Taksim Metro Cat

Over the past few days a video has gone viral (link to the video at the end of this story), showing up on newsfeed on my various social media more than a few times.  That video is the latest kitty internet sensation – Taksim Metro Cat.  A cat that gives no shits about you… or you… or even you!

Taksim kedi

Anyone who has ever visited Istanbul (or Turkey for that matter) knows how much Turkish people just love their kediler.  They are everywhere and they are treated with a lot of love and respect despite the fact that they can go from zero to grade A jerks in a heartbeat.  One of the most famous Türk kedileri is the Hagia Sophia Kedi, a little cross-eyed tabby who is so beloved that he has fan sites where people can upload photos of him.  Now there is another famous kedi here in Turkey.  Introducing Taksim Metro Cat and I had the great pleasure of bumping into her a few times during my week in Istanbul.

She favours two spots.  Both of them extremely inconvenient for the commuter as they are both on upward riding escalators.  Our first encounter was as we stopped to visit the Republic Monument at Taksim Square. There she was, this pretty little calico chilling by the Metro exit, just as she was in that video.  People dodged her as she lay stretched out giving silent, judgmental stares to those who nearly tripped over her. At first, I was worried that she would be trampled but, again as you see in the video, she is totally relaxed and loving the chaos she was causing.

The next time we crossed paths she was inside, again chilling on the upward riding escalator but at least indoors (it was the one day it snowed for a full minute while we were there).  Taksim Metro Cat knew the weather outside was frightful and was very content to sit and be petted as we passed.

The final time we saw Taksim Metro Cat she was doing the lazy cat equivalent of hunting.  You know how they go.  They make a little effort, they do the crazy cry, and then they roll over and let the pigeon continue on its way, oblivious to its close demise.

For those of you who are concerned about her welfare, she is one very happy little cat. A stray animal here in Turkey is not the same as a stray anywhere else.  Here they are loved.  Taksim Metro Cat is very well looked after. Her fur is soft and clean.  Her eyes are bright.  She is quite a tubby girl and I’m pretty sure she has been desexed as her ear was clipped.  On researching Taksim Metro Cat I found there are lots of people who feed her and many photos of her chilling out welcoming the commuters and tourists each day and even you guys are adding photos of her on my FB page.  Okay, maybe she’s not welcoming, rather she is just making a kitty nuisance of herself and having kitty fun tripping unsuspecting people up as they pass. Why does she love the escalator so much?  I’m guessing that grate is warm from the engine underneath. She is quite content.

This is one cool cat people and if any of you happen to be visiting Istanbul go up and introduce yourself.  She might ignore you but at least you can say you had a brush with fame while on your travels!

And today Taksim Metro Cat got her very own report on Anadolu Kedisi.  Click on the link and see all the fabulous photos and the actual video at the bottom.  Like me you will no doubt laugh at the reaction of the woman in the pink joggers “Bu kadar?” Hahaha!

Have you seen the Turkish documentary “Kedi”?  If not, you should grab a copy today –


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My Inspiration

Sunrise is my favourite time of day.  I am definitely a morning person and am usually pretty knackered and ready for bed and a good book quite early in the evening.  I take a photo of the sunrise from the terrace most mornings.  I don’t know why.  I guess seeing Mother Nature using her colour palette always amazes me.  She brings all variations of pink, blue, orange and yellow to the early morning. I can sit back and watch the village begin its day in peace and quiet.  Looking at the sky I can guess that it will probably be warm again.  Winter has gone bye-bye and it’s already starting to heat up.  No snow on the mountains behind me either so I’m guessing it’s going be a long, hot summer.  Again.


My Istanbul posts are still brewing and I’ve been busy editing the first few chapters of Salep and Ginger in an effort to get it out before summer and can I just say … editing is awful, fecking awful. I mean don’t get me wrong my editor is great and really supportive but when you get down to the nitty-gritty of writing it’s not just me typing whatever comes into my head anymore its punctuation and grammar and consistency.  Sentence structure, story structure.  The rhythm of the story.  Even the font and spacing.  All of it matters.  And I am glad.  I want my manuscript to be the best that it can be.  So now I have to think!  God forbid!!

