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Middle East » Turkey » Eastern Anatolia » Kars June 28th 2014

Eastern Turkey 28th June 2014 “... while the killers in high places say their prayers aloud” Leonard Cohen, Anthem "Evacuations were unlawful and violent. Security forces would surround a village using helicopters, armored vehicles, troops, and village guards, and burn stored produce, agricultural equipment, crops, orchards, forests, and livestock. They set fire to houses, often giving the inhabitants no opportunity to retrieve their possessions. During the course of such operations, security forces frequently abused and humiliated villagers, stole their property and cash, and ill-treated or tortured them before herding them onto the roads and away from their former homes. The operations were marked by scores of “disappearances” and extrajudicial executions. By the mid-1990s, more than 3,000 villages had been virtually wiped from th... read more
Kars Citadel
Kars street scene
Kurdish family having a picnic

Middle East » Turkey » Eastern Anatolia » Kars June 28th 2014

Ani, Eastern Anatolya, Turkey 28th June 2014 “Every heart to love will come But like a refugee” Leonard Cohen, Anthem Ani is located about 45 kms east of Kars in Turkish Kurdistan and is spectacularly bordered on its eastern side by the Akhurian river, which serves as the border with Armenia. It is a ruined medieval Armenian city-site, first mentioned in the 5th century and standing on various trade routes, including the silk road (athough there do seem to be many branches of the silk road). From 961 to 1045 is served as the capital of the Armenian Kingdom, with a popuation of up to 200,000. Following various conquests, plunderings and assaults, it was eventually abandoned and largely forgotten after the earthquake of 1319, but has remained a disputed territory ever since. In 1921 most of ... read more
Ani walls
Church of the Holy Mother of God
Distant view of western wall

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul June 28th 2014

Istanbul: the WCERE conference (World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists). June 26 & 27, 2014. Our trip started off from Ron's apartment in Brookline on a humid morning, catching the T with him as he went to work. We continued on to Logan after saying goodbye at South Station. Things did not bode well for an easy trip when the wheel on my duffle bag split open at check-in! I envisioned myself (or more likely, Wayne) dragging a crippled bag all around Istanbul and Switzerland. More on that later. We flew to Toronto first and had three hours sitting in a waiting area (with free iPads at each seat!) where we could watch the US lose to Germany in the World Cup in Rio. At about 4 pm we boarded the Air Canada flight to ... read more
Taksim Square
Corn for sale by street vendors

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Canakkale June 26th 2014

The balconies on our small street all face one another. We are like Puffins perched in cliff side aeries keeping watch over our roosts. In the mornings, a woman across the street and her ancient, headscarf-wrapped mother tend to the potted plants on their nest's edge. When they finish; They sit down in time-worn chairs, knobby elbows resting on skirted knees as they lean over to scan the lanes below for potential troublemakers and amusing behavior. They are among our biggest fans. When Karen and I start planning these trips it usually begins in our home office when we find ourselves underwhelmed by the repetitious tasks required in running our Florida home. The morning routine, the afternoon drudgery, the mind-numbing news cycles. So we'll pull out a map (we have drawers stuffed with maps; Topos and ... read more
KJ In The New Pad
KJ's First Dinner In The New Olace
Our Piece Of Turkish Delight

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara June 25th 2014

25/06/14 Anzac Cove; During the night we steamed a Westerly course towards the Starit of Dardanelles. In the early morning with the Captain and duty officers of the watch on the bridge we transited again through the Dardanelles Strait. Upon clearing the Strait we steamed a North Easterly course towards Anzac Cove. We arrived at Anzac Cove at 8:00 a.m. Anzac Cove is a shallow bay on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey, the cove is 600 metres long bounded by the headlands of Aryburnu to the north and Little Aryburnu known as hell spit to the south. Following the landing at Anzac Cove, the beach became the main base for the Australian and New Zealand troops for the eight months of the Gallipoli campaign during the first world war. At the Anzac Cove service held on ... read more
Anzac Cove 25/06/14
Anzac Cove 25/06/14

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Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean June 25th 2014

23/06/14 Kusadasi:Kusadasi traditionally was a minor port frequented by vessels trading along the Aegean coast. The port is situated inside a small bay with the peninsula of Guvercin Ada sticking out into the ocean at one end and the mountain of Kaz Doay at the other end. It is 95 Km south of Yzmir, the regions largest metropolitan centre. This port was always overshadowed by Ephesus which during Roman times was the second largest city in the Roman Empire after Rome and therefore the world. Today it is a tourist destination with many cruise ships coming each year for people wishing to visit Ephesus. Ephesus which was once a sea port is now situated 6 miles away from the sea. We are only in port for a short time today arriving at 7:00 a.m. and leaving ... read more
Cruise ships Kusadasi
The two of us

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul June 25th 2014

24/06/14 Istanbul: Overnight we will be steaming in a North Easterly course making our way towards the Strait of Dardanelles. Around midnight with the Captain and duty officers on the bridge, we made our way through the Dardanelles Strait. The Dardanelles is a narrow strait in northwestern Turkey connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. It is one of the Turkish Straits, along with its counterpart, the Bosphorus. The strait is 61 Km’s long but only 1.2 to 6 Km’s wide, averaging 55 metres deep, with a maximum depth of 103 metres. In the early morning we entered in the Sea of Marmara and continued our voyage on an easterly course towards Istanbul. Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, constituting the country’s economic, cultural, and historical heart. With a population of 18 million ... read more
Harem
Egyptian Obelisk

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Beşiktaş June 24th 2014

Merhaba followers! So after my last blog I figured I needed to re-invigorate this blog with a new entry. So first things first, what is Istanbul really like (once you get past the 'We're not in Kansas anymore' feeling)? Well it has an extremely high rate of stray dogs, cats, and smokers. As in people start smoking at age 14. FOURTEEN. I swear everywhere we go I hear my lungs crying. But besides that the views really are spectacular. Being in a Mediterranean area, the rolling hills, cliff-side housing, and water front views really are breathtaking (when you can breathe). In fact, today I finally visited Bebek which is located right off the Bosporus Strait which is basically in our backyard! The Bosporus connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. Bebek is home to ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sirkeci June 23rd 2014

"All generalizations are dangerous, including this one." -Alexander Dumas This will be short and sweet. Upon reflection, I never really thought visiting a Muslim country would make me feel uncomfortable. As someone who is not religious, I respect anyone's beliefs as long as those beliefs aren't forced on someone else. Walking down the streets of Istanbul, it did become apparent that I was obviously different and didn't belong. More than once, I was approached by someone who said, "You are American? Do you have a gun and go pow pow?" The generalizations can go both ways. I was warned about terrorists before I left the U.S. I have to say that I never felt unsafe in Istanbul. Even on the back streets at night. My birthday wish is that we all, myself included, respect each other. ... read more

Middle East » Turkey June 23rd 2014

So this is a long one, bear with me. I started my journey from KCIMO airport and flew to Toronto. While I was on the plane I was told that my luggage may or may not transfer to my next flight so I should check for them. When I landed in Toronto I realized that I had to not only change terminals, but that my phone did not keep up with the time change. So there I was, confused and lost in a different continent and by the time I found out we were an hour ahead and finally found my right terminal I had missed my flight. All flights heading to London that night were booked and the next flight they could get me on was a whole 24hrs later. This is where I had ... read more




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