A Little Bit of Everything – and a lot of Nothing!

I have found it difficult to blog recently.  I didn’t want to jump straight back into my usual humour after the last few posts about the refugee crisis.  It seemed rather insensitive.  So I gave it a little rest and for those of you who ‘like’ my FB page I have just been putting up some political and humorous links about Türkiye.

So I will ease into it and just spit out a few little tit bits to get us started.  Is it ‘tit bits’ or ‘tid bits’?  ‘Tit bits’ sounds wrong.

First up, it is Bayram right now.  For those of you who don’t know what Bayram is here is some lay person information.  Think of it as Bayram for Dummies.  When I was pregnant I brought Pregnancy for Dummies and it was extremely helpful.  Thankfully so far this year it has been a quiet one.  Do you remember when you were kids and you would have one Christmas at home and then the next at some other relo’s house?  This is what appears to have happened so far this year.  Everyone in the family has disappeared – except my father in law.  Never my father in law.  We still have to make the obligatory trips to extended family members and, of course, there are the constant trips to the fecking cemetery, but I think I am going to get through this Bayram stress free!  Finger’s crossed though as I don’t want to jinx myself.  Iyi Bayramlar!

baby goat

Next up on my list is this – I don’t think it is every going to rain in Mersin again.  EVER!  There is the potential for a good rain.  There are dark clouds, really ominous clouds.  There is even excitement but, sadly, no follow through.  The sun comes out again and the never ending heat continues to taunt us.  LIKE A BITCH!  And it’s been raining fecking everywhere in Turkey right now.  Bodrum has had flooding.  Marmaris has storms.  Even Adana has had some crazy downpours.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am still a summer girl.  I hate the cold and generally I hate the rain as well but after a rain free zone of some 120+ days I really need a downpour to take the edge off.  I need a fix.  Yes, yes I know we had a storm after that recent earthquake but that was more of an addendum to the earthquake and, anyway, that was more wind than anything else so it doesn’t count.

So I am still waiting.  And it is still motza hot here.  And I am kinda over it.  And of course I will complain about the cold soon enough but right now – I just want a little rain!

On the bright side school goes back on Monday after 8,765 days off (well it seems like it anyway).  That is 8,765 days of Daughter loving Calum Hood (from 5SOS), dreaming about Calum Hood, talking about Calum Hood and hating absolutely everyone and absolutely everything else.  That means you!  And me!  And definitely The Turk!  When I was 13 I was going to marry George Michael.  I didn’t.  But I am holding out that Daughter gets her dream wedding to her dream man.  I mean they both love Hawaiian Pizza so it looks like they could be a perfect match!  So if any of you happen to know Mr Calum Hood let me know would you.

calum 2

Finally I am still holding onto my dream of becoming the next J.K. Rowling (or more correctly a Turkish-inspired Jackie Collins – ooh la la!) and have been plugging away on completing my first novel.  I start.  I stop.  I delete.  I start again.  But I am pushing myself this time thanks to a little bit of encouragement from a friend here in Mersin.  So if I disappear I will be back.  I should probably keep going while I have the enthusiasm.

Oh and speaking of my blog I was recently contacted by a mainstream news channel to give an opinion on the freedom of press in Türkiye.  Thank you very much but I as I said to them I am merely a little blogger and not nearly as knowledgable as I could be or should be to give an opinion on pretty much anything.  Plus I kind of like being anonymous (I know I am not really anonymous) but I don’t want to get blocked (or worse) so I’ll just keep smiling and writing about kittens and unicorns! I was totally chuffed at being noticed by them though.  For those of you interested in seeing the report the link is here.

So that’s it for now.

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An Update

I know a lot of you are hoping for more information on the refugee situation here in Mersin and Adana.  Right now I don’t have any new information regarding support or assistance required.  I have referred most of you onto groups in Bodrum who are giving support on the ground there but here in Mersin I have had quite a bit of difficulty finding someone who can provide me with more details.

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A big thank you to all of you who have shown support to the refugees.  There has been a lot of action in and around the refugee centres and it makes my dark, mangled heart a little brighter to see how much is going on, and how much you guys care.  Around the world there have been protests, there have been a huge influx of donations and there has been a lot of amazing humans coming together to help those who really need it.  Right now.

