Tag Archives: Turkey

Olives

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There is a church here in Giresun. It’s located right next to the ögretmenevi, and I look at it sometimes when I walk by. Only after a few days I realize that I never hear its bells ring, and it takes even longer to find out that it was converted into a children’s library in […]


what ruins ruins

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Before I even get to Giresun Castle, I see a sign that tells me it dates back to ancient times. Roman times. Greek times. Those times are gone. Giresun, just like Trabzon, might have had proud fortifications once. But today they lay in ruins. A few walls and an old well are all that’s left. […]


rock hard

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It’s been exactly one month since I entered Turkey. I have two more left until I’ll have to leave the country for a while, and I wonder how far I will have come by then. But first I need to get a pair of new trail runners. Back when I started my walk in 2007, […]


imagine amazons

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The only island in the Turkish part of the Black Sea is small and shitty. I am not aware of this as I buy my ticket. The ride there takes about a half hour. Legions of jellyfish wobble against the ship. They don’t care. I think of Jason and his Argonauts and how they met […]


where sober men go to drink

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The cliff and the beach, the road and the sea, they are all very quiet. A few dogs are walking around. A few ducks are following them. They seem very interested in the tent. Still, everything is wet. Once I get to the ögretmenevi in Giresun, I am going to have to take the tent, […]


yok

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There is a word I keep hearing a lot: yok. It means “no” in Turkish. Excuse me, is there a way around that tunnel? Yok. Do you have soup on the menu? Yok. Is there a place to sleep around here? Yok. Yok. Yok. Yok. I am still thinking of this word while I am […]


déjà vu

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The year is getting old, but the sun still manages to burn. I remember the middle of October in 2016. I was walking through Kazakhstan when it suddenly started to snow. Back then I ended up buying gloves and a wool hat – along with my beloved pink Blankie – in a bazaar. I wonder […]


Sea Hawk

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Every tunnel is always the worst. The very moment I see it from afar, my heart sinks. I fumble for my phone and stare at the map, trying to find a way around. There seems to be a small road over the mountain. I try to take it, but it’s a dead end. There are […]


but the terrorists

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A day in a roadside hotel. The room is okay, the yard is nice, breakfast is the bomb. I walk over to a shop down the road and end up buying not only water and a candy bar, but also a pendant from the Trabzonspor football team because I like its colors. Guess I’m a […]


similar questions

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Last night, when I was almost at the ögretmenevi where I was planning to stay for the night, two guys appeared and wanted to take a picture together. Then the cops showed up. Not just one or two, but four of them. As I was standing there, posing for the picture in my Chinese reflective […]


a Turkish tea house

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It’s two in the afternoon when I see my first pine tree in as long as I can remember. Actually, it’s a bunch of them on both sides of the road. Their fragrance fills the air, and just looking at them makes me feel as if I was on the shores of the Mediterranean. That’s […]


overpass

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Here, on a pedestrian overpass, on a metal bridge that spans four lanes of traffic, here am I, and I’m having tea. Below me, there is a constant roar from the vehicles of those people who want to get somewhere – anywhere – really fast. I can see the Black Sea hitting the shore, it […]


the way to Sumela

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Somewhere in the south of Trabzon, hidden deep inside of a mountain valley, there is an old Greek Orthodox monastery called Sumela. It is not functional anymore. There are no monks, no holy books, no ritual chants, just a few stone buildings hanging on to the rocks. I can’t help but ask myself what happened […]


the Kantian

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I took a walk around Trabzon with an old friend today. We talked about his life and mine, and about some of the things that had happened in the last few years. The big things and the small things. Meanwhile, we looked around. When we passed the old Gülbahar Hatun mosque, I said let’s go […]


holy wisdom

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Islam came to Trabzon rather late. Maybe it was because of its city walls (which now mostly lie in ruins) or maybe it was because its inhabitants were so famously stubborn and hot-headed, anyway Trabzon remained Christian (and independent) for a long time, even after almost all of its surrounding territories had adopted Islam. It […]


the demonic sneeze

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Remember the other day when I stayed in that village guesthouse? Well, when I got up that morning and I went down to brush my teeth, I sneezed, and during the violent convulsion that accompanied that sneeze, I felt something weird in my upper back. I have been feeling a bit of pain ever since, […]


Formaldehistory

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“Where are you going?” asks a man wearing a beard and shades. I tell him I’m trying to find a place to have lunch and then go to Atatürk’s house. “Ah, come with me!” he says, and he takes me to a small restaurant. Then, after I’ve had enough soup, salad, rice, and beans, he […]


fighting folks don’t need no walls

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Trabzon has a castle. Or rather: Trabzon has a city wall that is sometimes referred to as castle. Or rather: the old city of Trebizond on the Eastern edge of the Byzantine Empire used to have city walls. Those walls now lie in ruins, and only very little is left of them. They stand on […]


Caboose 2.1

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One unexpected thing happened last night (I’m including a photo in this post). As I was walking toward my destination, I stopped and tried to film myself and the Caboose walking through a crowded pedestrian zone. That is until four men showed up and demanded to know what I was doing. I told them I […]


Trabzon

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Having rested very close to the city, I get to sleep in and have a long breakfast, then I just leisurely waltz into town. At least that’s the idea. In reality I squeeze my way through insanely tight traffic and try not to get hurt. The Caboose hates it, while I’m trying to think of […]