beef or chicken) but the bread is also shredded.  What?  You might get a side dish of rice and a fresh salad but there will also be yogurt involved and a smothering of butter.  Delicious but again … what?

adana kebab

My absolute favourite is an Adana kebab.  I love this kebab because it is hellishly hot.  Minced meat on a skewer and with some crazy hot spices it is also grilled over the charcoal.  Definitely served with pita bread, salad and I suggest a cold glass of ayran to help you digest or you will be a puddle of sweat by the end of the dish.

But we are still trying to find that elusive kebab.  You know the one that you have after a night out at home.

“Help me Janey,” you cry fearful of your next meal.

“Fear not gentle traveller.  Go forth and get yourself a doner kebab.”

doner

Usually beef, lamb or chicken the doner kebab is slow roasted on a vertical rolling spit.  The Turkish doner kebab was invented in Bursa by a cook named Haci in the 19th century.  The man was quite obviously a genius but not so much of a genius that he put a copyright on his invention.  Nope.  He probably died a pauper.

Your doner kebab will consist of shredded pieces of meat wrapped in flat bread.  You will no doubt also find tomato, onion with sumac and a pickled chilli or two.

Just don’t ask them for BBQ sauce.

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Satan called. He wants his weather back!

It is seriously 10,000 degrees here in Mersin at the moment.  I am trapped in hell, sitting in my underwear right in front of my air conditioner which is about to pack it in under the pressure.  It is trying to give me what I want.  I need it.  I want it.  I feel like it is nearly there then – nothing.  It packs it in.  Someone came too soon and it wasn’t me!

hot sun

Loyal followers of this blog (and personal friends) will know that I pretty much spend all my winter months whinging about the damn cold.  I complained like a whingy feck.  “I can’t wait until summer,” I cried.  “I’m going to swim.  I’m going to swim at the beach every damn day”.  Well no I’m fecking not swimming in that cesspool that is Karaduvar beach and no I am not taking 3 buses to get to the first clean beach outside of Mersin.  Feck my life!

collage 12

I definitely did not sign up for this kind of heat.  This day in and day out never ending hell that is Karaduvar in the middle of summer.  You can’t go outside.  The sun will turn you into ash.  Armageddon heat.  Fire ants on crack heat.  I am thinking of spraying “Norsca” in my stairwell turning it into a Swedish sauna because that’s what it fecking feels like when I walk out my front door!  Don’t get me wrong.  I do make an effort to get out of the house.  All the time but then I step out into the Swedish sauna that is my stairwell, my brain starts to swell, my shoes start to melt and when I come to I find myself lying on the couch watching an episode of Ellen – the same episode of Ellen.  Very Groundhog Day.  Am I going to be forced to relive this hellfire summer until I do it right, Groundhog style?  I bloody hope not.

Incidentally there are a few shows here in English with Turkish subtitles but can someone tell me why I seem to watch the same show of Ellen every couple of weeks.  It’s got those two extremely obnoxious little English girls “Fatty and Rosie”.  I don’t know their names – wait I lie.  The little blonde girl is named Rosie.  She is the cute one that lip syncs or mimes.  She is the one that won’t need therapy while the other one who I have called Fatty sings, or tries to sing.  When she is older and realises how her parents have exploited her – she will definitely be spending her earnings in therapy.  How is this entertainment?  My mind tends to block it all out but they are on the show with Vince Vaughan who is probably trying to contact his agent to scream, “Why the feck am I on with these two fecking brats?  How low have I fallen down the ladder of Hollywood power?”  He is also probably wondering why he has never won an Oscar.

Back to my story.  Yes the heat.  Its fecked!