Time to jump to it … before real life catches up. If you are thinking of visiting Turkey this summer why not grab a travel book to give you some inspiration

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Museum of Innocence

“It was the happiest moment of my life, though I didn’t know it.”

I first read the Orhan Pamuk’s novel the Museum of Innocence in 2011.  It is the tale of Kemal, the son of one of Istanbul’s richest families and his bordering on creepy love of Furun, who is, of course, from the wrong side of the tracks.  I admit it’s not my favourite Pamuk novel, I mean Kemal is nothing short of a stalker (and a thief) as pathetically mopes around collecting (thieving) Furun’s used cigarette butts but Furun is no better with her desperation and sulking throughout most of the novel but regardless Pamuk’s writing is still a poetic, hypnotic story which draws you in (even if, like me, you had to put the book aside for a while).  I’m moving on for those who have not yet read it so no spoilers here people.


While I was recently in Istanbul I wandered into the antique district of Çukurcuma where I inadvertently happened onto the actual “Museum of Innocence”.  This interesting museum was conceived by Pamuk who collected items over the period of writing his novel to go hand in hand with his story.

Entering the three-storey building is like seeing fiction turned into reality.  From the mesmerising installation of Furun’s cigarette butts to clothes and pieces of daily life from the 1950’s through to modern Istanbul it was an interesting reminder of a period that has been left behind.

Museum of Innocence 4

It was a fascinating stop on my meandering through Çukurcuma but it was also a stop that made me feel infinitely sad.  Sad for Kemal and I guess in some way sad for myself as well.  We all have that lost love (well maybe not everyone) but for many of us, we had a Mr (or Miss) Big.  I called mine Mr Mediocre (it took me years to realise that he wasn’t all that) and somewhere in the back of my wardrobe I do in fact still have a movie ticket from the first movie we went to (Dirty Dancing) and hidden in a book somewhere on my bookshelf (and no I don’t remember which book) is my only photo of him and I, circa 1993.  A total of 12 years of my life for a love that is only a memory now.  I don’t regret the way my life turned out but I do in some small way understand how the pathetic Kemal became so infatuated and destroyed his life over his love for Furun.

To anyone who is a fan of Orhun Pamuk and gets the opportunity to visit his museum, do yourself a favour.  It is only small but it is truly charming and well worth getting lost in Çukurcuma with the intention of finding yourself here.


Çukurcuma also has so many tiny antique shops which, although out of my price range, were still fascinating to rummage through (and the Turkish tea that is offered as soon as you walk through the door was a blessing on that freezing January morning that I visited the area).

The future of museums is inside our own houses.

And if you haven’t read The Museum of Innocence grab a copy now from Amazon


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Istanbul or Bust

Like most of us, I have a love affair with Istanbul, and I try and visit this beautiful city at least once a year.  I always take a list of things I want to see and when in the city, I walk around and tick off the tasks that I’ve completed.  Daughter can’t cope with my method and now that she is a little older (but perhaps not any wiser) I let her go off and do her own thing (which usually involves around sitting in coffee shops with her friends, flirting with boys and melting my credit card with her spending).

istanbul 10

I’m just now back from a week in this gorgeous city, staying in a fab apartment on Istiklal Caddesi.  I racked up over 100,000 steps (or 82 km), predominantly getting my tourist on, but also spending time meandering through tiny alleyways and cobbled backstreets looking for that hidden gem that I hadn’t found before.  One of my friends gave me a pretty thorough list of places I should visit but with my god-awful sense of direction, I got lost every single time although having gotten lost, I often found somewhere new that I wouldn’t have come across otherwise.

Istanbul 8

Walking through Istanbul’s busy streets is a visual feast, with so much life going on around every corner that you never know what you will find from an overflowing mosque filling onto the street on a Friday afternoon, ladies gossiping to their neighbours (probably about other neighbours) or a street party to welcome a young man home from his army conscription, life is everywhere.  Istanbul is also made for those of us who are cat-obsessed and as a self-proclaimed cat-whisperer I  always kept an eye out for my four-legged furry friends as I go.   Did they follow me back to my apartment?  I’m not saying yes and I’m not saying no but I will say that when we left there was a little calico kitty sitting on the step next to our doorman when we left for the airport.

