Category Archives: Turkey travel

Syrian Refugees on the Turkish-Syrian Border

How do you get into a Turkish camp for Syrian refugees?  Not easily, it turns out.  I had taken a shared dolmus minivan to the village of Yayladagi where the camp was located, about 60 km south of Antakya and … Continue reading

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Saving an 18-year-old brother from dying too young

It seemed quite impossible to wander alone around Diyarbakir or any other town in Turkey and not meet interesting people eager for conversation with a foreigner.  I met Muhammed in front of the nearly one-thousand-year-old Ulu Camii, the “Great Mosque”. … Continue reading

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The Woman Who Gave Away 10,000 Trees in Kabul

Not all of Sandra’s visits to Afghanistan have been as eventful as the time that she was blown out of bed one night, accompanied by shards of flying glass, by the explosion of a suicide bomb nearby.  But she has … Continue reading

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Assyrian Christians Return to their Roots

I was leafing through a book on the lectern in the Assyrian Christian church of Meryem Ana, in what I assumed to be Syriac script, written from right to left, when a man came up to me and asked me … Continue reading

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A Kurdish Teacher Mourns His Brother

I took a “dolmuş” mini-bus ride between two towns some hours apart in the south-eastern, Kurdish part of the country.  For part of the way, I sat next to a teacher, who said he taught English.  It was apparent that … Continue reading

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Seeing Hasankeyf Before it Drowns

I took a late morning bus from Bitlis, near Lake Van, feeling so lousy with a cold that I left town without even visiting the fortress that dominates the town. This was a nearly unprecedented event in my personal traveling … Continue reading

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And Now for the Turkish/Kurdish View from Denmark

She came and sat down next to me in the hotel restaurant (I could never sit there alone for long) and said that she spoke three languages: Kurdish, Turkish … and Danish.  She knew the occasional English word, but not … Continue reading

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