Too hot to sleep at night so I find that I have become a night crawler.  I leave the house around 10 pm with My Hurley Dog (aka The Terminator) and we troll the streets, waving to people we know and hoping to not draw attention to myself to those that we do not (after all the heat does bring the crazy out in most people).  It’s too hot for My Hurley Dog to walk throughout the day anyway.  He would rather hold his poop in until November than go outside and poop with the hot sun beating down on him.  I mean it, literally plug his butt than walk outside in this white scalding heat.  He was not designed to live in this relentless, torturous, horrid heat.  He has had yet another terrible haircut which he is totally embarrassed about.  To top it off he was attacked yesterday by two – yes two – mamma cats who ganged up on him when he went over to congratulate them on the birth of their babies.  Those bitches!  The Turk was so angry that he threw a bucket of water on the mamma cats but missed and mostly the water landed on My Hurley Dog.  I don’t think he minded though because it’s too feking hot!

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Speaking of The Turk, he has taken to sleeping on the tiled terrace in his underwear.  Daughter went out there a couple of nights ago to find him stark naked.  She came running in shielding her eyes and squealing, “What has been seen, cannot be unseen!”  Once I convinced her to not gouge out her eyes she returned to her bedroom to sleep.  A new house rule is that the Turk will always wear his underwear now.

The only one of us to doesn’t seem to give a shit about the heat is My Kedi Cat.  He no longer lives with us.  He lives in the front garden or by the front door with Evil, only coming in to eat.  He refuses to eat cat food and so I find myself cutting up pieces of steak or chicken to satisfy this bitch cat that I dragged all the way from Australia who hates my guts!  My Kedi Cat spends his days being primped by Evil (his only love) and attacking other cats who venture too close to our front door.  I sometimes see him when I am on my late night walk a couple of blocks away wandering around looking for something to kill.  He ignores me though.  Hate that cat!

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So that is today’s rant.  I am supposed to go downstairs and help make bread with the ladies.  I don’t want to unless I can go down there in my underwear but The Turk vetoed that idea.  Well if I cannot go down there in my underwear then I want to stay right where I am in front of my poor, groaning air conditioner until either it or I give up for good!

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Turkish Housewife Failure

I had nothing but good intentions when we first moved here.  I was going to amaze with my cracking culinary skills, real food too not all this Turkish stuff day in and day out.  I was going to make lemon meringue pies, electrify the family tastebuds with my beef wellington and delight them with my knockout gnocchi.  I brought at least 10 cook books with me including a Turkish cookbook – how could I go wrong?  I also intended to keep the house spick and span.  I was going to iron my sheets (my mum used to do that).  I was going to dust away the dust bunnies and my home was going to look like it had come out of a Better Homes and Gardens catalogue – after all I did have a lot of free time.

 Housewife 1

Good intentions mean shit when you realise that you can’t cook and you hate cleaning.  I was not designed to be a housewife but even more troubling is I was definitely not designed to be a Turkish Housewife!  They put the super size into every meal and super freak into their cleaning.  Who needs to be like that anyway?

The other morning my teyzer (aunt) arrived as I was making breakfast and she gave me a lesson in boiling eggs.  Truly.  It’s a feking egg for Christ’s sake, “how hard can it be?”  Well it seems I have been doing it wrong for all these years so I sat back and let her boil my eggs (that sounds a lot dirtier than it should).  “Ello darlin’, come here and I’ll boil ya eggs for ya!”  After she boiled my eggs she showed me how to cut up a cucumber.  Yes really.

And it is not just my cooking skill that requires lessons on how to be a better Turkish housewife.  More than once I have had my sister in law turns up uninvited to clean my windows because she could see the hand prints from her home.  Really?  I have also had my neighbour come knocking on my door to show me how to do my laundry as my washing drying in the sunshine did not look clean enough from her garden.  Um, thanks.

Well it seems that I will never make any of the ladies in the village happy with my housewife skills.  Frankly I am surprised that they haven’t taken The Turk aside and given him a speech about how bad of a wife I really am. 

“Maybe they have?” questions my inner demons.

Well maybe I don’t care!

