Archive for the ‘Turkey’ Category

Morning coffee on the terrace   4 comments

Not a breath of a breeze, no leaves twitch, the sounds of cockerels, chickens, a cow lowing in a byre, pigeons. The evidence of life is all around me, birds singing, the sound of car tyres on patchy asphalt but all the evidence can only be heard, nothing I see is moving, from my spot on the terrace it is surreal, not one movement can be seen yet all the sounds prove that it is occurring somewhere close by. The cries of a goat herder urging her flock along the path to fresh browsing.

The early sun casts shadows on the opposite side of the valley revealing the contours that will be hidden in an hour to be revealed again by the late afternoon sun striking from a different angle. Noises of people starting work, leaving houses, doors shutting, things being dragged or dropped, voices calling to each other.

A bird breaks the stillness, a gently descending glide across my field of vision, followed seconds later by another, a tiny toy truck invisibly pushed by a child’s hand crawls along the road across the valley, a delivery to the concrete plant.

The dogs have had breakfast.

Wolfie strides onto the terrace, head down moving purposefully. He stops, raises his head to peruse the scene then, tucking one leg under he sits then lies, lets out a long sighing breath and is still. He’ll be there for the next hour.

Molly dozes but listens for any sound, she will be the first to react if something alerts her, she is the pack’s alarm.

Whisky is watching me, watching my movements.

Minnie rests under a bench, awake now, everything is again still.

My cup now cries for a refill, the scratching of my pencil on the paper ceases and I rise and turn toward the kitchen, the moment is lost for now, perhaps to be re-enacted tomorrow?

Posted August 7, 2017 by cukurbagli in Animals, Environs of the village, Turkey

Bulbul Coriander   4 comments

Standing at the kitchen sink this morning doing a bit of washing up and I spotted this pair of birds that are new visitors to my garden. In the twelve years I’ve lived here I haven’t ever seen any of these before. They are called White Spectacled Bulbul or Yellow Vented Bulbul for obvious reasons. That water they are bathing in pretty cold this morning but the sun is quite warm for them.




I’ll bet they don’t have any trouble following each other.


I like making curry but one of the spices used in some of my recipes is Coriander leaves. Well I had a hard enough time finding any Coriander until somebody told me about the spice shop in town, only been there a couple of years, why haven’t I noticed it before you may ask, I asked the same thing myself. Anyway I was only able to get ground Coriander and seeds so I planted some, didn’t really think they’d be viable but nearly all of them germinated. Very pleased with that, three pots of them are in the sun on my kitchen window sill now.


By the way, I also found out recently that in America Coriander is known as Cilantro, a good discovery because I’ve never known that and I have a few recipes calling for Cilantro. It’s also known as Chinese Parsley, something else I didn’t know, of all the things I didn’t know I didn’t know that the most. Thanks Bob.

Posted December 10, 2016 by cukurbagli in Animals, Food, Gardening, Turkey

Meis – Farmyard   5 comments

I had a trip over to Meis island a few days ago and before we left it was interesting to see the boats in Kaş harbour being prepared for the new season. Here’s a really cute looking little gulet looking all shipshape and ready for her owners to enjoy the summer.

My favourite of the bigger boats is this one, she has lovely sweeping lines and a very purposeful air about her.

Coming into Meis harbour it was easy to see that they have been preparing for the new season too. Lots of new paint and an air of expectation about town.

Meis entrance

But the streets were nearly empty

Meis street

and the day trippers from our ferry we were almost the only ones there.


Walking around the back streets I saw this tree that had just come into leaf on a balcony

and this heap of soil that had thousands of nasturtiums all over it making a bright show.


My garden has taken on the air of a farmyard today, that description includes the smell. My neighbours left their donkey to eat the weeds a few days ago and I suggested they leave it with me on a more permanent basis because I’ve noticed that it doesn’t get much good stuff to eat. It has to make do with whatever is growing along the roadside, in a few weeks it will be sparse and dried out so my garden will be perfect as we head into summer. I am pleased about it because I can use the manure on the bits I want to encourage too.


I should point out for anyone worried that it is not eating the oleander that is next to it.

Then this morning young Hassan brought their two goats to browse in the corner where there is a lot of young scrub oak (maquis) which they love.

Finally, Aslan turned up, he came bounding up the drive full of the joys of spring and obviously feeling fit and healthy after his bout of sickness. It is heartening to see his recovery and to know that the medication I gave has made a difference.


Posted April 20, 2013 by cukurbagli in Animals, Kas, Neighbours, Tourism, Turkey

Another dog!   6 comments

I was quite happy with one dog but since Wilf’s departure Minnie has seemed to be missing the company of another dog. When I’ve been away she has been going up the road  a couple of miles to visit some friends who have five or six dogs. They didn’t mind and I was happy to fetch her back each time but the root cause wasn’t being addressed. I’d been thinking of getting another dog  and had my ear bent a bit to take a puppy but I preferred to have an older dog, in the end I took in this one because she had been abused by someone who had hacked her tail off. I’ll refrain from giving my opinion of what should be done to abusers of animals.

I have called her Molly after my niece’s baby daughter, she’s about 12 or 15 months old and is keen on chewing things, mats, shoes etc. In fact one of my rubber gardening shoes has gone missing altogether, I can’t find it anywhere so I hope she hasn’t eaten it.

Posted June 12, 2011 by cukurbagli in Animals, Turkey

Arykanda   Leave a comment

I’ve been doing a bit of sightseeing in the last couple of weeks, places that I should have been to but haven’t. I was introduced to a visitor from America who is going to a lot of places around the world photographing and writing about them. She wanted to have a look at some of the archaeological sites near here so I decided to take a few days off from my labours, drag out my camera which hasn’t seen any proper work for a while and accompany her. Arykanda was the first place we went. There is a main road which goes north from Finike but the coast road is such a trial to get there I thought we could do it more quickly heading north from Demre which is a lot nearer. It wasn’t until we got lost up in the mountains and needed help from the maps that I noticed that a section of one of the roads was indicated on the map in orange colour, the rest were all red. Well we toured around a lot of dirt roads until we came close to getting bogged down and I decided that going back a few miles was the bravest thing to do. We could have been stuck in mud up there for a long time and we hadn’t seen anyone to ask the way so we turned round and retraced our steps until we saw a sign and followed that road. The signs up there are very few and far between.

This is an abandoned school on the road into the mountains, people have moved away from a lot of villages into the towns and cities for a less hard life so the countryside is often deserted apart from a few goatherders.

Anyway we eventually found the right road and carried on until I saw a sign for Arykanda in my rearview mirror and stopped to have a look. The sign that should have been facing our side of the road had a truck parked in front of it blocking my view so we went up a little lane and found the place.

Arykanda was discovered by an English traveller and researcher Charles Fellows, one of the first travel writers of which there are now legions trotting around the globe. It was seen by other travellers during the following years but remained largely forgotten due to the difficulties of getting there.

Arykanda appears to have been inhabited from the end of the late Calcolithic Age (Copper Age beginning in the late 5th Millenium BC) and survived because of it’s easily defensible location with a huge rock cliff behind it and thick forests in front. Even now it is barely visible from the road and is easy to miss if you don’t see the signposts. After a string of earthquakes necessitating major rebuilding each time the inhabitants moved to a place a little way away.

The city is now being conserved and tourism is being encouraged although there were only a few people there when we visited. There are temples dedicated to Helios and Trajan and the remains of other temples as yet of unknown dedication. Here are a few photographs to whet the appetite.

This is the bath complex from the rear and the front respectively.

The centre of one of the mosaics, the photograph doesn’t really do the whole thing justice.

There are lots more things to see, and the setting below the huge cliff is stunning, it is well worth a visit.
On the lane up to the site there is a very nice pension and restaurant where we had something to eat and met Mustafa and Aysel who own and run it. A very pleasant watering hole after clambering around ruins and getting lost in the mountains.

Next will be Patara, Xanthos and Letoon.

Posted June 8, 2011 by cukurbagli in Building, Food, History, Tourism, Turkey

Good week.   2 comments

I’ve been trying for two months now to get a new residence permit, a three year one because that’s when my passport will have to be renewed so that’s all I can apply for. What prompted this was the dramatic reduction in price of the permit. It now costs less than a quarter of it’s price a few months ago so it’s a ‘no-brainer’ as they seem to say these days.

