About the People of Turkey

The people of Turkey are friendly, generous and hospitable. I have met many of them as I travel around the country. Women, men and children. Old and young and all with different views and opinions.

Meeting Turkish people is helping me to learn about the culture, religion and traditions of my adopted country. From the West coast to the East and from the North to the South.

Please leave a comment on any of the articles if you have questions or information to add. I would love to hear from you. Alternatively you can also join in the conversations on the Turkish Travel Facebook Page

Are the Laz and Hemsin Communities of Turkey Losing their Plateau Culture?

Dance the Past into the future

My visit to the Northeast region of Turkey has always stuck firmly in my mind. Further inland and outside of the main cities of Trabzon and Rize, it is hard to believe the green hills, tea plantations and cool climate are part of this country. Life in the small villages is basic and old fashioned. I witnessed people building their own wood-houses and milking their cows by hand. In the hotel I … [Read more...]

Turkish Culture and Traditions Book : Landscapes from my Childhood

Nuray Aykin

Nuray Aykin is a Turkish woman who was blessed with a forward-thinking attitude for her generation. Her conception was not planned but a miracle or divine intervention, encouraged her parents to return from the abortion surgery and instead pour their hearts into giving their daughter the best life they could. Born in a small village, she later spent time studying at a university in Ankara, the … [Read more...]

The Story of Ayse Metin and Her Connection to Harpagos, the Persian General

Ayses Trail

Lately, I have been spending more time reading books than traveling. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know but I feel compelled to inject new energy into my life, travel style and writing. Something is missing and solutions are coming to me via the books that I read. In another time, only travel guides and maps sat on my book-shelves. I refused to read fiction, biographies or any topic that did … [Read more...]

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is the one man who you are going to see everywhere you go in Turkey. Displayed on the Turkish money, on flags and in shops, and offices, you will also see a statue of him in every town. It jogged my memory to tell you, as I was out the other day and there was a huge flag of him displayed next to the Turkish flag. You may spend all your holiday wondering who he is, as the … [Read more...]

Mustafa Sandal : The Turkish Pop Singer

Mustafa Sandal

Wow, I am still buzzing from last night. I went to a Turkish pop concert, and one of the most famous Turkish pop singers was appearing. It was only Mustafa Sandal in the flesh!. Now if you have never heard about Mustafa Sandal, then you definitely would of heard his music, if you have visited Turkey at any time. Who is Mustafa Sandal? Other wise known as "Musti", he is given credit for … [Read more...]

Hamzalar Lake in Beypazari


Sometimes I get so far off the beaten track, that the place is not mentioned in guidebooks and does not appear on maps. This is a problem, when I am researching material for an article but on this occasion, I did not care because in front of me was an astonishing landscape view of Hamzalar lake in Beypazari. Stood on a hilltop, I looked over the green countryside, small lake, and large mountains … [Read more...]

People Watching In Sanliurfa (Urfa) : Purple Headscarf and Regional Dress Codes


 I love people watching. Sitting in the airport or a restaurant and watching everyone is my favourite hobby.  I cannot remember though, ever being more fascinated by people then when I was in Urfa. What intrigued me most was the local dress. Living in the West of Turkey, I can see that any regional and traditional dress seems to have been replaced by the brand name of Levi. Even if I look at the … [Read more...]

The Friendly Locals of Beypazari

Coppersmith in Beypazari

I firmly believe the best way to learn about a destination, its cultures, and traditions is to meet the locals. Sometimes this is easier said than done. I cannot  walk up to any random local and start a conversation about their life, without getting the s*** beaten out of me for being nosy.  Instead, I have to wait for that moment when I am in the right place at the right time It also helps if … [Read more...]

My Turkish Love Letter : (Translated into English) : Part One

Turkish love rat

Readers, before I show you my Turkish love letter, it is important to know the background of my story, more so if you are not familiar with the hot-blooded libido of Turkish men for Western women. Any tour of Turkey by a single female, whether pretty or hideously repulsive, will produce numerous marriage proposals; requests for Facebook addresses and on the odd occasions, you may even gain a … [Read more...]

The Veiled Women of Beypazari: The Bürgü

Burgu Beypazari

During my time in Turkey, I have become used to seeing veiled women. Showing their face but covering their hair, the younger generation has even made wearing the veil fashionable with the Islamic chic concept.  I no longer take a second glance at veiled women and have on the odd occasion when social decorum calls for it, worn a veil myself. It was a different story when I arrived in Beypazari, a … [Read more...]

The Shoe Maker from Gaziantep

Yasayan muze gaziantep

Tucked away within the walls of a stone courtyard was a small and dusty workshop. I squinted my eyes as I peered through the age old stained windows, unsure whether the shop was open. An old man opened the door and smiled. His wrinkled face and stooped demeanour portrayed his old age. I was amazed he was still working at his time of life but he told me, his job was not work but instead a … [Read more...]

Ahmet the Coppersmith from Beypazari

Ahmet Ordek

A stroll down the back streets of Beypazari revealed rows of shops accommodating traditional trades that had disappeared from my home country many years ago. One of the tradesmen was Ahmet and he was a coppersmith, called a bakirci or a kalayci in Turkish. His shop stood out because of the sign that displayed his full name. The surname translated into “duck” which I thought was comical. As it … [Read more...]