Istanbul 5

The thing with Istanbul is that it really is a city that you can just walk around in.  No need to do tours or pay exorbitant fees (150TL for 1 day or 180TL for two days) to bus companies.  Instead, you grab an Istanbulkart and hop on the trams and buses that are so easily accessible and just as easy to use.  I also downloaded a couple of apps including Voice Map and Street Art Istanbul which gave me the opportunity of also seeing things from a different perspective.

Istanbul 7

Of course, I ate way too much during my week in Istanbul but I expect that all that walking won’t translate to kilos lost thanks to my indulging in everything I saw with tempting stacks of baklava, simits and lokma on every street corner and juicy kebabs, overloaded kumpir and thanks to Macro Centre (why oh why won’t they open one in Mersin) even a little bacon thrown in to enjoy.  Yes I know I can eat all of this just as easily in Mersin (well maybe not the bacon) but when in Rome (or Istanbul).

Istanbul 11

On a serious note, I will mention how safe I felt during my time in Istanbul.  There was a significant security presence with police and soldiers patrolling at tourist attractions as well as security guards doing bag checks and security gates to pass through before entering shopping centres or bazaars.  At no time did I feel nervous or intimidated.  I was not harassed while out by myself and Daughter, who travelled on the metro by herself to Kadikoy and back, did so without incident.  Yes, you should be vigilant and follow the advice of local security authorities as well as monitor media reports and keep up to date with the travel advice issued by your own Government, but I personally felt very comfortable visiting this beautiful city, and I hope to come and visit again very soon.

Istanbul 1

I will do a few posts over the coming weeks about our time in Istanbul, but I just thought for now I would put up a few photos.  They are, of course, not great as I am no photographer, but they are little memories for me to keep.

If you are thinking of visiting Istanbul why not grab one of these books –



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Starry, Starry Night

Anyone who has driven down into Mersin on Akbelen Boulevard has no doubt seen Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” or Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” painted onto one of the old buildings along the street.  If like me, you wondered who did these paintings, I can now give you the answer as I recently had a chance to connect with the artist Ertuğrul Çavuşoğlu.

Toroslar 7

Originally from Van, Ertuğrul is a self-taught artist that has been employed by the Toroslar municipality, along with Nazife Bilgin Hazar, to beautify the area and I think they are doing a splendid job, don’t you?

They have completed ten buildings but they are hopeful that their work will continue well into 2018.  They have chosen a range of famous works by Turkish and Arabic artists as well as the European masters mentioned above.

Toroslar 3

Ertuğrul is hoping that his work will inspire younger people into wanting to learn more about the famous paintings that he has replicated and the artists behind the work.  He wants his adopted city to know that art is important.  Art makes you feel and art can take you places you have never imagined.  Art is fundamentally the same all over the world and is a common language which (for me at least) still allows us to all enjoy the work together.

I love this last photo.

Toroslar photos

All photos are courtesy of Milliyet with Ertuğrul’s full approval.

You can follow Ertuğrul’s progress on his Instagram – ertugrul1828 – here.



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How about a colouring book from Amazon so you can make your own masterpieces –

This Post Will Self-Destruct in 5, 4, 3, …

The year is almost over, and this funk I’ve been in, this fog, is finally lifting.  It’s almost incomprehensible that 2017 is taking its final breath and tomorrow will be the first day of another new year.  I guess I will wake tomorrow with the usual worries that affect us all – family, health, love, money, yada yada – but I am going to try to not let those little things send me spiralling into a depression abyss of no return.


I think for the whole 2017 has been a bit of a shit-storm but I’ve already lost friends this year for voicing my opinion over various subjects so instead, I shall reflect on the year of that was and its effect on me personally.

I have met some wonderful new people (and a few nutters) this past year and, thanks to my high school reunion (which I did not attend as I happen to live 14,351km away, although was Facetimed into – and yet somehow still found myself spending an extraordinary amount of time gossiping about so and so in the toilets!), I also got to reconnect with people that I hadn’t spoken to since I unceremoniously left those not so hallowed halls many moons ago.

January was spent with Daughter in London where along with a butt-load of bacon being consumed I got to catch up with one of my dearest friends (I have been told I can no longer say ‘oldest friend’).  A special shout out to her for putting up with me through my tears (I was still recuperating from my knee surgery and a bit of a Negative Nelly during my visit), but it was wonderful to spend time with her and her family again.  I also travelled to my happy place, aka Australia, in June and spent desperately needed time with my family and friends there.  There was another quick trip to Bali where a lot of silliness ensued and I finished off my travels this year with a thumping good concert in Germany.


On the writing front, I know I have been slack with my blogging and thank you all for regularly reminding me to get back to work but my general slackness was for a very good reason and that reason is *drumroll* I have finally completed the first draft of my novel (truth be told its probably my 20th draft but it is done either way).  I have sent it off to a few publishers but all that rejection is quite disheartening and it certainly taps into my already dark funk, however, I did get a little realistic feedback from a few of them which has bolstered my resolve to see my book one day get published.  Right now, it is being Beta-read (a new concept to me) for detailed feedback on plot, characters, clarity and pacing.  Shall I tell you the name?  Okay.  Here goes.  “Salep and Ginger”.  Yes, it is set in Turkey.  Yes, it is a romance and yes, it is kind of sexy, in fact, one editor suggested to me that perhaps there was a little too much sex (although no neckties were injured in the writing of this novel).  Anyway, that’s all I can say for now.  The whole thing is nerve-wracking, but the end result means I might get to publish my book.  Imagine that?  Me?  A published author!  But I don’t want to get ahead of myself just yet.  Chill Janey!

This year also gave me the opportunity to visit places in Mersin that I hadn’t visited before.  A few highlights were visiting tiny villages in the Toros Mountains, exploring the monastery in Müt, peeing my pants in Kozan (maybe that wasn’t such a highlight) and even a visit to the ruins in Uzuncaburç (which I will get around to writing) as well as repeated trips to Kiz Kalesi and lazing the extended summer on practically deserted beaches.  I had become a lazy expat, not exploring the beauty that surrounds me.  I promise that 2018 will bring a lot more adventures in my adopted country.

sunflowers 1

On the home front, The Turk and I still quarrel constantly.  We slam doors on each other and vow to divorce at the earliest opportunity, but we soldier on – because that’s just how we are.  Daughter is over both of us and it is clear that I have lost whatever parenting mojo I actually once had.   She no longer buys into any of my shite and is way too busy socialising to remember that The Turk and I actually exist (other than to open our wallets or to drive her to some very important event).  I guess I was the same at her age (and again I should be very thankful that she is growing up here where morals are imbued into these kids at a very young age) but I am hoping that 2018 will bring her a little more confidence in herself and help her strive to reach her goals (whatever they may be).

I won’t be making any New Year’s resolutions again this year, and I’m good with that.  I will try and be a little healthier, but I don’t really need resolve to do it.  I did buy a treadmill and I used it for a good few weeks before it started to collect dust (not true).  I am, however, putting My Evil Cat on a diet.  She is a binge-eater and, despite the fact that she now has only 3 teeth, she still has managed to put on weight.  Now that I think about it My Evil Cat and I are very similar ladies (although I do still have all my teeth) so perhaps we shall become diet buddies in 2018 (that won’t happen either).


For those of you who read my very first post knows that I don’t love New Year’s Eve (in fact I also talk about it in my novel – Salep and Ginger – hopefully to be found in good bookstores just in time for summer – hello free advertising on my blog page) and the probability is very high that I won’t be going anywhere tonight.  I am good with that, but I do want to thank all of you for hanging around and reading JaneyinMersin.  It really does mean the world to me and to all of you I say this – no matter how shitty 2017 may have been, you survived it. Internet fist bump for you.

That’s me done for the year… there’s a glass of red calling my name soo Happy New Year and to 2018 I say this – bring it!


