After 14 years living in the farming village of Okçular near Ortaca in Muğla province in the SW of Turkey, there are so many stories to tell; some are cautionary, some are interesting and some are downright hilarious. From the day we arrived there has hardly been a dull moment.
Adjusting to a radically different culture and mind-set will, inevitably, bring moments of gaping disbelief followed by moments of sublime insight. Some, usually middle-class, Turks will tell you with pride that they are Europeanised – they are not, and may it please any powers that be that they never should become Europeanised what they already are is wonderful; passionate, anarchic, welcoming, warm, crazy, protective, family oriented – all of the things we once thought we had in the country I used to call home. Now here, in Okçular, is where I am really at home; never in my life have I felt so strongly that this is where I belong.
Why ‘Archers of Okçular’? Well, Okçular is the Turkish word for an Archer, and the blog started life as a political blog ‘taking pot-shots . . showing reality’ so the title was and still is appropriate. You can follow the hard-nosed and some times very hard to swallow reality at archersofokcular.blogspot.com You’ll be in good company as the blog gets in excess of 20,000 hits per day! If you prefer to remain in the dark, don’t go there!
This blog, on the other hand, will traverse time and bend reality, just like the Tardis, from present day happenings to past adventures where memories have dimmed somewhat and frequent re-telling of tales has led to exaggerated new realities. But then, what the hell – a good yarn is a good yarn! Our life in Turkey has been full of interest and J and I don’t have a single regret about coming to live here – even when in the depths of some bureaucratic black hole (as we occasionally are) we have conjured up memories that have lifted our spirits; good, positive reasons why we love it here. Every morning we look out of our bedroom window and say to each other ‘Oh no! Not another beautiful day in Turkey!’
Alan Fenn 27th April 2011
Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü