Monthly Archives: May 2010

The Origin of the Pat-Pat

There is one topic that never fails to elicit a laugh from the villagers. “I am writing about many things,” I usually say, “Like the hashhash, the Saints, the pat-pats…” Advertisements

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The Bektashi of Kayabelen

Sitting in the family room of the Cinars, I am surrounded by mothers holding children to my right and men against the wall to my left. Lunch has been laid out on the floor and we’ve all had our fill … Continue reading

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Seyyid Hasan Basri

Centuries after Seyyid Hasan Basri arrived in the village of Şeydinar, members of his family continue to tend to his tomb, maintaining his holy resting place and offering a traditional medical treatment to visitors of the village.

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Copyright vs. Copywrite

I spent an hour figuring out how to correctly spell the name of a village, but I seem to not have a very good grasp of my own written language. Kindly ignore the watermark on the photos up to this … Continue reading

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Atatürk Day in Gebeçeler

May 19th is Atatürk Day. It’s actually called Atatürk, Youth and Sports Commemoration Day, but that seems like false modesty, not something you’d normally associate with the man responsible for carving out modern Turkey (actually a little more than present day Turkey according to his maps). So the holiday to celebrate the start of the Independence war was one of the biggest non-religious events for the village – especially because their kids got all dressed up. Continue reading

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Fethibey

We came to a stop next to some chickens and an old crumbling house. The driver turned to me, looking straight into my eyes. Do I want to become a Muslim? he asked with a serious smile.
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Armenian Architecture in Afyon

Far from the capital of either nation, the drama of Anatolia’s Armenians is on display in the heart of Afyon’s Old City. Armenians accompanied Sultan Abdülhamid II to this provincial capital in the late 19th century and stayed until their … Continue reading

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The Black Fortress of Opium

The official name is Afyonkarahisar, which means the black fortress of opium, but that is recent change and everyone still calls it Afyon. It is the provincial capital and has about 170,000 residents, but like many things in Turkey, it is caught between the old and the new. Continue reading

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The City of Seven Hills

I arrived in Istanbul yesterday and today I think I know where some of the big roads lead. One, Istiklal Cad., winds its way from Taksim Square down to the Galata Bridge and I, like millions before me, have decided … Continue reading

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Technical Difficulties

As with all progress, there are those slow to embrace the latest technology. I am not referring to myself – I think blogging makes about as much sense as flying halfway around the world to write about villages, which is … Continue reading

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