I will give you more information about Mersin and Adana when, and if, it comes available to me.

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Humanity is Lost

I had an early dinner last night with some friends high in the hills behind Mersin.  In our group were 3 little boys who ran around having fun and just being kids.  They laughed, they played, they ate a hearty meal and then they left with their families to return to their warm, safe homes.

Aylan

I too returned to my warm, safe home where I sat on my terrace and opened my social media.  The one photo that was shared over and over again, the photo that filled my newsfeed was of a young boy, in a neat red shirt, blue pants and tiny, tiny shoes, no older than those that I shared my dinner with, lying dead on the beach in Bodrum.  It seems that humanity has lost folks.  This is it for all of us.

Just take a moment to look at the photo.  Really look at it.  This is the world we live in.  This little boy has been identified as Aylan Kurdi and right now should be safe in the bosom of his family and not lying in a body bag waiting to be expatriated back to his homeland for burial.

Aylan along with his mother and his brother perished as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea between Bodrum (Türkiye) and Kos (Greece) in a small dingy.  They have become a statistic, one of more than 2,600 people who have died trying to cross to Europe from Türkiye in 2015.  This is the most deadly migrant crossing point in the world and this figure is only going to get higher.  Those who do make it across to Greece then find themselves in another country that is unable to cope with the sheer volume arriving on its shores – let’s not forget that Greece is in the midst of an economic crisis.  But they are still the lucky ones as they are in Europe now and their dream for a new, better life for them and their family is possible.

In Türkiye there are over 1.7 million Syrian refugees currently seeking asylum.  When the fighting in Syria began Türkiye opened its borders with the expectation that the conflict would be short lived and the refugees would return to their homeland.  Five years on and the conflict is ongoing, if not worse, and each day brings more waves of people fleeing for safety.  The Turkish Government is working furiously to support the refugees but the huge cost is taking a toll on the country with resentment building between the Turkish people and the Syrian refugees.  Turkish people are well known for their generosity but with so many Turkish families living below the poverty line there is building anger that any Government funding be directed towards helping their own people and not those who should not be living here in the first instance. Türkiye also has the constant struggle with maintaining its borders, ongoing issues with its neighbours, the very real threat of terrorism and the recent disruption to the cease fire with the PKK.

I have always been quite opinionated about refugees and asylum seekers in Australia.  The Turk had to jump through some pretty big hoops before he got residency and I believed that anyone wishing to enter Australia should jump through those same hoops but since living in Mersin my eyes have been opened to the suffering of these people running for their lives.  My selfish behaviour, and the behaviour of so many of us all over the world, is the reason that little Aylan Kurdi lost his life yesterday.

Did you know that in Australia boats filled with refugees can be towed back into international waters by the Australian coastguard?  How about the fact that David Cameron has said that the UK cannot take in any more refugees?  Is Aylan one of your “pests” David?  Probably not eh?  Did you hear that in Germany a planned asylum centre was burnt down?  In Macedonia there has been fighting at the border crossings.  In the Czech Republic police have been marking and numbering the refugees with washable ink (hello WW2) and, of course, in the Mediterranean the bodies of baby boys are being washed up on Turkish beaches.

Feck people.  We are all living on this earth.  Together.  What is wrong with all of us?  We failed this little boy and we failed his family.  He is lost to the world now but perhaps with this sad photograph doing the rounds on social media the doors will be opened for others that are running for their lives.  I know my opinion has changed.  Perhaps yours will change too.

For those of you who want to help the Migrant Offshore Aid Station is dedicated to preventing migrant deaths at sea and Save the Children is distributing essential items such as nappies, hygiene kits and food.  Give what you can.

From Save Kobane: Even the sea could not carry the heavy burden of this child’s lifeless body, so she returned him to us, to be a testimony of our failure as human beings.  

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Fantasy v Reality

Well it is that time of year again when I hear from those who have fallen head over heels, met their one true love and are looking at moving (or perhaps have already moved) to Türkiye to live the fantasy with their beloved.