Beekeeping in Turkey : How To Make Sweet, Golden Honey

Bees at work

Turkey ranks third of largest honey producing countries in the world and after I unexpectedly met a local beekeeper in Maral; I am surprised they are not number one. Personally, I think the bloke is mad to do the beekeeping job using his unorthodox methods but hey, this is Turkey and they do produce some of the sweetest honey on the market There is nothing fancy about beekeeping in Maral. That … [Read more...]

The Locals of Ani : Turkish Village Culture

Local man from Anikoy

There is one benefit of attending  tours with Turkish people. They have a complete disregard for  timed schedules and planned events. While this may infuriate those in the western world, who live every waking moment according to a diary, I enjoy it because the disruption leads way to surprising events and the chance to meet new people. The Turkish Village of Ani On this particular morning, … [Read more...]

Hande Yener – Star of the Turkish Pop Music Scene

Turkish Pop Star

It is not often that I get the chance to see  and take pictures of the rich and famous stars of Turkey however last night, I was treated to front row seats at a concert by Hande Yener and had a fantastic opportunity to snap the photos included in this post.  Hande Yener  is a woman with status who oozes talent and captivates everyone that crosses her path. Who is Hande Yener? She is a famous … [Read more...]

Spot The Woman In A Turkish Tea House

Tea house

There is a Turkish tea house in every town, city and village. It is part of all the establishments that go into making up a community. However  it is important not to confuse a Turkish tea house, with a tea garden, but how do you spot the difference? Well, a Turkish tea house has no women in it. It is a male dominated environment that has been around for centuries .  Many years ago, I made the … [Read more...]

Interview With An Imam – A Leader Of Islam


Have you ever put someone on a high pedestal because of their position in society? Have you ever assumed, they would not be interested in your presence or your point of view, because you really have nothing in common? I have. For years, I considered imams to be totally out of my comfort zone. I had no wish to speak to them out of pure fear; they would see right through me and recognize my … [Read more...]

What Do The Turks Think Of British People?


I spend a lot of time in British company where inevitably, the main topic of discussion turns to what we think of the Turks.  On the last such occasion, I was beginning to get bored of this repetitive conversation and my mind started to wonder to the opposite end of the spectrum.  What do the Turks really think of us Brits? Are we obnoxious? Are we two sandwiches short of a picnic?  Are we … [Read more...]

Santa Claus and His Life in Turkey : Six Facts You Never Knew

Facts About Turkey

Every year around Christmas time, millions of parents across the world take part in the biggest deception concerning Santa Claus.  It starts in the early years of a child’s life when the parents promise an abundance of presents from Santa for good behavior. They tell stories of the North Pole, the fat man who lives there and the elves who  make presents of all shapes and sizes. Some parents even … [Read more...]

Expats in Turkey : Love Them Or Hate Them

expats turkey

A search term on expats lead a reader to my blog this week and it has prompted me to write this post.  The search term used to find my blog was “mental health of expats in Turkey”. I was intrigued as to why someone was asking this. Had they been traveling around Turkey and come across the totally crazy expats that occupy these shores?  Were they thinking of moving here but were concerned about … [Read more...]

The Coppersmith Bazaar of Gaziantep

Gaziantep Coppersmith Bazaar

While the West of Turkey makes every effort to keep up to date with international trends and practices, the same cannot be said of the south east. Now this is not necessary a bad thing because in the big and bustling city of Gaziantep, selected areas dedicate themselves to traditional trades. The local bazaar is one of them and it was the first time I saw a coppersmith at work. Gaziantep … [Read more...]

Turkish Women : A Mother Called Hatica

women of Turkey

I love watching people and wondering about their life. Where are they coming from and where are they going to? What pain have they experienced and what happiness have they known?  I am also always reminded of a Turkish woman I met called  Hatica. Her life could not be any more different than mine. I am tied to the internet and all that revolves around it while she is a home-maker, mother and … [Read more...]

Herakleia and The Hard-Core, Street Crew of Turkey

Herakleia Turkey

Don’t be fooled by the flowery trousers and cute smiles. Don’t assume that these five women are just plain, simple Turkish housewives. They rule the streets with iron fists and even the menfolk of the village run and shrink into the shadows of doorways when they pass. I met the hard-core,  street crew yesterday when we were driving around the old village of Herakleia in Milas in the Aegean region … [Read more...]

Fatma Teyze From Beypazari: An Inspirational Role Model for Women

Fatma Teyze

Fatma Teyze is a local woman from Beypazari.  When I first met her, I was immediately struck by her confidence. If you are also under the notion that Turkish women are suppressed, Fatma Teyze is the perfect example to defy that typical stereotype. She owns a successful café in town. Her face is plastered on the billboard above her shop and she has recently secured the name “Fatma Teyze” as a … [Read more...]

This Turkish Woman Is More Than 100 Years Old

More than 100 years old

During my time in Turkey, I have often witnessed social situations when a person earns respect dependent on their status in society or their wealth. It is a part of Turkish life that I loath as more often than not, the same people have no moral ethics or mutual respect for other people. I instead prefer the term that "respect should be earned and not given". However, last week, I met an old woman … [Read more...]