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I have feet issues

Not in a “I have a foot fetish and they get me hot” way more in a “ewww get those nasty things away from me” way.  It’s not a hate.  Hate is a strong word.  I just really don’t like naked feet touching my stuff.  Worse than naked feet touching my stuff is other people’s naked feet touching my stuff. 

feet

In Turkey it is customary that you remove your shoes before entering someone’s home.  I get it, I really do.  There is a lot of dust and germs outside and you want to keep your pristine home as pristine as possible.  When you visit someone’s home you are welcomed with a hearty hoş geldiniz and your host will place a pair of slippers at your feet.  This. Makes. Me. Shudder!  I look at those slippers at my naked feet and I wonder what awaits me.  I mean how many other feet have been in these slippers?  How many other dirty, sweaty, smelly tootsies have been subjected to sharing their dirty, sweaty, smelly selves with my feet.  It’s a foot gang-bang.

Hygienically I am pretty sure you should not share shoes, when I was a kid my mum drilled it into me a hundred times!  “You never know where their foot has been!” was her catchcry.  It’s true though, you do never know where their foot has been.

We have all seen those ads on television, you know the ones with the festy toe and then miraculously the toe (with the help of some wonderous cream) becomes beautiful and no longer something that previously could have been found on Golan’s foot!  They have these ads on all the time here in Turkey, even the advertisers know that you shouldn’t share your slippers.

Daughter had some friends over the other day and in order to escape I took My Hurley Dog for a walk.  Upon my return I went to put my slippers on.  MY slippers.  My slippers do not live in the slipper box.  My slippers are segregated from all other slippers so that they are not violated by unknown feet.  My slippers are not to be passed around like a . . .  well you get my drift.  My slippers are wholesome and untarnished and for my dirty, sweaty, smelly feet alone.  But upon my return from walking with My Hurley Dog my slippers were not in their usual segregated spot.  I stealthy scanned the feet of the tweens in my living room.  Aarrghhhh!  

Someone is wearing my virgin slippers.  I tried to bring it to Daughter’s attention that one of her friends were wearing my slippers but she was oblivious to my plight or perhaps she was ignoring me, well aware of her friend’s infraction.  I looked in my slipper basket at all the other pairs that were available.  Yes we have an abundance of slippers available.  Do I put on a pair?  No.  I can’t do it!  Ewww.  

I am aware that I am sounding slightly unhinged at this point and I know I cannot say anything to the little 12 year old girl sitting on the floor, eating popcorn and singing along to some Turkish pop song with Daughter and her friends.  I did watch her swanning around in my slippers for a long time though.  I probably frightened her a little with my glare.  I am obviously going to have to keep an eye on this one.  I wonder if I could encourage Daughter to un-friend her.  She is obviously devious, I mean after all who goes searching for slippers where there is a box of slippers right in front of her?

Yes she definitely needs to be unfriended.  Pronto!

Cig Köfte 1 – Janey 0

I recently found myself sitting across from my sister in law as she made Köfte.  I have watched her make different varieties of the Köfte many times but this variety was unique and I should have known that right from the start.  Why?  The name – ciğ = raw.  Raw Meatball. 

cig kofte

According to folk lore the Ciğ Köfte originated in Urfa.  The wife of the great Nimrod went to cook a feast and found there was no firewood (as Nimrod had used it for a funeral pyre) so she mixed the meat with many spices and crushed them until the meal was palatable.  It obviously worked for her and the Ciğ Köfte is served in one form or another in most restoranlar or lokanta from here to the border.

The Ciğ Köfte is similar to the Lebanese dish of Kibbe Nayyeh or perhaps the Chee kufta which is an Armenian dish but if we go with the folk lore the Ciğ Köfte is Turkish all the way.

After watching my sister in law make them I can say that there is not a lot of raw meat in the köfte rather it has couscous, a small amount of raw mince and a heap of spices.  Anyone who saw my Köfte recipe from a couple of months back will see that making the Köfte is really simple and to make it a Ciğ Köfte it is merely a matter of adding a butt load of spice and, of course, the raw meat.  The spices are crazy hot too (including isot, cumin and, of course, my mother in law’s red pepper paste) and The Turk tells me that being crazy hot they “cook” the meat and remove any germ.  I am not really sure about that but as usual I am the first to give it a go.

And if you want to make this a vegetarian dish then simply replace the meat with crushed walnuts.  Simple. 

