A couple of weeks ago, I was surfing the web reading other peoples blogs and realized that my love and appreciation for Turkey has only developed because of other people.
I have met people in the summer time, who tell me their Turkish holiday tales with howls of laughter. I have read blog posts written by people who have visited the shores of Turkey and then wrote candidly about their personal thoughts and experiences.
I have also stared in amazement at memorable photographs taken of Turkey, by those publishing on the World Wide Web and by friends and family. Each one of these interactions come together to give me a stepping stone and inspiration for my travels.
With this in mind, I thought the perfect way to showcase Turkey would be a post highlighting people’s most favorite memory of this country. I asked other bloggers who have been or are in Turkey, to submit their favorite picture and a short description about the picture and themselves.
They are all listed below and I think they present a wonderful portrait of this beautiful and addictive country. I hope you agree with me. I also want to thank the other bloggers for taking part and helping me to express just how amazing this country really is.
1 – Wandering Earl – The Rustem Pasha Mosque – Istanbul
Who Is Wandering Earl? He is a new breed of explorer and likes nothing better than getting off the beaten track. He has an impressive travel resume that lists 70 countries of which one of them is Turkey. Turkey has been on his travel agenda twice and his latest visit was in the summer of 2010.
Earl says “Tucked away amid the narrow lanes of a 500 year old bazaar, the Rustem Pasha mosque in the Tahtakale district of Istanbul, proved to be the highlight of my visit to this city. One could sit for hours inside, just as I did, enjoying the incredibly peaceful and quiet atmosphere, mesmerizing blue and gold interior and friendliness of the few locals who passed through for a quick moment of worship. While this mosque is often overlooked by visitors, I highly recommend a visit for anyone who finds themselves in Istanbul.”
2 – Lisa Egle – The Heads of Mount Nemrut – Eastern Turkey
Who Is Lisa Egle? She is the owner and writer of the Chicky Bus travel blog which aims to encourage readers to challenge the status quo of travel and excel themselves into the moment…to a place of self discovery. Lisa fell in love with Eastern Turkey when she completed a tour in 2010.
Lisa says “I love Western Turkey, but I think I’m in love with Eastern Turkey. Why? Because it was there, I found the off-the beaten-adventure I was looking for. Urfa and Mardin gave me my Middle Eastern fix…and 7000-foot Mt. Nemrut gave me my low-budget Easter Island fix. I got to see the sun rise over this unique mountain, where King Antiochus built his tomb sanctuary in 62 BC and surrounded it with statues of animals and Greek gods (now with heads detached). Getting there is an adventure and what you see is far from typical. “
3 – Jack Scott – Daily Turkish Life – Bodrum
Who Is Jack Scott? He is the writer behind Perking The Pansies which is a blog about two openly gay, recently ‘married’ middle aged, middle class men escaping the liberal sanctuary of anonymous London to relocate to a Muslim country. Jack lives permanently on the Aegean coast of Turkey.
Jack Says ” To Imagine daily Turkish life, think of sweet baked sesame seed simit stalls, lemon scenting cut throat barbers, piercing purveyors of rapid kebabs, entrepreneurial pantaloon’d grannies on the make, baffled travellers lost in Left Luggage, mobs of weary eastern boys bussed hither and thither, carefree western girls shocking the eye, sallow sightseers with brats in caps and tea sipping cabbies dropping off in the sweaty midday sun. This magnificent entrepôt of the exotic and the ordinary is a typically Turkish tussle and bustle of commotion and chaos.”
4 – Barbara Isenburg – Mosques at Sunset – Istanbul
Who Is Barbara Isenburg? She is an American ex-pat living in the hustle and bustle of Istanbul and also the writer of The Turkish Muse. Her blog was was born out of a desire to tell stories about life in Turkey and help other newcomers adjust. Through essays, photographs, advice columns and stories, she hopes to give readers a better understanding of what expat life is like in Turkey.
Barbara says “I have hundreds of pictures from my time in Turkey, but choosing one was easy. This picture was taken in Istanbul and is of the Sultanahmet Camii and the Aya Sofya as the sun sets over them. I took this picture a few years ago but it remains one of my absolute favorites.”