The first time I went to the Yabancılar Şube Mudurluğu (the department managing foreigners) in Kemer was at the beginning of April shortly after this price reduction but I was told to go and get a new one at the Turkish Consulate in London because I had a Title Deed (Tapu). Well after a lot of phone calls that turned out to be incorrect and I was told about it the following morning but it put me off going again for a couple of weeks, I thought I’d let them iron out the wrinkles in new system.

The second time I went, two weeks ago, I again had a problem beyond my control.  One of the documents that I needed to present to them was a letter from my bank certifying that I had the requisite amount in my accounts to live in Turkey for the three years, they don’t want me to be a drain on their social security system. I’m not entitled anyway but that’s neither here nor there. Unfortunately when the bank wrote the letter for me they included my middle name, but my passport doesn’t show my middle name, so it wasn’t accepted. I could have been somebody else, by this time I wished I had been somebody else! Anybody else! Yes I know, it does seem a strange thing but when you’re dealing with officialdom sometimes strange things happen. Here strange things  happen a lot so although I was surprised and extremely annoyed I bowed my head and drove home. Oh! Did I mention that the office I went to was two and a half hours away by car? Well it is and I’d wasted ten hours by now, not to mention the petrol.

I went back last week (2.5hrs) with the offending letter now reprinted and my name changed so as to tally with my passport. Great, this time for sure. Wrong! Years ago applicants needed a certificate of address from the Vice Governor’s offices confirming the address at which you live. Then they started asking for utility bills so I had taken along my bills but they caused uproar and hilarity in the office. Apparently “on the right as you enter Çukurbağ village” was not specific enough.  They wanted a house number, I told them eighty seven but no, only a certificate from the Vice Governer’s office would do. I leaned on the counter with both elbows and held my head in my hands, then looked up at the policewoman with my best puppy-dog eyes and said “but I’ve been here three times so far, if I leave the stuff with you and you issue my permit, when I come back to collect it I swear I will bring the address certificate with me, is that ok?” Well women do that sort of thing to men all the time don’t they, so I don’t see why a bit of equality shouldn’t creep in on my side every now and then. Anyway the policewoman she say yes! So then I had to go and pay at the Tax Offices two miles away and returned after having lunch to give them the receipt and get a ticket bearing the date for me to go back and pick it up. While I was having lunch I noticed a tyre fitters shop next door so enquired about the cost of new tyres for my car. Reasonable price, instant fitting and balancing so I said I’ll be back next week, then I went back home (2.5hrs).

On Monday this week I went and got the address certificate in Kaş, what number is your house they asked, eighty seven I said, so then they printed out the document and gave it to me. It took two minutes to get certified proof that I knew my house number!

On Wednesday I took my scooter for it’s biennial roadworthiness test. There were too many there to be done in one day so I left it in Mehmet the mechanic’s capable hands to get it done on Thursday.

On Thursday I went (2.5hrs) back to the Kemer, left my car with the tyre fitter for four new tyres and crossed the road to the office. My new residence permit was ready, I handed over the address certification and walked out a very happy and mostly legal resident of Turkey again, it’s good to be back in the fold.

When I got back home (2.5hrs) I found that Mehmet had got my scooter through the test successfully, a couple of minor things to be repaired but it’s legal to ride it anyway. A good week, I had a glass of wine to celebrate.

Posted May 27, 2011 by cukurbagli in Turkey, Uncategorized

Music   2 comments

Went round to my friend Suleyman’s house yesterday for some tea and found he had a few other friends there. We were entertained by an impromptu concert given by Aşık Ahmet and some of his musical instruments. He also sings and usually makes up the words as he goes along, includıng the names of those present in the verses. There were a few people peering over the fence to see what the occasion was. In the last of the warmth of the late afternoon and sitting amongst the almond trees it was quite a magical moment. He plays the Saz,

the Sipsi, a shepherd’s flute

and the Kaval.

It was interesting that the sipsi and the kaval appeared to be a set and the sipsi fitted inside the kaval for easy storage.

Another musical thing happened while I was sitting outside this morning a cuckoo (guguk in Turkish ) was calling over and over. It was constant for about twenty five minutes.

Everything in the valley is so green now and flowers are opening all over the place, it’s a lovely time of year.

Posted April 2, 2011 by cukurbagli in Neighbours, Turkey