Blogs from Urfa, Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey, Middle East


Middle East » Turkey » Southeastern Anatolia » Urfa November 4th 2011

Thanks to my CS host in Mardin, Emrah, I had my own set of wheels to explore the remote historical sites around the Prophet’s city, Şanlıurfa. I rolled out of town, the sun a distant thought on the horizon, with Dixie Chicks blasting over my headphones. Not very culturally sensitive, but a girl has to indulge in guilty pleasures every once in a while. The first stop on my itinerary was Göbleki Tepe, the earliest site in human history with evidence of religious practice. National Geographic ran an article about it right after I bought my ticket to Turkey and I couldn’t wait to see the 11,000-year-old ruins. With most of the pillars boarded up and my unofficial guide trying to warm my hands with uninvited kisses, I couldn’t really get a feeling for the site ... read more
Guarding Göbleki

Middle East » Turkey » Southeastern Anatolia » Urfa September 18th 2011

Before returning home from the Livestock Market, Mehmet took us high into the K mountains in search of a Nomad Family, this was not a pre-arranged thing and we stood the chance of not seeing a family at all. The Nomad's live for 7 to 8 months of the year in the high country, grazing their animals in mountain pastures and moving on frequently as the food for the animals runs out. They always camp near water and live in various tents of all shapes and sizes. We were lucky as after about an hours drive we could see a camp in a flat area it seemed to consist of about 5 tents so probably would be a family. As we got out of the car Mehmet spotted a turtle on the road, bear in mind ... read more
The Turtle High In The Mountains
Nomad Camp From A Distance
Nomad Man

Middle East » Turkey » Southeastern Anatolia » Urfa September 18th 2011

Mehmet (Alisons brother in law and Faro's brother was our guide for the day, he arrived in time for breakfsat with us, then we were off to the Siverek Livestock Market. It was already very hot, but Mehmet's car was airconditioned so the 50 km drive was very pleasant. The day temperatures have been in the high 30 deg's while we have been here. Mehmet parked in the shambles of trucks, carts, horses and livestock and said to us he would see us in an hour. We thought we were on a guided tour and at first wondered how we would get around. It was no problem as everyone just everyone wanted to talk with us and be our friend, everyone wanted their photo taken. So it took a while to get around but it was ... read more
Everyone wanted to have their photo taken then see it on the screen
The Livestock Market
The Livestock Markey

Middle East » Turkey » Southeastern Anatolia » Urfa September 17th 2011

The village of Yuvacali has about 800 residents, unfortunately there is very little employment apart from agricultural work so many of the men spend 6 months or more away on the Mediterranean Coast working at various tourist locations in the entertainment and hospitality trades. The Nomad Tours project has given employment to several families and income for the village. There is a high infant mortality and birth defect rate amongst the families and in fact there is only 3 seperate surnames in the whole of the village. I was told that there is a lot of cousin inter marriages. As a result of the project there is now a full time funded teacher for the village school, water to all homes since 2008 and a sewerage systen has recently been put through. Gifts are encouraged and ... read more
Dung Firewood
Pero Bread Making
Pero Bread Making

Middle East » Turkey » Southeastern Anatolia » Urfa September 16th 2011

Some time ago whilst doing research on the net for our trip to Turkey, we came across a TravelBlog of a woman who had stayed at the Yuvacali Home Stay. Yuvacali is a village of 800 or so people and is the home of Alison Tanik, Alison who is from the UK is married to a local man from this village, several years ago they were living in Istanbul with good jobs and a good lifestyle. After visits to her husbands village which is about 15 km off the main road, Alison decided she would like to find a ay to improve the lifestyle of the village people and provide an income if possible. Nomad Tours Turkey is the result of that idea and is based around visitors staying with a host family in the village ... read more
Our First Meal
The Home Stay
Fati Takes Us On A Walking Tour

