Country Report: Turkey

Written by Susan of Wardrobe

For the last three months my family and I were in Turkey. We had many adventures and learned a lot of new things about Turkey that I want to share with you.

Turkey is a beautiful resplendent country bordered by the countries of Bulgaria, and Greece in the West, and Syria, Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia in the East of Turkey. 3% of Turkey lies in Europe and 97% lies in Asia. The population of Turkey is 74.8 million people. The Capital city is Ankara and the people are called Turks. Their Religion is Muslim and their Currency is Turkish Liras. A Canadian dollar is worth one and a half Liras and a Euro is worth two Liras. The type of government is a Republican Parliamentary Democracy.

The official language spoken in Turkey is Turkish. Hello in Turkish is Merhaba. Thank you is Tesekkur Edderim. Please is Lutfen. Goodbye is Gule gule. You’re welcome is Buyrun.

The food here is the best! I will name some of my favourites:

Baclava– In my opinion, Turkey makes the best baclava in the world. It is a pastry with a soft top and bottom made of dough as thin as paper. In the middle is crushed pistachio nuts (or walnuts too). On the top is bits of pistachio crumbs while the whole pastry is drenched in Honey!

Iskendar kebab– A delicious Turkish food with bits of bread hidden at the bottom. Then they put on doner meat with melted butter and tomato sauce on top. Then you spread on sour cream, and voilà! Absolutely delicious! I don’t have a picture of this, sorry.

Bread– The bread here is amazing and cheap (for 50 Kurus a loaf). The bakeries bake lots everyday so it’s all fresh. You can buy it a few minutes after it’s baked so it’s still warm. They even have different shapes here too. There are breads in the shape of a flower with sesame seeds on top, and the regular one in the shape of an oval that has been stretched at the sides.

 

Doner– Everybody probably knows what a doner is! It is a wrapped sandwich in a thin white bread that has thin sliced kebab meat (chicken or lamb) with lettuce, onions and tomatoes and sour cream (Turks call this yogurt).

Gozleme– This is the Turkish pancake like a square crêpe that can have honey, melted chocolate, bananas, and butter. It’s very delicious!

Pide– This is the Turkish pizza but in a different shape. It is in the shape of a pointy ended oval. Really good!!

Pottery Kebab– This is Cappadocian food where they cook the saucy meat and vegetables in a pottery vase sealed with bread on top and thrown in the fire oven. You have to hit it with a small hammer or knife to break it open. You eat it with rice and salad. My mom and dad loved this dish!

Turkish Tea and Apple TeaApple tea is my favourite! We drank it everyday!

There are many historical figures that lived and come from Turkey like:

St Peter the Apostle travelled to Turkey on his way to Rome.

-St. Paul the Roman (from Tarsus) who wrote a lot of books in the New Testament of the Bible evangelized in Turkey.

-St John the Beloved Apostle and the Blessed Virgin Mary (the mother of Jesus) lived the rest of their lives on Bul Bul Mountain near Ephesus.

-St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) was from Demre, Turkey and has a church there.

-Did you know that it is said that Noah’s Ark landed on a mountain in Turkey called Mount Ararat?

 

Did you know that:

That Turkey became a nation in 1923 and its first president was Kemal Ataturk.

That Turkey is the only democratic secular nation in the world with a majority of its population being of the Islamic faith?

Istanbul used to be called Constantinople and was considered the capital city of Ancient Rome in Asia. 

That Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar has over 4,000 shops?

In Turkey there are a bunch of different animals like:

-Angora Goats (they have long hair)

-Cows

-Chickens

-Turtles (sea turtles nest on the beaches in the Mediterranean and Aegean)

-Lots of different bird species (there was a bird reserve close to where we lived in Calis)

-Different types of sea and fresh water fishes

There are many Unesco World Heritage Sites in Turkey. I will name the ones we visited:

-The Historic Areas of Istanbul (like Aya Sofya)

-Xanthos-Letoon

-Ephesus

-Goreme National Park and the Rock sites of Cappadocia

-Hierapolis-Pamukkale

-Ancient Cities of Lycian Civilization

We had many Adventures in Turkey, I will name them:

-Paragliding in Oludeniz

-Sea fishing in the Aegean Sea

-Visiting the Fish Market and Tuesday Market in Fethiye

-Swimming in the Aegean Sea

-Experiencing a Turkish Hammam

-Visiting the World Unesco Sites and lots of historical ruins

-Shopping in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar

-Watching the Whirling Dervish and Turkish Folk Dancing

-Skiing in the Erendagi mountains (Dagi means mountain in Turkish)

