Home  >   Turkey  >   Miscellaneous Travel Notes    

Click on any image to enlarge and jump to that page.

Emigration control at the old Istanbul Airport.

Chaos. An uncharacteristic lack of English signage. Heat. Stale Air. Lines. Cutting. Pushing. Delays. Delays. What's That Smell? More Pushing.

Airport happens.

Every once in a while, we found Turkey to be considerably more confusing than most other places we've visited. Some inexplicable complication, inefficient way of doing things, or general chaos would crop up.

We would say, "The Turks have a plan, and they are sticking to it!"

No sense in changing anything. We have a plan, and we're going to stick with it.

Note that there are few JetWays in Turkey. Virtually all planes load out on the tarmac.

One of the better Turkish plans was to have all checked baggage lined up on the tarmac. Before boarding, each passenger located their luggage and touched, not pointed, touched their bags. Only the pawed luggage was loaded onto the plane. The rest was probably "destroyed systematically," as the announcements repeat, endlessly.

Yeah, that's a stiff fine. 10 million lira for smoking. Sure, whatever.

Wait a minute. That is a stiff fine! That'd be about $71 US in 1999.

Is that Donner vendor smoking? Is he actually smoking while cutting the lamb?
Why, yes. Yes he is smoking.

Welcome to street food.

It is nice to see that the Turks are pretty relaxed about this sort of thing. They have immense pride in their secularism -- fundamentalism doesn't get very far here.

I cannot recall such 'personal product' (heh) marketing in the US, the ridiculous prudes that we are. We'd euphemize the hell out if it before putting it in plain view.

A sunset from our skyscraper hotel in Izmir. This shot is looking out over the Bay Of Izmir (Izmir Korfezi).

A news article from Hurriyet:
"The sufferings caused by the quake that hit Turkey has brought about a warm spell in Turco-Greek relations. On Sept. 9 the Turkish town of Izmir marked the 76th anniversary of the end of Greek occupation, the day on which the last Greek soldiers had been repulsed from the city -- for the first time without a symbolic re-enactment of a group of 'Greek' soldiers being driven into the sea at the thrust of bayonets. One day before that the deputy spokesmen of the Foreign Ministry referred to Greece as 'our friend and neighbor' for the first time."

Standing in traffic in Turkey is crazy, even for a traffic cop.

The Turks are very very aggressive drivers. This is unfortunate, because unlike many aggressive drivers, the Turks tend to also be very very bad drivers.

I'm sorry, but the Italians are just Driving Miss Daisy.

In 1999, the State department highly discouraged citizens from driving in Turkey. We'd never seen such a strongly worded statement, so we never even considered driving ourselves.

Meryemana is a religious shrine near Ephesus. The faithful feel that the Virgin Mary lived in this house at the end of her life.

The story goes that, in the early 19th century, a German woman had visions of Mary and the exact location of her house near Ephesus. The details of this vision led to the ruins of a building. The building seen here is obviously some interpretation of what the house might have looked like.


I had never heard anything of this story.

Christian and Muslim pilgrims alike line up for holy water from the spring under the house at Meryemana.
The custom is to tie a handkerchief, plastic bag, whatever, to these racks. It's a votive system without the flame and wax.
Votives at Meryemana.
Nothing says prayer like tie-dye.

   Home  >   Turkey  >   Miscellaneous Travel Notes