Monday 30 May 2011

Holiday Snaps: A beam through the prism of Turkey

A pinch of Turkey

There are quite a number of observations I have made on my trip to Turkey, this is somewhat premature but it is best written as an preface of sorts to what might be covered in more detail later either concerning this journey or another visit to Turkey.

Though I was only in Marmaris [1], the South-West of Turkey in Anatolia, I cannot say it is representative of such a big country.

However, it represents a genuine difference from other places I have been to. The rarity of people of colour in these parts means I might well end up on quite a number of Turkish social media pages having appeared in innumerable pictures with the locals that have all asked to take pictures with me.

In the energy saving realm

Beyond that, I noticed that a majority of places both inside and outside had low-power light bulbs in every kind of twisted tubular design.

I could not help but notice the number of Turks that had returned home from mainland Europe, they all seem to have been quite well travelled and not just from Germany, I saw quite a few from the UK and even the Netherlands.

Literally every café, bar or restaurant had free Wireless Internet connectivity, it should put hotels that still charge for that service on mainland Europe to shame.

I should expect that eventually every hotel will that service freely available at least in their lobbies if not in all rooms. The Radisson hotel group stands apart on mainland Europe for providing free WiFi access in the rooms and for those who hold their cards, they can expect to use the service in the lobbies without having to check-in.

The push to the West

Every picture I have seen of the revered and respected 1st president of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk [2] shows a man who having seized Turkey from the grasp and dying throes of the Ottoman Empire is 72 years after his death still striving to drag his country and countrymen to the West.

The battle to make Turkey a modern, western and secular nation-state is still being fought with fervour and passion like never before; one recognises a strong identification is Islam as a religion but a great reticence to make a public expression of that faith.

The liberal and conservative appears to clash and compromise at every turn, it makes for an interesting, vibrant, friendly and tolerant country but it would always be caught in the pulling forces of Asia, the Middle-East and Europe and there is telling where it would eventually end up.

A world without Turkey will however be bereft of history, antiquity, knowledge and a people working hard for peace in a very turbulent world.


[1] Marmaris - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[2] Mustafa Kemal Atatürk - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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