'Burası Türkiye!' 'This is Turkey!'

Viewed Through A Different Lens

‘Good Lord!’ I hear you say, ‘I thought you’d shuffled off!’ I don’t know, a few weeks without some drivel about rocks or courgettes and you have me wrapped in a shroud and tickling the daisy roots!


Life has been full. J and I flew out of Dalaman about an hour after the start of the attempted coup d’etat on the 15th July. You would never have guessed anything was afoot though as the tourists continued to come and go as usual. It was at about the same time as the president was flown out to Istanbul escorted by two F16 fighter planes piloted by non-coup supporting Dalaman-based crews. Interesting times but here is not the place to discuss them.

Our ten days in the UK to visit family and take in the SPGB Summer School just flew by and before we knew it we were back home in Turkey with just two days in hand to get the washing, ironing and other chores done before our dear friends from Istanbul, Mark and Jolee, arrived on the morning flight at Dalaman. As soon as they were collected we were all off – back up here to our cabin in the mountains. The rocks hadn’t multiplied whilst we were away but the courgettes had morphed into marrows and as for the sunflowers . .


Anyway, what follows is a pictorial saunter through their visit as seen through their camera lens. It will be a change from flowers and insects which is all I ever seem to find! So, let’s begin with breakfast at our favourite lorry drivers’ café.


Mark could really use a smart phone and a ‘selfie-stick’ because he spends a lot of time taking pictures of food!



the courgettes are this big! Honestly!


the perfect balance of protein, carbohydrate and fine red wine!

salda sunrise

sunrise from their hotel


another ‘foodie’ pic


a view from the top


and the bottom

spicy rabbit casserole1

the famous spicy rabbit casserole

spicy rabbit casserole2

proof that it is organic!


tour of Sagalassos with our own personal guide


feeling the heat


supervising the hired help


a spread to die for – almost!


snow sherbet and ice cream – mmmmmmm-mmm!



chatting with Imam Ali inside the stunningly beautiful Hacı Ömer Ağa mosque


the priceless alabaster windows

So, there you have it – our life in the mountains seen through the eyes of our friends. There were so many more photos to choose from and as Mark was usually behind the camera here is a shot of them from their last visit with us. Mark and Jolee, thank you for spending time in Paradise 2.0!


Alan Fenn, in the mountains by a beautiful lake

Incredible Okçular!

Friends and Neighbours – The Sequel

Last post I spoke about dear old Halil our local woodcutter delivering a donkey-load of illicit wood whilst the ‘suits’ from the Forestry Ministry were visiting. Halil was a real character, as was his last donkey. All the previous ‘donks’ had been sweet natured things that loved to have their ears scratched but this last one was a total animal! Given the slightest lapse of attention this sod would ‘fix’ whoever was within range.

Halil and the ‘donk’ wandered by one day and Halil had his arm in a sling – he took his shirt off to show the injuries that had been inflicted by the monster lurking in the skin of a gentle beast of burden. His arm, chest and back were black and blue! ‘What will you do’ I asked, ‘flog it for dog meat?’ – the beast eyed me balefully over the gate. He shrugged in that Turkish way, mumbled something or other and wandered on his way.

A few days later the pair walked by again and I noticed the ‘donk’ was hanging its head a bit – then I spotted the reason – Halil had fashioned a very effective muzzle out of an old saucepan by knocking a few holes in the bottom and tying it on like a feed-bag. The beast was beaten – not with a stick but by a bit of village woodman ingenuity. That monster may have sunk its teeth into Halil; but Halil was going to have the last laugh and his pound of flesh out of that ‘donk’!

Dear old Halil died a few years ago and I was fortunate enough to have taken a couple of poor quality but rare photos of him and his donkey. I wandered up to his house with copies of the photos for him and we sat outside on the wall and chatted a while. By then he knew he was dying and we cried together a bit and hugged – Okçular, and especially our corner of it was not going to be quite the same again.

We lost a good komşu (neighbour) and the village a character. We also lost our firewood supplier. Nowadays we get a phone call from the village muhtar (headman), we cough up some dosh and a tractor comes by and drops off a great trailer-load. It’s cheap and efficient service, but it ain’t Halil and his ‘donk’ – nothing will ever replace that pair of rogues!

Here’s a couple of photos of today’s delivery of cheap village firewood and a little, old village lady of my acquaintance cutting and sorting her supply – they lack the nostalgic charm of earlier days, but what the heck – a bit of sepia tinting and it could be a hundred years ago!

2 tonnes dumped
little old village lady sorting her firewood

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü