Okçular? Where’s That Then?

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

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Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

30 thoughts on “Okçular? Where’s That Then?

  1. Jackie Silva says:


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  2. I love your description of Turkish people – I’ve only ever visited the country briefly, but the one Turkish person I know – the publican’s husband in our village pub back home in the UK – is delightful – warm, friendly, and adores my Spanish husband. Neither of them understands a word the other says, so they just drink beer together, chat and smile. I think it’s a male Mediterranean thing – some kind of bond, anyway. Marat does a mean fish barbeque every week, and my elderly parents never miss it.

  3. b film says:

    hocam bu siteyi yeni keşfettim çok güzel hazırlamışsınız :)

  4. Danielle says:

    Turkey has always been a land of great fascination for me because I guess I have had the privilege of having so many Turkish neighbors and friends in Germany. One of my great Turkish friends relocated back to Istanbul two years ago. She is one of those you would call the “Europeanized Turks” as her grandparents were “guest workers”-in Deutschland we call it Gastarbeiter- and she was born in Germany and speaks fluent German and English. I am not sure whether she speaks good Turkish but she tells me she is having an awesome time over there. Reading this post reminds me of the warmth and friendliness of the Turkish people I grew up with. I am definitely planning to pay a visit soon. Perhaps, when there is time I will pass by Okçular to experience the excitement.

  5. I like how you end the post by saying “Not another beautiful day in Turkey” I have never been there and I’m sure that it is a really beautiful place going vby the pictures on Google. For now, all I can say is “Lucky you!”

  6. conveyancing solicitor says:

    I agree that Turkey has always been a land of great fascination. Last Week i been there and amaze howbeautiful it is

  7. Lee says:

    Hi Alan
    Great post I love turkey we sailed our boat down the coast of turkey from just above the island of lesbos all the way down to bod rum helped by the sometimes rather blowy meltemi we had such a good time and found the Turkish people very welcoming. Will come back later to read some more of your posts.

    Great memories lee

  8. Anny says:

    I have come to the conclusion that we all have a little blame global warming and its consequences and guilt even more politicians who do not slow down.


  9. olivia158 says:

    Actually I think this is among the most vital information for me. And i am glad reading your article. But want to remark on some general things, the web site style is ideal, the articles is really excellent. Thank you for sharing with us. I think it would be effective for all. Good job, cheers! invites you to read

  10. Hands Free LED says:

    How many Turks knew the English word “ocular” (similar to their okcular word) means vision or optical. I’m always amazed that some words in other cultures tend to sound/written the same yet differ in meaning. We often giggles when a foreign word means something “weird” in our own.

  11. mandeep says:

    i agree that turkey has always been a land of great fascination.i am glad to reading your article.But want to remark on some general things, the web site style is ideal, the articles is really excellent. Thank you for sharing with us.

  12. Duzadee says:

    when i studies in Australia. i had one friend from Turkey. He is such a nice nicenice person ever. never thought Turkish would be this nice. like seriously. i dont know why people try to say that i should hate turkish. Sry if it is not so related to the topic of the post. but really i love turkish people and i will go to Turkey one day of my life. love love

  13. lala says:

    I like the way you end the post by saying: “Not another beautiful day in Turkey” I’ve never been there and I’m sure this is a really beautiful place will VBY photos on Google. For now, all I can say is “lucky you!

  14. william says:

    i never been sure about Turkey but after reading your post it made me want to go visit.

  15. Murat Yücel says:

    Hi Alan, Turkey is a beautiful bridge, hosting nice people like you. It’s the birthplace of agriculture, economy and philosophy. Now it’s being synthesized with Islamic cultures. All the living things are wellcomed here. Let’s make this beautiful bridge humanity’s transition place.

  16. Surya Tejaswini says:

    Hi Alen wow that’s an amazing article about turkey.U made me say turkey is going to be the first new place that am gonna visit.Ur narration increased my fascination.Loved Ur article as well as turkey……….:)

  17. Mary Probert says:

    Hi Alan. That is a great contraption you are building for your friend Gulay in your back yard. Hope it goes well for you and especially for her. Will be at the Mandalinn from late next Tuesday. Do pop by with Janet if you are about. I will have my IPAD if you want to connect before you come. Don’t know if I will make it to your beautiful valley this time, my knee is the problem. Looking forward to more tales of Iran. The concert looks good. Best wishes. Mary

  18. Yulia says:

    I love that you are using This is Turkey as your by-line! I learned this phrase last year and it certainly helped me since then. I even blogged about it: mikeandyulia.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/how-to-survive-in-kayseri/
    I really enjoyed reading your post about expats – so witty and so fun to read! I look forward to reading more things on your blog.

    • Alan

      Hi Yulia (and Mike) and welcome to Archers! enjoyed your photos from Cappadoccia on your post – it’s a lovely area although it’s been a few years since we visited. Bet there are some changes – funny thing is we were offered a semi-cave house in reasonable condition for next to nothing back then. We declined, wanting an uncomplicated life – do I regret that? some and some!

  19. Jess and Brandon from Watch Me Wander

    Great post. Turkish language is so fascinating. Turkey is a land of great fascination and wonderful places to visit.

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