Holiday romance

This is the epic love story isn’t it?  This is the love story that The Bard wrote about centuries before, a love more powerful than Napoleon and Josephine and a love that will last through eternity like Jack and Rose.  But just before you go packing your bags and dreaming of a new life in Türkiye with your true love let’s go over what you are getting yourself into – a little bit of a reality check shall we say.

For the sake of this post I am going to assume that you have met your true love in Marmaris or Fethiye or Bodrum (like me).  A holiday romance (like me).  And for the sake of this post I am going to assume that you are female (although no discrimination intended guys).  Finally for the sake of this post I am guessing that your man does not live permanently in Marmaris, Fethiye or Bodrum and instead comes from a small village some 18 hours away (or 12 hours or even 4 hours) where he will return to his family home for the winter months (again like me).

Right – let’s get started.

Can you imagine a life living in a quaint Turkish village?  Would you be happy living with your in-laws, his family, literally surrounded by hundreds of people and yet somehow being incredibly lonely?  Are you ready to immerse yourself entirely into a culture that is incredibly foreign and can be relentlessly unforgiving at times?

Take off the rose coloured glasses people.

Look again at that quaint village?  In daylight what it might really be is a bit of a dump.  If this place was back in your homeland you wouldn’t be caught dead living here.  Right?  Am I right?  I’m right.  Electricity comes and goes.  So does the water.  And speaking of water, is it safe to drink? Maybe.  And those people around you?  Are you merely a slave to wait on them or perhaps you are seen as nothing more than a yabancı and generally get ignored from morning to night.  I am not saying that they are going to treat you like that so don’t start losing your mind and writing me horrid messages, I am saying they might be.  It happens.  You, as the gelin, may be expected to do a lot of running around for the fam bam.  Be prepared for that possibility.

What about that lifestyle you were after?  Do you picture yourself spending your days on the farm, perhaps walking through the quaint village, arm and arm with your love, waving to your neighbours and having time to smell the roses?

That’s not roses you are smelling people – its horse shit, or cow shit, or goat shit, or … well you get the picture … and it is everywhere!

Are you designed to live on a farm or did you grow up in a wing at Buckingham Palace (or in my case Manly Beach).  Trust me when I say the sounds of chickens clucking and cock-a-doodle-dooing is like a jackhammer to my ears and I believe that meat should be purchased from a supermarket and not retrieved from your driveway after Baa Baa was slaughtered before your very eyes.

But you will make allowances after all you will be together with your love.  It will be wonderful.  A happy life.

*Cough, cough*

As long as you realise that he has been working away from home for over six months and, now that he has returned home, he will no doubt need to get another job to continue to support his family (and you) for the next six months until the summer season re-starts.  Work can be scarce for many here in Türkiye.  He will no doubt work extremely long hours leaving you at home with his family or maybe all by yourself.  Perhaps he will disappear for hours to the local cay ev for cards leaving you to stare at the four walls making you feel like your home is your prison cell.  Of course he will need to visit all of his extended family and you will be dragged from home to home like a show pony.  Are you ready for that?

Don’t get me wrong people, I love Türkiye but I arrived here in The Village with my eyes wide open.  I had travelled here every year for a decade before we made the decision to pack up our lives.  I knew what I was getting myself into and I still find it difficult.  Every single day.  Difficult.  If you think that this is going to be your very own Shirley Valentine or Eat, Pray, Love then do yourself a favour and unpack your bag right now, get on the telephone or on Skype or Whatsap and nut out some ground rules for you and your love.

He will need to support you 110%  I don’t mean financially, I mean emotionally.  You have moved here from your comfortable home, from a country that is your mother tongue and you have left your family and your friends behind.  He cannot get angry at you.  He must not get frustrated or ignore you.  You will have questions.  Hundreds of them.  I still do.

You will be lonely.  Thank God for Facebook (don’t diss me I mean it).  Find expats groups.  Find likeminded people.  I know this might be difficult in the small village (I’m the only one in our village) but look in the neighbouring towns.  Some from our expats group here in Mersin come from small villages in the mountains or even from neighbouring cities to spend the day with friends.  Offer to help at the local school.  Your English is a gift to the teachers here.