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You thinking of visiting Turkey, have a look at these must-have books to make your journey all the more memorable –


Sorry, Not Sorry

I have tried not to post any political opinions on my blog, and I think I have been somewhat successful at keeping my blowhard points of view to myself BUT here I am today being all political yet again.  I am sure I will offend some of you, but *sigh* I don’t care to be honest.


My very first post on this blog explained how I came to be living here in Türkiye.  I won’t bore you with the details (you can read about them here) but in short, I had an epiphany that would lead me to travel to the Middle East and Türkiye and to that fateful evening when I met The Turk.

I wanted to travel to Jerusalem.  I wanted to learn about this city that is home to major Muslim and Christian shrines, as well as Judaism’s holiest site.  I wanted to float in the Dead Sea, and I wanted to hit all those nightclubs in Tel Aviv.  Finally, I felt a need to understand why there is such animosity about this fascinating part of the world.


In preparation for my travel, I took a couple of theology classes to learn about the long, and, at times, painful, history of the area.

I learned that the Temple Mount in the Old City is the most sacred place in Judaism.  It is the site of Solomon’s Temple which is said to have housed the Ark of the Covenant.

I also learned that it is the third holiest shrine in Islam, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif. It was the scene of Prophet Muhammad’s ‘Night Journey’ ascension from Earth to Heaven, and the compound incorporates the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The city is also sacred to Christians and Catholics with millions visiting Jerusalem to undertake the Stations of the Cross which follows Jesus’s last day as a man before being crucified on a hill outside its walls.

Finally, I learned that I would never truly understand the complexities of the area.

But Jerusalem also has hugely important implications for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the United States of America have completely derailed any chance of peace in the foreseeable future with Trump’s recent declaration that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital city.  This has just added to the instability of the region.

I mean he is totally giving the Palestinian people the finger.  Ugh!  The man is a complete moron.

Moving on.

Those that know me personally know that I am no fan of Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his push for power in my adopted homeland however his speech given yesterday regarding Trump’s threats to cut funding if countries didn’t vote alongside the US was, in my opinion, fecking fabulous!


By way of context and for those of you living under a rock the US President Donald Trump, being the very embodiment of a bully, threatened to cut funding to countries that would vote against them on the UN motion condemning the US’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Some of Erdoğan’s comments include:

“They call the U.S. the cradle of democracy. The cradle of democracy is seeking to buy a nation’s will with dollars.”

“Mr Trump, you cannot buy our will. I am calling on the whole world: Do not sell your struggle for democracy for a few dollars. Your stance is important.”

“I hope that the U.S. will not get the result it expects today and the world will give the U.S. a very good lesson.”

Yesterday President Erdoğan made the US aware that they are no longer the powerhouse that they once were and that no country should accede to their whims and flights of fancy.  They have dragged themselves down with their ridiculous agendas, casually forgetting about those who have been, up until now, their friends and allies.  The US has swiftly moved from being a joke to being the most hated nation on earth.

Thank you, President Erdoğan for saying what the rest of us are thinking.

And to you Mr Trump – make your fecking list.  Feel free to bluster and blow wind up your own ass because clearly, no one else is interested in your opinions anymore.

Incidentally, the UN General Assembly voted 128-9 declaring Trump’s announcement of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “null and void”.

Merry Christmas.


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Mayday Parade

This is not a post about Turkey, I repeat, this is NOT a post about Turkey.  Instead, this is a post about the emo pop/punk band Mayday Parade that I had the very real pleasure of meeting recently in Cologne.


It’s no real surprise to anyone that I tend to spoil Daughter and this birthday was no exception.  Daughter loves music and concerts so when one of her favourite bands, Mayday Parade, recently came to Cologne, I purchased her tickets to go and see them in concert.

I am probably pretty lucky in that Daughter and I have similar tastes in music.  Sure, when I was young I might have loved a bit of Wham but as my music tastes matured I became a real lover of rock music, and the louder the better.  There is nothing better than blasting my rock music when no one is at home.  It’s just me and my music. Similarly, Daughter loves a bit of rock and I might even go to say she goes a little farther than me and loves a little metal and punk as well (God help the neighbours when she blasts My Chemical Romance or Sleeping With Sirens) which can get a little exhausting to the brain.