Wrapped in a piece of lettuce, a drizzle of lemon and an ayran (yogurt drink) to combat the spice, they were pretty damn good.  Really tasty but also really spicy.  I suffered afterwards with indigestion and was sweating up a storm lying on the couch clutching my stomach (which is still not quite used to that much spice in a dish) but it was enough for The Turk to declare the Ciğ Köfte the champion!  Finally something that I couldn’t finish!

Post indigestion I finished off the Ciğ Köfte.  Nothing is going to beat me!

If you want to give this recipe a try follow this link.

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The Inquisition

I currently have a two tier problem here in Mersin.  My second problem stems from my first problem not being finalised.

Welcome

When The Turk arrived in Mersin late last year we immediately lodged documentation pertaining to my citizenship application.  There was a lot of trips to various Government offices,  more perilous than trekking across the Sahara Desert or more difficult than reaching the summit of Everest.  There was a lot of paperwork including – current passport (easy), medical certificate (bir şey olmaz – no problem), 4 passport photos (heads up peeps you should always have at least a dozen passport photos on hand – you will go through them like tissues), completed application (done), marriage certificate (translated into Turkish of course), confirmation of residency (hello I am here thus I am a resident) and the doozy – Certificate of ability to speak Turkish (WHAT????).  That last one I thought we had gotten away with as The Turk and I had been called in for an interview at the Emniyet a couple of weeks after lodgment of the documents.  The interviewer asked a few very simple questions and I answered with a yes or no (evet / yok).  I was then fingerprinted, they did a police check (they never did find out about that international jewel heist I was involved with – shush) and they arrived unannounced at our home to ensure that The Turk and I were in a real relationship.  They found me sitting out the front on the road in my pajamas waiting for My Hurley Dog to do a poop.  You don’t get any more real than that folks!

Fast forward to last week and I began hassling The Turk that we should chase up my citizenship before he disappears to Sydney next month.  Good idea!  We arrived at the Emniyet to find that nothing had been done to move my application forward since last December!  WTF???  Which brings me to my next problem – the expiration of my residency visa but I am jumping ahead of myself here.  Bir dakika (one minute).

This morning The Turk got a call from the Polis requiring my immediate attendance at their office in Yumuktepe.  Incidentally I had been to the suburb of Yumuktepe before as there is a ruin mound there and as a lover of history I wanted to get a gander at it.  This mound reveals a Neolithic settlement which continued up to the Middle Ages.  Like the Gözlükule Tumulus in Tarsus this one is located in a park and there really is nota lot to see however it has 23 levels of occupation dating from 6300BC which, for the geek in me, is really interesting!  I know I have gotten off topic but as a history buff this is really interesting stuff!

Anyway The Turk and I jumped and after I directed the taksi driver as he had no clue where to go we made it to the meeting out of breath and sweating.  I assumed that this was the final formality to approve my citizenship.  I did not know what it would be but I bet it was going to be simple.  Nope.  It was THE INTERVIEW.

I think this post should actually be re-named The Interview From Hell because that is what it was.  I was seated in a room underneath the Polis station where I could clearly see straight into the cells.  As I waited for the interviewer to arrive I curiously scoped out the two people in the cells opposite.  There was the buxom blonde with waaayyy too much makeup directly opposite me as well as another man to her left who was babbling loudly in a language that was not Turkish but I could not tell you what language it was or even if it was a language.  The woman, we found out, was Russian and had overstayed her visa.  Gulp!

The Turk was asked to wait outside and the interviewer proceeded to ask me a butt load of questions – in Turkish – and then write copious amounts of notes when I could not answer the question correctly.  Tears!  I was welling up and had never wanted The Turk beside me more than I did at that moment.  For those of you who are going to go through this in the coming months the questions were pretty much the following:

Where do you live?  I don’t know the address but I know how to get there.  I know which dolmus.  I can explain it to a taksi driver but right now, with you staring at me like I should be in a cell next to the Russian I cannot answer you and certainly I cannot answer you in Turkish.

Where do you like to go in Mersin (insert your own city or town here)?  Ummm?  Ne???

How is your mother and father? ölü.