5 – Craig Martin – The People of Turkey – Ankara
Who Is Craig Martin? He is the owner and writer of a number of travel sites including The Indie Travel Podcast which has won an award from The Lonely Planet. Craig along with his partner Linda have traveled extensively throughout the world since 2006 and experienced the delights of many countries including Turkey.
Craig says ” We only had a few hours in Ankara as we travelled further east. It was enough to wander the city centre and head up to the mausoleum of Ataturk, the beloved father of modern Turkey. What we didn’t expect was over 10,000 of our closest Turkish friends to join us, protesting the bill allowing headscarves to be worn in Universities once more.”
6 – Turkeys For Life – Harvesting the Barbunya Bean – Kayakoy, Fethiye
Who are Turkeys For Life? They are Julia and Barry who blog about daily life in the coastal resort of Fethiye. They are great lovers of getting in the car and driving where the road takes them. They like to cook Turkish cuisine and interact with the locals while discovering more and more about Turkey every day.
Julia And Barry say ” One of our favourite photos is this one I took in the village of Kayaköy, close to our home in Fethiye. For us, Kaya is a peaceful, working village where we enjoy spending time with friends. This photo is of the harvesting of the barbunya bean; the main ingredient of barbunya pilaki. We have an obsession with Turkish food and recipes and love to cook so we were fascinated by this scene.”
7 – Matthew Long – Celsus Library at Ephesus – Selcuk
Who is Matthew Long? Matthew Long is editor in chief and creator of Land Lopers. He is someone with a bad case of the travel bug, and he travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to do it all on a budget. Matt is a Lonely Planet Featured Blogger, as well as a contributor to many other travel sites including the Huffington Post.
Matt says “Although my visit to Turkey was brief, every moment was remarkable. One of my favorite memories is of my visit to the ancient city of Ephesus. Pictured here is the Library of Celsus at Ephesus, an amazing monument to the intellect and engineering abilities of a civilization long lost to the dust of the centuries.”
8 – Karen Philips – My View Every Day – Kirazli Koy
Who Is Karen Philips? She is a freelance writer living permanently in Turkey’s only ecologic village, Kirazli Koy near Kusadasi. She blogs about her daily life there, everything from celebrating Christmas in a Muslim country to cooking Turkish cuisine with local ingredients.
Karen says “I have a thousand images of Turkey, everything from the poppies blooming between the cherry trees in spring to the early morning light on the mirror flat waters of Bafa Lake to the village women gathered around the communal cauldron on a wedding morning cooking for 300 over an open fire. And they all represent an aspect of Turkey to me. But more than anything, for me, this picture of the hills fading away in layers of tone will always be my image of Turkey. This is my Turkey, more subtle than you would think! It’s a view I see every day and I always lose myself in it”
9 – Michael Hodson – Pasha Mountain – Cappadocia
Who Is Michael? He is the traveling lawyer behind the successful travel blog called Go, See, Write. He can count many countries on the accomplished part of his bucket list, including Turkey in 2009.
Michael says ” Cappadocia is one of the most unique places in the world, let alone Turkey and in my opinion, is a must-see area for anyone visiting this wonderful country. The people are so friendly and the surrounding scenery is unlike anywhere else I have been in the world. Enjoy the odd land formations and great photographic opportunities.”
10 – The Traveling Canucks – The Street Vendor
Who Are The Traveling Canucks? They are Nicole and Cameron who write on their site dedicated to travel, adventure and world discovery. They love publishing fun travel stories, interesting travel tips, photographs and videos of two Canadians exploring the world! They last visited Turkey in November 2010.
Nicole and Cameron say ” When visiting new countries, one of the things we look forward to is experiencing the cuisine. Turkish cuisine is very much brushed to the side in Canada so we took great delight in sampling a variety of dishes. This picture is taken from a post which describe Turkish cuisine, drink and eating habits of the Turks.”