So Daughter and I found ourselves at Essigfabrik in Cologne on 3 October at the Mayday Parade “10 Year Anniversary” tour.  First up Essigfabrik.  Holy crap I thought we were going into a condemned building.  A friend of mine from Cologne tells me that Essigfabrik is, in fact, a very famous hall for concerts; yes, I know, don’t judge a book by its cover and all that but jeeze!

Putting that very real trauma aside Daughter and I had the opportunity of meeting the members of Mayday Parade and followed security down some rather unsafe and possibly unapproved stairs into a basement area where we stood around with maybe 30 other fans waiting patiently for the band to appear.

And they did.  And they were totally chill.

I guess I expected screams and squeals from the predominantly female teenagers but instead the band just milled with the fans, getting around and meeting them all, having a bit of a chat and allowing photos.

I was impressed.

photovisi-download (2)

I got to have a chat with the lead singer Derek Sanders and asked him why they have never visited Turkey.  He said that it is mostly up to his representation as to where they travel to and they have never had any requests for a gig in Turkey.  Daughter said she was going to change that.  He then said that they were off to Australia for some concerts Down Under and asked if we’d see them there.  I laughed and explained that we actually lived in Turkey.  His eyebrows shot up.  Wow!  You guys are so lucky.

Yes we are!

The concert itself was pretty awesome as well.  Since it was their 10-year anniversary tour, they played their entire first album, “A Lesson in Romantics” blasting off with “Jamie All Over” before moving into a few of their newer stuff including “Stay” and “Terrible Things”.  Their encore was the fan favourite (and you can include me in that statement because I am now officially a fan), “Oh Well, Oh Well”.

Daughter had the barrier so when she finally found me at the end of the concert she was looking a little worse for wear but with a grin that just wouldn’t quit.  Supporting acts were Waterpark and With Confidence.

Sidenote: Whilst in Cologne Daughter got attacked by a dog which resulted in us visiting a German hospital as well as being in Cologne on Unity Day, celebrated on 3 October as a public holiday commemorating the anniversary of German reunification which meant that everything was shut so no shopping.  But we did eat bacon.  A lot of bacon.

So just to re-iterate I am the BEST MUM IN THE WORLD!  For this week at least!


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The neighbour’s Rottweiler is chained up all day.  His owner (Vito) never let’s this beautiful and gentle boy off its chain and he spends its day sitting staring morosely at the passer by.  I know its normal in Turkey but it’s still heartbreaking all the same.  The Turk pities Hercules and takes him for a long walk every morning and afternoon as well as ensuring that he gets a decent feed every day.  The dog does have his quirks though.  He will not go on a lead and I don’t really blame him because he is chained up all day so he will carry his lead in his mouth and walk alongside The Turk (which is ridiculously cute).  Of course this causes drama in the village as they all assume Hercules is some crazed man eater and will rip them apart as he wanders by.  He won’t ’cause he’s a big baby (I mean look at him with Stanley) BUT if he sees a soccer ball (or a dirty nappy) he will lose his fecking mind.  The Turk has been forced to carry 10TL every time he takes Hercules anywhere to hand over to crying children when Hercules steals yet another ball.


Anyway The Turk took Hercules for a walk this morning and everything was going along swimmingly until the dopey dog spotted a stray off in the distance.  As Hercules is a dopey dog he took off leaving The Turk to chase after him like a Looney Tunes cartoon.  After 20 minutes of searching The Turk gave up and started home.  As he reached our local market he spotted Hercules sitting happily outside lapping water from the bowl that is left by the shopowner.  The Turk stormed over and started yelling at Hercules who seemed pretty perturbed by all the yelling.  The Turk pointed Hercules home and he meekly followed The Turk at a safe distance.

An hour or so later there was an almighty kerfuffle outside!  Now it is not unusual for yelling in these parts or for the polis to arrive to be honest so when I hear some crazy Turk yelling for some reason or another I usually ignore it however as it was ruining my morning serenity I hung over the terrace to watch the show.