Really, really do your research.  Find out where you will be living and what it means to live in that area.  If it is a teeny, tiny village you need to throw yourself into that lifestyle wholeheartedly.  Find out what allowances you will need to make – culturally that is.  Will you be living in a conservative area?  Can you do that or do you want to wear your cut-off shorts and to hell with them all?!  Perhaps you will be living with his family.  You will have no privacy.  They will come and re-arrange your drawers or walk into your room unannounced at all hours.  Boundaries.  Draw that line in the sand and make sure he (and his family) abides by it.

Finally a little bit of advice for your partner from me –

This lady is your true love.  She has moved here to be with you.  Don’t make her regret that decision.  Do the right thing.  Treat her with the respect that she deserves.  Treat her like a fecking princess!  She IS a fecking princess!! Spend time with her.  Don’t disappear for hours on end leaving her to your family to entertain.  Help her settle in to her new environment.  Please don’t get agitated at her when she is unsure of herself or of what is going on around her.  Understand the difficulties that she is having with the language barrier or the culture.  Most importantly don’t be a complete douche or you will lose her forever!

Now breathe … and go pack those bags!

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Let’s Pretend that Today Never Happened

Everything I type in today’s post can be filed under the heading “Shit Happens”.  It does you know.  Shit really does happen. All the time.   To good people and to not so good people.  To people who, you might say, deserve a karmatic (this is a real word) explosion of diarrhetic (alright this may not be a real word) deuce and it also happens to people who are as heroic as Ghandi or as pious as the Pope.  But today I feel like I was handed a bucket load of bok and I am hovering pretty close to the edge right now.

Shit Happens

Let me set the scene.  Candles?  Romantic music?  No people, this scene requires more dark clouds and depressing music.  Possibly elevator muzak playing Depeche Mode.  Is it muzak or music?

Wait!

I was on the dolmuş yesterday when a tiny Turkish man with a rather hairy moustache sat down beside me … and sneezed.  All over me.  I felt his germ-filled gust of Turkish breath whoosh over me and I could feel his festering microbes invade my throat, my eyes and my nose.  Ick!  I wiped my face as he apologised but it was too late.  The damage was done and within 8 hours I was coughing and sneezing.  I was a Codral tablet away from death.  Bastard!  So now I have the dreaded grip.  Again.

Now you can imagine my state of mind when I woke this morning after a night of snot and phlegm.  Adding to the joy of the grip I awoke to the bonus of no electricity.  “Shit happens” I hear you cry.  Yes, too true but I won’t be beaten by the lack of electricity.  This is just a blip on my day.  Soldier on.

I made myself a cup of tea and opened the refrigerator to grab the milk.  No milk.  “Shit happens” the Gods from above declare.  Maybe, but maybe Daughter could have left me a mere drip for my tea this morning.  I made a mental note to pull out my voodoo doll with her name on it and I left the house to go to the market.

Of course it is pouring with rain and I cannot find my umbrella so I ran through the rain dodging the puddles only to find that … the market wasn’t open yet.  Yep, “Shit happens”.

My next “Shit happens” moment needs a little background – The Turk has arranged to build yet another apartment above ours (because you can never have too many apartments) however as one of our lovely neighbours complained about the building work the belediye (Council) recently handed us a stop work order.  We now have a partially built apartment above us but this isn’t the “Shit happens” moment, not for me anyway.  My “Shit happens” moment is the fact that because the building work has been cut short by this jealous, asshole neighbour today’s downpour is allowing a stream of water to pour into every room in the house through the partially built walls and holes in our ceiling.  As I run around placing buckets and pots to collect the rainwater I can be heard yelling, “Shit happens!”

So here I am, suffering from the grip with no electricity, no hope of a cup of tea and water pouring through the roof.  It’s not even 9am.  At that point I contemplated purchasing a hallucinogen, maybe I could find a Turkish equivalent to LSD or some mushrooms, to take me away from myself.  I could float off to my very own magical Willy Wonka-esque world filled with unicorns and fairy floss.  No, I cry, soldier on … plus the electricity came back on.  Bonus!

And can I just amend the above statement, thankfully the electricity came back on as Daughter came rushing down the hallway yelling that she needed to straighten her hair before school.  Oh the horror, the trauma, of leaving the house with frizzy hair!  It shall not be!

I finally got my cup of tea (with milk) when my father in law arrived at the door.  He arrives on my doorstep every – single – day.  Without fail.  From breakfast to dinner he is here.  Except Sundays.  On Sundays he can be found at my sister in law’s (SIL) home, after all her food is better than mine and she puts up with his crap.  Plus she bathes him.  I would rather eat my own toenails than bathe him.  Anyway my father in law arrives complaining.  Yagmur!  Really?  It’s raining?  I look out the window in feigned wonder.  Oh?!  It is raining?  Thank you for stating the obvious.  He then proceeds to tell me it is cold and that he needs a blanket.  And a cup of cay.  Drop everything folks.   Get Dede a blanket!  Get Dede cay!  Go on, say it – “You wanted this life.  Shit happens!”

Finally it is noon and Daughter leaves for school, with perfectly straight hair, but still complaining and my father in law is quietly snoring on the couch.  Finally.  Peace.

I grab the television remote and started flicking through the channels.  The telephone rings.  Oh no.  Please.  God no.  I looked at the ID on the telephone.  SIL’s work.  I contemplated not answering it.  I knew what would happen if I did.  I sighed as I reached for the telephone.  It seems that the Cabbage Patch Kid is crying – again – and her older sister has had enough of her whining.  Oh wonderful, so now I get to enjoy the whining!  “Shit happens”.

I am now sitting at my desk with my earphones on.  They are blasting Beyonce (don’t judge me) to drown out the crap going down behind me.  The Cabbage Patch Kid has thrown herself on the floor and is sulking – loudly.  Her sister Tatli is ignoring her and yelling down the telephone at her mother.  My father in law is asleep on my couch with Planet Turk blasting away and the bucket in the middle of the salon catching the dripping water is nearly full.

Yep.  It really is true – shit happens!

Addendum – I actually wrote this yesterday but after I finished tapping out the last exclamation point my SIL arrived on my doorstep.  She too had had a terrible day and she sat at my kitchen bench and cried.  She is tired.  Tired of working hard for little thanks, tired of her family (which probably includes me), of her children (which I for one totally understand) and definitely tired of her shitty life.  As I handed her a glass of cay I realised just how lucky I am.

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Paradise Found

One of the great things about Mersin (or Icel) is that it is not usually on the international tourism wish list.  I get it.  I really do.  It is an industrial and farming province.  There is no airport and frankly no one speaks English.  It is kind of cosmopolitan and unique but its lack of infrastructure, its occasional domestic issues and now its proximity to unstable borders means that it is not really a draw card for visitors.  After all why come to Mersin when you can go to Marmaris or perhaps Bodrum for your sunfilled vacation?

For those of us living here though it is a godsend that the international tourist passes us by.  Why?  Well if you, the international tourist, go elsewhere it means that the hidden gems found along this magnificent coastline are left for the Turkish tourists which means – Turkish prices!

During Kurban Bayram the family and I travelled to Yaprakli Koy Susanoğlu and I honestly I feel like I have truly found my new favourite spot in IcelSusanoğlu actually is part of the seaside town of Atakent, 65 kilometres west of Mersin and only 15 kilometres east of Silifke.

susanoglu

Susanoğlu Playa itself is a nice enough beach but there is more to Susanoglu than the main beach.  You don’t want the main beach.  You need to keep looking.  If you blink you will miss it for it is not on the main drag.  It is a secret after all, locals only, and they are not going to give up its location to a yabanci readily.  You are going to have to work for it.  You will need to park your car.  You will need to stalk a Turk (as no doubt they know where to go) but, with perseverance and a little good fortune, you will come across some ancient stone stairs on the side of a cliff (not as daunting as it may sound) leading through a smallish little forest.  Through the pine trees you go until you get a glimpse of that perfect mavi (blue) sea.  Step towards that colour and know that, finally, you have arrived at Yaprakli Koy Susanoğlu, a hidden gem along the coastline surrounded by Turkish beach clubs and restoranlar.DSC00437

This place bay has the feel of a party all day long.  Families gather for picnics, girls sunbath in their itsy-bitsy bikinis while watching the boys prance by showing off their muscles.  Old Turkish men do calisthenics on the rocks before making their way to the nearest lokanta for a glass of raki (medicinal I am sure). The surrounding restaurants sell simple Turkish food, but simple can at times be extraordinary with amazing balik, kofte and tavuk dishes on offer for the low non-touristy price of 10TL.  Even more importantly the drinks too are ridiculously cheap and the Efes’ are ice cold.  The music is blasting and it is always Turkish.

susanoglu 2

No one, I repeat, no one speaks English and you will no doubt find yourself, as I did, sitting next to 70 year old Turkish lady who told me her life story.  Sure you may not understand what they are saying but they will still talk to you anyway.