Middle East » Turkey » Southeastern Anatolia » Urfa September 15th 2011

Urfa & surrounds Woke early in our lovely rooftop bed & listened as the village slowly awoke. Animals, people starting to stir. Halil and Pero were up early, moving around the house and yard, feeding cleaning, preparing. Had cay sitting out the front and then it was time for Pero to make the bread. In the storeroom she measured out the flour into a plastic tub, added what may have been salt, added water and began to skillfully mix then knead the dough. The kneading is quite a vigorous activity, kneeling on the ground, using the knuckles with body weight behind - better than a workout at the gym I think! After that she went off across the yard and came back with an armful of sticks. She set out everything she needed - a hotplate ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Southeastern Anatolia » Urfa September 14th 2011

Yuvacali As promised, there was a young man with a sign saying Nomad Tours Turkey and an older man there to collect us. The young man introduced himself as Fatih, and turned out to be the son of our host family in Yuvacali. He spoke quite good English. The other man was the driver for this short journey. We loaded our gear in the car, ducked to the loo where Kim changed into her long skirt (required for women visiting the village), and then headed off on the drive to the village of Yuvacali (pron Yuvajaler). The village is in the middle of a flat, pretty much treeless plain, with a large settlement mound sticking up in the middle of it. It's a small village built of stone and concrete. We arrived about 9:30am at the ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Southeastern Anatolia » Urfa June 12th 2011

Další den jsme se vypravili dvouma dolmušema (minibusy) do Urfy. Sanliurfa je město ležící poměrně blízko k hranici se Sýrií známé tím, že zde bůh učinil zázrak a zachránil Abramáma odsouzeného k upálení tím, že oheň proměnil ve vodu a dřevo v ryby. Urfa má hodně mešit, hrad, kdes se inkriminovanej zázrak odehrál, nádhernej park s vodníma kanálama pod hradem a směřuje sem poměrně značný množství turistů. Většinou ale spíž z turecka a okolních muslimskejch států, takže anglicky se tu domluvíte jen těžko. Kvůli zachování původního rázu města nesmějí mít domy víc než dvě patra. Náš hotel se nacházel v centru, kam nás osobně dovez majitel rovnou z nádraží, které je naopak jak je místním zvykem od města co nejdál. Zrovna byl den voleb a tak v autě spolu s náma jela celá rodinka vracející se ... read more
Photo 2
Photo 3
Photo 4

Middle East » Turkey » Southeastern Anatolia » Urfa October 5th 2009

We took the advice of Mr Kemal that traveling on small Dolmuş busses would be the cheaper and easiest way to get to Şanliurfa. Tages thought it would be smart to save money and head West to the Mediterranean where we could take it easy and relax for awhile since Turkey had been somewhat stressful for us, so far. However, I really wanted to travel to at least one more city in Eastern Turkey because I thought it was so beautiful and thought we could make it to Harran which is outside of Urfa and possibly stay in one of their famous bee hive hostels. So, we followed Mr Kemal's advice and headed toward the Dolmuş bus area. It was only supposed to take about 3-4 hours to get to Urfa from Malatya. However, Mr Kemal's ... read more
Otel Dogu
my fan broke..
delicious food from a can

Middle East » Turkey » Southeastern Anatolia » Urfa May 17th 2009

14. Gün Nemrut dağında Gündoğumu, Kommagene Krallığı ve Harran Otel odasının Telefonu sabaha karşı 02:30’da çaldı. Özkan o saate kadar uyumamıştı. Üstümüzü giyerek Battaniyelerimizi aldık ve bizi Nemrut dağına götürmek üzere bekleyen Minibüslere bindik. Minibüsler yaklaşık 1 saat yol aldıktan sonra bizi Nemrut dağının zirvesine yakın bir yere bıraktı. Şansımıza hava çok güzeldi. 10 dakikalık bir tırmanıştan sonra Nemrut dağının Tümülüsüne ulaştık. Çevresinde hala kar vardı. Daha önce de Malatya üzerinden Nemrut’a çıktığım için aşağı yukarı neler yaşanacağını biliyordum. Tapınağın en önünde yerimi aldım ve battaniyeme sarılarak beklemeye başladım. Herkesi sessizliği davet ettiğim halde, bağrışmalar arasında güneş doğdu. Fazla etkilenmedim çünkü daha önce gündoğumunu daha önce görmü... read more
Apollon’un Pers kıyafetli helkeli
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