Outside Vito’s door was an itsy, bitsy Turkish man seriously foaming at the mouth with aggression, two bored polis smoking cigarettes and chatting on their phones, one dishevelled Vito (who had clearly just been woken by said itsy, bitsy Turkish man and two bored polis), Hercules sunning himself on the concrete … and Hercules miserably sulking on his chain in the corner.  Wait!  What?

Yep we seemed to have acquired a spare Rottweiler leaving Vito scratching his head, The Turk realising his error and the itsy, bitsy Turkish man now believing that his dog was being despoiled by Hercules (who I admit did seem up for the task).  It was a clear case of dognapping and it certainly didn’t take the two Pet Detectives long to crack this case wide open.  The Turk was extremely apologetic and laughed it off with the polis however the itsy, bitsy Turkish man continued to foam at the mouth (no doubt in need of a quick trip to the hastanesi) and insisted that Vito or The Turk or both of them be thrown in gaol.  Vito continued to be confused as he wiped the sleep from his eyes and Hercules continued to lie in the sunshine lapping up all the attention.  In the end common sense prevailed and the original Hercules was reinstated to his chain, the reasonable facsimile along with the tiny little Turkish man left carrying a big bag of maydanoz and the polis sat in the sunshine enjoying another cigarette and some fresh Türk kahvesi.

On closer inspection it should have been clear that it wasn’t Hercules … the reasonable facsimile had a tail (Hercules does not), the reasonable facsimile had a different collar but the clearest indication that it was not Hercules was … she was female!



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F*ck Terrorism

Update:  There was little information in relation to the attack in Mersin as authorities had issued a media ban.

Further 11 suspects have been detained in connection with the attack. It was also revealed that it was suspected that the PKK, a terrorist group active in the country since 1980s, is the likely culprit.

The PKK resumed its armed campaign against the Turkish state in July 2015, unilaterally violating a cease-fire agreement. The organisation rose to prominence in the early 1980s in southeastern Turkey, which has a large Kurdish population.


Yesterday afternoon a bomb exploded as a service bus carrying polis passed by here in Mersin.  Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said 17 police officers and one local were wounded in the attack. He also added that it was a “terror attack”.

bomb 1

The blast occurred on the main road which was full of commuters on their way home from work and children on their way home from school. It took place in the densely populated area of Yenisehir. I had friends on that road. I myself was with Daughter only a block away.

Of course, Daughter and I had no idea. I mean mysterious explosions happen in Mersin all the time anyway. The other night I was on my terrace and the loudest bang I had ever heard nearly blasted me out of my seat. No idea where it came from. No idea what it was. No one seemed perturbed and went about their business in the Village so ‘whatev’s’.

Whatev’s has been fine up until now. Now, for the first time, a terrorist attack has come within spitting distance of me, my family and my friends.

I have always felt safe here in Mersin.  There has always a very large polis presence on the streets and security at government buildings, shopping centres and community gatherings.   Roadblocks and licence checks are common (hell it happens to me all the time). In fact, you can rarely drive through the city without passing polis on main corners carrying big-ass guns and checking cars as they pass. On the news, we get regular updates on terrorism threats and the polis efforts in thwarting these attempts. Arrests. Crackdowns. And with Mersin’s polis force on the hunt, we have not suffered from any significant attacks. Until now.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing although the initial word is that it is Kurdish militants who frequently target police vehicles and transports vans. I expect the polis investigators will be all over this and arrests will be made very soon.

My heart goes out to the 17 polis officers and one civilian that were injured in this attack.

This shit has got to stop.

To those of us living in Mersin and Türkiye – be vigilant guys.  Be aware of your surroundings.  If shit looks iffy its probably for good reason but my hope is that this was an isolated incident.  I also believe that security in Mersin will be even more heightened in response to the attack.

And my response to terrorism, we owe it to those injured in this attack and to all the other victims terrorism attacks around Türkiye and the world to not let the terrorist win by being terrorised.  That’s exactly the response they want.

Feck Terrorism!


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