Terrible Turkish Tourist

“You’ve dropped something back there”, I heard a young man say to a young woman (who was in a small group) as she walked from Istanbul’s “Blue Mosque”. “Oh no”, I thought to myself, it’s one of those tourist scams like I observed a few years ago near the Eifel Tower. As a reflex action, I grabbed hold of my own wallet in my pocket and looked towards what was going on. Putting his hand on my chest, he said “It was my heart”.… Read the rest “Terrible Turkish Tourist”

Shirley Valentine moment in Çanakkale

“You see that girl there?” I heard the nearby woman say with, what I thought was an Australian accent. “She was a singer and she was Australian and she was successful, like, ten years ago” she added referring to the video clip of Delta Goodrem playing on the video screen of the waterfront bar in Çanakkale in Southern Turkey.

The primary reason I was in Çanakkale was for the Anzac Day services at nearby Anzac Cove and Lone Pine.… Read the rest “Shirley Valentine moment in Çanakkale”

Anzac Day in Turkey

I was feeling slightly apprehensive about my decision to visit Anzac Cove and Lone Pine.

I’m very proud of my Australian heritage which goes back to the early days of European settlement, and as you can see from this website, I have a strong interest in genealogy and history. To the best of my knowledge, I have no direct connection with the Gallipoli campaign, although I have some distant relatives buried at Lone Pine.

But when a friend and colleague suggested I should visit on Anzac Day, as part of my broader travel plans, I instantly began researching how I would do this.… Read the rest “Anzac Day in Turkey”

Saying Yes in Istanbul

There was a brief moment today when I thought I’d bitten off more than I could chew. As I looked around the street signs there wasn’t a single word I understood. Unlike other places I’ve visited in the last few years, I was beginning to feel I’d failed to do (what I thought) was adequate background research about the history and geography of the place. “Oh my goodness, I know more about Chinese history, language and culture than I know about Turkey”, I thought to myself, feeling somewhat ashamed.… Read the rest “Saying Yes in Istanbul”