I think I have found my incredibly cheap but now not so secretive paradise.

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Too Different

I’ve talked before about holiday romances, Turkish men and the heartache that they can cause.  In fact my Love Rat post was, and still is, the post with the most views since I began this little blog.  I want to declare right here, right now, men are just men.  They are not from Mars.  They are not made up any differently to us they just have an extra chromosome (and an extra rib).  To put it simply: there are some good ones and there are some bad ones.  They can be your best friend but they can just as easily break your heart.

love rat 2

With summer now at an end the Turkish forums are full of love rats and stories of woe.  Yes there are love rats here in Turkey but they are also located in France, Italy, the US, Australia – hell they are everywhere!  But this story is about my friend Evie who knows I am writing this.  She wants people to read it, to not make the same mistakes.  She has/had a love rat and and that love rat that just so happened to be … Turkish.

I met Evelyn (Evie) at a shopping centre here in Mersin about 6 months ago.  She had moved here from northern England to be with her handsome and *cough, cough* somewhat slightly younger man that she met whilst holidaying in Antalya in June last year.  After many emails, Skype dates and telephone calls Evie packed up her life and moved to Mersin.

It has not been easy for Evie.  She did not speak Turkish at all (I feel her pain).  She could not work as she did not have the right visa and she found it incredibly difficult to make friends here.  I totally related with her after all Mersin is definitely no tourist destination and expats are as scares as hen’s teeth.  As we were both in the same boat Evie and I quickly developed a close friendship and she became a frequent visitor to our home here in the Village and I at her home in Pozcu.  Her fiancé, Mehmet (name has been changed to protect the not so innocent), seemed nice enough I guess.  Definitely younger and it was clear to me that perhaps the infatuation did not run as deep as it did for Evie.  It certainly made for a difficult visit when she brought him over one night before The Turk left for Australia as The Turk is quite intuitive and could see right away that Mehmet was not deeply in love.  In fact when they went outside to smoke on our terrace their conversation that began in low voices quickly escalated loudly enough for me to go out and investigate.  Needless to say The Turk was not impressed with Mehmet.

Two nights ago Evi arrived on my doorstep unannounced.  It was pretty crazy at our house with The Turk having taken ill back in Sydney but Evi needed my help NOW!  Mehmet had gone.  Where?  She did not know.  All of his personal effects were gone, most of the furniture was gone and the rent had not been paid on their apartment for the past two months.  She had left that morning to go to the shops at Mehmet’s suggestion.  She had been gone no more than 3 hours.  How is this possible?  She was bereft.  Her heart was broken.

Right now I am steaming mad.  I am mad at myself for not saying something to Evie when I first had doubts.  I am devastated that my friend has had to find out that the man that she loved was not who he seemed and that the love that she thought they had meant little or perhaps nothing at all to him.  Evie was planning her wedding and Mehmet was planning his escape.

Over breakfast this morning she asked, “How could I not see him for who he was?”

It’s simple.  L.O.V.E.  We’ve all been there.  You meet someone.  He sweeps you off his feet with the romance that has been missing in your life.  Walks along the beach.  Whispering sweet nothings in your ear.  The best sex you have ever had!  Oh yeah!  Seni cok seviyorum.  I used to laugh at The Turk when he threw “I love you” at me every 5 minutes when we first got together.  But he still managed to cast his spell and I was smitten.

Two different cultures, two different countries.  Just too different.

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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.

flag

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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Market Day

Driving with The Turk and my brother in law today I felt trapped in the truck between the two men.  There is no air con so I feel myself slowly melt into the seat wishing I was pretty much anywhere else than where I was.

