Monthly Archives: May 2012

Tear gas and street parties in Istanbul

As we walked down the cobble-stone street towards Istiklal Caddesi, a main pedestrian street in Istanbul, I noticed that my eyes were starting to sting.  I wondered if there were some fine dust in the air that was bothering them.  … Continue reading

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Prime Minister Erdogan: love him or hate him

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan heads Turkey’s Progress and Democracy Party (AKP) and has been prime minister since 2003, which counts as extraordinary longevity in any democracy, including this quasi-democracy.  He is also the first Islamist prime minister in the history of … Continue reading

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Why Turks don’t drink Turkish coffee

Turkey is famed for its coffee.  Most everyone has heard of Turkish coffee, if they’ve heard of any drink from this part of the world.  This coffee is of course the same stuff that in Greece is called Greek coffee.  … Continue reading

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Cappadocia above and below ground

I have never really though very much about the advantages of living in a cave.  After a few days in one, I know that that these advantages include: low roof maintenance costs, an absence of termites, as well as low … Continue reading

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The Blue Mosque, while lying in bed

I’ve never before been able to gaze at the Blue Mosque while lying in bed.  The Blue Mosque was built by Sultan Ahmet in the 16th century and features blue tiles.  By contrast, the bed has orange sheets and is … Continue reading

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Ayvalik, where there used to be Greeks

The curious thing about the villages and villagers of Greece and Turkey is that they look pretty much the same.  Black is the fashionable color du jour among the elderly, the women favor head scarves, the men sit around in … Continue reading

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Ephesus by the busload

Ephesus appears to have become the city to visit for those wanting a taste of the cities of the ancient Greco-Roman world.  They arrive by the busload, many of them off the cruise ships that pull in to nearby ports … Continue reading

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