11 – Cay With Jim – The View From My Office – Antalya
Who Is Cay With Jim? It is a blog written by Jim And DeeAnn Reynolds who own a travel agency located in Antalya, They specialise in custom, private and luxury tours and their blog is their way of spreading the word to everyone about the beauty of Turkey.
Jim and Dee Say “ This picture is a favorite because it’s a view from the office and you can’t help but stand out on the balcony and just look at how beautiful the mountains and the sea are. It’s a favorite past time around here and one of the many things that motivates us to share Turkey with others.”
12 – Chris Christensen – Ortakoy Mosque – Istanbul
Who Is Chris Christensen? Creator of the popular Amateur Travel Podcast which is an online travel show focusing primarily on the best places to travel to. It includes both a weekly audio podcast, occasional video podcast and a blog.
Chris Christensen says “ We had hosted a Turkish exchange student for most of a year and a few years back I visited him and his family in Turkey. It is a beautiful country and I particularly fell in love with Istanbul and the many layers of history in this colorful city. I loved walking the old city walls, going down in the old basilica cistern, and visiting the Sultanahmet Mosque. I loved seeing Hagia Sophia and also the beautiful old Byzantine church of St Savior in Chora. This picture is a somewhat iconic picture of the mosque in Ortakoy at the base of the Bosporus Bridge. “
13 – Aaron Myers -The Joy of Simplicity – Istanbul
Who Is Aaron Myers? He is a language coach currently living full time in Istanbul. In his spare time, he writes down all his thoughts and publishes them on his blog called Stories From Turkey.
Aaron says ” Istanbul? Yes this is Istanbul, or the very edge of it anyway. Our home in Cekmekoy borders a forest criss crossed with trails and while it is not as easy for most, with a little bit of effort, everyone can find their way out of the concrete jungle and into the great outdoors. This photo was part of a post I wrote about being in Istanbul with kids and those are my two wonderful kids – Malachi and Sonora. “
14 – Linda Kaya – My Next Door Neighbour – Milas
Who Is Linda? She is author of Ayak Turkish Delight and she moved to Turkey from England in 1998. She has moved 15 times during her stay in Turkey but eventually settled in a remote village near Milas.
Linda says ” This is one of my favourite photos, of a neighbour walking her cow and donkey just down the hill near our house. It typifies the village and its people, and shows the wonderful scenery that I see every day”
15 – Catherine Bayar – Market Day – Istanbul
Who is Catherine Bayar? Catherine has married into a Kurdish family and loves looking at the differences between women in Turkey and women in other countries. She places great emphasis on local crafts and traditions of which she writes about on her blog called Tales From Turkey.
Catherine says ” Picking one favorite photo of Turkey is a tough request, but I’d have to say my market photo would be it. Those bright peppers and flowers have a random perfection – just like Turkey. I could send you so many great shots of my favorite things – textiles, architecture, life in the ‘village’ of Sultanahmet – but vibrant, chaotic Turkish life as lived on the street sums it up for me.”
16 – Monica Wong - Mihrimah Sultan Mosque – Istanbul
Who is Monica? Monica Wong is a social media account coordinator and the author of A Pair of Panties & Boxers. She used to want the corner office. Now she wants the world. Follow her as she shares her travels around the world & her travels through life. Either way she travels, it’s food for her soul
Monica says ” The Mihrimah Sultan Mosque is one of Uskudar’s most famous landmarks. The mosque has several signature styles famous from the person who designed it, Mimar Sinan. The mosque leaves me in awe because when the lights are on it looks magical, like it is straight out of a story book.”
17 – Kim And Clark Kays – Daily Life – Galata Bridge – Istanbul
Who Are Kim and Clark Kays? They are a couple who ditched a nice apartment and good jobs to grab two backpacks and head off round the world. In 2010, they experienced the delights of Turkey and wrote about it on their blog To Uncertainty And Beyond. Kim and Clark invited me to choose a picture from hundreds that they took of Turkey. I chose this one of daily life on the Galata Bridge in Istanbul. It shows that while Turkey is a unique and addictive country, its people are just the same as everyone else. Going from A to B and taking it one day at a time.