It is Saturday and as such we are making a trip to the market to stock up on fruits and vegetables.  I love getting to the fresh markets in Mersin.  I used to go by dolmus (bus) but found that I was purchasing way too much and had difficulty getting everything home.  If I dared catch a taksi I would never hear the end of it so now I go with my brother in law – a much more sensible idea.

DSC00210After making my way through the vegetables I was sweating bullets and pretty sure I was not going to make it through the fruit.  Akan ran off to purchase water for relief but honestly all I needed at this point was a seat and perhaps some chocolate (which always makes things better). 

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I soldiered on as I could see the colourful fruit in the distance calling me (so to speak).  I have always been a pretty simple girl when it comes to fruit after all an apple a day keeps the doctor away but  now I find I have so many options that I cannot decide what to purchase.  Daughter loves fruit so I can go a little crazy and know that everything will be eaten.

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As a child I lived in a house where my mum believed dinner was a meat and two vegetable meal ie sausages, potatoes and beans (usually burnt) or chops, potatoes and peas (usually burnt) with a roast dinner on a Sunday.  Living here I find it difficult to remove myself from what has been stamped in my mind.  In fact now it is rare that we eat meat and between you and me the weight has dropped off me since I slowed down my meat intake!

Arriving home I looked through my stash which was quite a haul including huge bags of kirmizi biber (capsicum) , patates (potatoes), soğan (onion) and domates (tomatoes) as well as şeftali (nectarine), elma (apples), portakal (oranges), üzüm (grapes), havuç (carrots) and was lucky to find some avokado (avocados) as well (quite a rarity).  Finally I grabbed some marul (lettuce) and salatalık (cucumber) to finish things off knowing that we will enjoy lots of salads for the next few days (after all its way too hot to cook).

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Incidentally I spent a total of 15TL (about AU$7.00) and came away with a huge stash.

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Another Storm Post

Over the past few days social media has gone a little crazy in Turkey talking about the crap weather.  A lot of people have, of course, started to take their vacations and have arrived for some sun and fun in the numerous Turkish hotspots, Marmaris, Bodrum, Fethiye, etc, only to be on the receiving end of some very nasty weather.

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I knew a storm was brewing today because my hair was incredibly frizzy.  I cannot control my hair anymore.  Between the bleaching and the weather it has a life of its own.  I have decided to just let it have its way with me and do whatever it likes.  I don’t really care after all I don’t have to impress anyone.  In fact The Turk told me I smelt this morning (I had just gotten back from a jog – and it was 30 degrees!).  I admit that I did smell but the point that I am trying to make is I don’t need to impress him anymore.  Do I sound selfish?  Are you all going “eewwww”.  Don’t think like that people.  I still shave my legs.  I just don’t need to go through all the crap anymore to impress The Turk.  He wakes up every morning amazed that I am still with him and counts his lucky stars every day lol!  Call me Miss Conceited!  I am just joking of course.

In past years I would travel to Mersin in either September or April.  This would give me the sunshine that I love but without the intense heat that can send me close to the edge.  I would often mention to friends that I knew that summer was coming or going in Mersin because of one crazy storm.  The storm to end all storms, dare I say it, the “perfect storm”.  No I won’t say that.  Let’s just say a bloody big storm.  And today is the day (albeit a little late).

Bang!  Crash!  There are not enough words that would properly describe the storm that we are experiencing right now.  It has been incredibly humid today.  The humidity that tells you bigger things are coming.  The humidity that tells you to batten down the hatches and hold on for the ride.

Back to the storm – I am sitting through it right now.  The weather deteriorated rapidly starting with a slow pitter-patter of rain which bounced off the roof and caused puddles.  The puddles quickly became rivers rushing into the çiftlik across the street and a waterfall broke through the half made wall on the construction site next door.  There was no thunder, just an avalanche of water threatening to drown us all.

The hava (wind) became harder, stronger and the rain was more powerful.  This was getting good.  Then it happened.  A crashing sound unlike any I had ever heard before and one, two.  Lightening!  Unrelenting.  One after the other.  Crackling thunder and a mighty flash, one after the other.

What an excellent storm.