-Swimming in Cleopatra’s Sacred Pool in Hierapolis

-Visiting the Mosque Haghia Sophia and the Blue Mosque

-Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia

-Exploring the Greek Ghost Town of Kayakoy

My Favourite Memory:

My favourite memory of Turkey is when we went paragliding in Oludeniz. It was a beautiful sunny day with only a slight breeze. We were driving up a mountain in a small army truck with a big carriage behind. There were some nice men that we were talking with. We drove up for half an hour across the twisting and winding road. When we stopped we climbed up to the very top of the mountain. The men were hauling up our bags that had the things we needed to go paragliding. We all got dressed and put on our paragliding wings. Dad flew away first. He caught the wind and flew away. Then Lucy, me, Edmund, Peter then mom. The experience was amazing. The wind made my hair fly up and the view was spectacular. We flew over a cliff and the ground dropped really far down. We were high, really high. All the cars looked smaller than little toy cars. It was hard to see the people because they were so small. We flew for half an hour then landed on the beach gently. I’ve always dreamed of flying without being in an airplane. So it was a dream come true.

Advertisements
Gallery | This entry was posted in Susan, Turkey and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Country Report: Turkey

  1. Susan, this is a great post. You are a good writer.

    It never occurred to me to try paragliding, but after reading about your experience and seeing your photo, I think I’d like to give it a try. Besides, my daughter saw your picture and is already begging me to do it. 😉 We’ll be in the Oludeniz area soon. Would you mind posting the name of the company you used?

    Nice overview of Turkish food. We’ve enjoyed a lot of the dishes you mentioned but not that scrumptious pottery one. Unfortunately we’re not going to Cappadocia on this trip, but perhaps we’ll get the chance to try it somewhere else. Iskendar is one of my favorites.

    Say, do you take post requests? If so, I’d love to read about your school experience in France. How much French did you speak beforehand? Are you finding it easy to communicate with the other kids? My daughter is about your age, so I’m quite curious.

    Cheers,
    Renee

    • Hi Renee,
      Thanks for the comment! I haven’t had the opportunity to show your comment to Susan this evening, but will do so tomorrow so that she can get back to you. The Paragliding we did in Olu Deniz was with Hector’s Paragliding. http://www.hectorparagliding.com/
      Because it was so spontaneous, we didn’t have a chance to research beforehand which companies were good/safe/economical. I would rate Hector’s Paragliding as a 5/10 in terms of professionalism as a paragliding touring company. Don’t get me wrong, they were all so very nice and we had a great time, but we sensed an unhappiness (or conflict) between the paragliders and the owner Hector. There was also a miscommunication between Hector and the paragliders which I didn’t appreciate: I was going to get the kids changed from their beach wear into their jeans and runners because I knew that it would be cold in the air. Hector told me that this was unnecessary because they had paragliding suits for all of us (kids sizes included) to put over our clothes. So, we left our bags in the office. Once we got up on the mountain, the men didn’t have any paragliding outfits small enough for the kids and were kind of curious and a little annoyed that we were still in our beach clothes. I insisted that each child wear a paragliding outfit and we rolled up the adult size pants and sleeves for them. I was so relieved that I insisted because it was cold in the air for us!

      As well, Hector advertises for tandem paragliding with little children, but they didn’t even have the right size of helmets for the younger 2! Looking back, I definitely would not go with them if I had the chance to do prior research. I’m glad that everything turned out alright.

      When you do research on Oludeniz’s tandem paragliding (there are many companies), be sure to ask about proper helmet size and paragliding suit for Scout. The best time to go is around 1100hrs (according to the paragliders) because the geothermal heat winds are the best for flying at that time. As well, since you will be going during low season, don’t be shy to haggle down the price for a family discount!

      Good Luck! I can’t wait to hear about it!
      Jenn

      ps, we will be writing a post soon. So much has happened which we need to write about!

  2. Grandma says:

    Dear Susan, Your travels through/in Turkey sound very interesting. You saw alot of history in a short time and I am happy for you. An excellent report! When you were paragliding and in the hot air ballon, did you experience a great silence way above the earth? I’m told that it’s very still up there, and that sounds wonderful to me. Is it so? You look happy paragliding! Hugs with love, Grandma

  3. Aunty Carrie says:

    Excellent job Susan! Your terminology in this report is very mature! I am so proud of you! Are you doing another report soon?

  4. Lisa says:

    Well done Susan! And love the photos as well. The part about food made my mouth just salivate!

  5. Dolores says:

    Excellent report! If I were your teacher, I would give you top marks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s