Do you have any brothers or sisters?  If so how many?  Do you like your brother or sister?  Jeeze how would I explain the crazy that is my family?  Is adoption even a word in Turkish?  Regardless I cannot answer with the Russian smiling a gummy smile at me through bright pink lips.  Pass.

Does your husband (or wife) have any brothers or sisters?  If so, how many?  Yes but I truly had no idea what you were saying.  Pass.

How is his mother and father?  Pass.  His father doesn’t like my cooking.  In English.

Do you like living in Mersin?  Evet.

How old are you?  44 (using my hands).

How long have you been married?  On iki yil (that one I had).

Do you have any children?  Evet.  Bir.  (I am acing this part of the interview).

How many bedrooms in your house?  Huh?  Oh yes I know this one – üç.

What is your address in (enter your place of birth or last known residence)?  I wrote this as he shook his head in mirth at my attempted answer.

Each of these questions were mixed up so he would ask me a question about my family and then asked how many bedrooms we had in our house.  My brain was still trying to translate the last answer when the next question was being shot at me.  It was horrendeous.  It was the Inquisition.  In fact that should be the name of this post The Inquisition!

I failed.  Miserably.

The interviewer was basically laughing.  The Russian visa over-stayer with too much makeup was watching me from her cell and she was laughing.  She said something in Turkish (much better than me of course) and the interviewer shushed her.  The other man in the cell opposite was giggling but I feel this was more in reply to the dust bunny in the corner of his cell.

This was a disaster.

The Interviewer called The Turk into the room and said that I would have another interview with the Vali (Governor) in 4 weeks.  Hold on!  The Turk is leaving for Australia in 3 weeks!  Can we have it before he leaves?  No.

Feck My Life!

In the interim my residency visa has now expired and I have a mere 15 days before I have to either renew or leave the country.  This was the second part of my problem.

The residency requirements have changed in the past year.  Most people (including myself) was well aware of the changes but to be honest I did not think I would still be waiting for my citizenship 10 months down the track so did not look into the visa issue.  Now it was pressing and I am swiftly running out of time.  Needed for my residency application was the following – translated copy of passport (jeeze really?), valid health insurance for the length of my residency (1 year approximately 1000TL), five passport photos (told you to keep them handy), proof of address (more difficult than you would think as I do not have any correspondence that gives my address and the Nufus will not include me in their documents until I have a kimlik which of course I cannot get until I get citizenship – the epitome of a vicious circle), copy of your tapu or your residential agreement, bank statement ensuring that you have enough funds to cover your stay and your tax number.  Easy right?  Ummm . . .

I did not even have a Turkish bank account!  So after spending the next 3 days running around and not having a breakdown after the Spanish Inquisition took place today I hope to be applying for a further 12 month residency visa tomorrow.

If they give me any grief there is a small possibility that I will go postal.  Keep an eye out on your local news channel.  If they start talking about an Australian going crazy in Mersin, well, that will be me!

Elektrik ve sürprizler

The good people of Icel are not sharing nicely and now it seems we are running out of electricity.  I am not sure how a city (or in this case a province) runs out of electricity but in order to control the said good people of Icel (and maybe to teach them a lesson in sharing) they have all been put in the naughty corner by the local Electric Company who has decided to switch off the electricity to teach everyone a lesson (although they are calling it maintenance).  

Not only are they switching it off in the middle of summer they are switching it off in the middle of the day so for the next week (with the expected weekly average of 35 degree – that’s 90 degrees for readers in the US – in temperature) the electricity will be turned off for a period of 4 hours each day between the hours of 9 to 5.  You don’t know when.  It will be a surprise. 

elektrik

Speaking of surprises I find that my house is a revolving door.  There is always people coming and going.  Family, friends, neighbours.  It can get on your last nerve when you hear the door bell (which is an annoying tune of Greensleeves) constantly blasting.  Last night we had Kemal’s aunt visit and then a cousin.  Then his sister in law, brother and their two kids showed up.  His elder brother popped up to give me some paperwork (for my fiasco of a residency visa application) and finally . . . it was quiet.  When suddenly that damn doorbell rang again!  Enough!

“Kim o?” (“Who is it?) 

Again.  “Kim o?”

Nothing.  I have had enough.  I put on my shoes and stomp down the stairs to give the visitor the death stare when . . . sürpriz!  A friend and her family visiting from the UK.  Wow!  They are staying in the village with her husband’s family for the next two weeks!  I can honestly say I have never been so happy to see someone.  Not only does it mean I am not the only yabanci in the village it also means there is someone with possibly even less Turkish in the village than me!  Win, win!

They are coming for a BBQ tonight which will be amazing of course but I warned her “Don’t ring the door bell.  Knock on the door!”

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A 60 Second Political Update by Janey

As expected Recep Tayyip Erdogan is now the President-elect of this great country of Turkey picking up 52% of the vote.  Incidentally he had a crushing defeat the area that I live in Mersin.  But the battle for Erdogan has only just started with him now wanting to change the constitution that has stood in place since Ataturk was named Turkey’s first President on 30 May 1920.

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So what does that mean? 

Simply put the role of President in Turkey is seen as more of a ceremonial post but Erdogan now wants to change that role to make it a more executive decision-maker as seen in the US. 

How would he affect the change?

For Erdogan to change the Constitution he is going to need two-thirds of the vote in Parliament and right now I cannot see him getting that many votes although I guess only time will tell.

Accepting his win he spoke about “old” Turkey no doubt putting in first seeds in people’s minds about the need to change the Constitution:

“Today is the day that we initiate a social reconciliation process.  Please leave aside the old discussions, old disputes, old tensions in the old Turkey. “

A nice speech but let’s remember this was the man who attempted (and for a period achieved his intention) of banning Twitter and Youtube (and for some strange reason the website Funny or Die is still blocked damn it!) as well as the recent corruption scandals and anti-Government protests.  Turkey’s economic growth has now peaked and to be honest I think the Government is going to have its work cut out for it over the coming years.

Conservative or Secular?

With Erdogan becoming President and wanting to make executive decisions I see a huge change coming in Turkey’s future.  A more conservative and religious future which will only polarise the more westernized secular Turkish person.  

What happens now?

On 28 August Erdogan will take an oath in front of Parliament in which he promises to abide by Turkey’s principle of secularism.  With his own Islamist leanings and his penchant for restricting rights such as freedom of speech may prove difficult for Erdogan to balance.

The result of the election was never in doubt but whether he will succeed as President and with his reforms still is.  In our little village, however, there was still fun to be had with one enterprising person putting himself up for vote with little placards placed around the village.  If only this vote counted.

I promise my next post will be a little brighter and giving you something more than political dribble. What is that old saying?  Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.  Some such nonsense anyway.

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Presidential Election

Today Turkey will be heavily featured in the international news for its historic first Presidential election.  For the first time ordinary people will decide on a post that is normally chosen by parliament.

erdogan

There are three contenders for this position.  Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and Selahattin Demirtas.  Erdogan is, of course, the current Prime Minister of the country and will no doubt win this election today as well.  Why?  Well he is the face that people see every day in newspapers, on television.  The Turk said to me that for him Erdogan is the leader of a cult which has smothered democracy.  A rock star if you will.  He is adored by his followers and his smooth talking can turn even the most hardened head.  Erdogan has allowed religion and politics to mix and that’s not on in The Turk’s mind.  The other two contenders Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and Selahattin Demirtas really do not have the power to pull in the numbers that Erdogan has.  Ihsanoglu was previously the leader of the International Islamic Organisation so really isn’t that well known here in Turkey.  Selahattin Demirtas is a young Kurdish hopeful but, as Turkey was at war with the minority Kurdish only a few years ago, the fact that he is running at all is a milestone for the country I think.

So what will happen from here?  Probably nothing.  Erdogan will move into the presidential position, one of his flunkies will move into the position of Prime Minister and life will go on.  His control will continue, his opinions will be flaunted (Israel and foreign interests) sometimes to the detriment of the country but for me as a yabanci living in Turkey I just hope that Turkey continues to be a safe home for me and my family.  We will see.