Wednesday, May 19, 2010


The secret to seeing Turkey is getting the right book in your hands before you ever leave the US. I was lucky enough to choose Tom Brosnahan's book "TURKEY - A TRAVEL SURVIVAL KIT" and it was this book, now old and well used and sitting in a place of honor in my bookcase, that encouraged me to see things in Turkey that I would have missed had I stuck to the obvious (and of course very important) tourist sights.

Because of Tom, I learned about the local daily markets that were set up in various locations in the larger towns - a Monday market was in one section of town, the Tuesday market in another section, and so forth. Whatever day I went into a town, I could ask the taxi driver to take me to the daily market -- and there I saw the real Turkey. Of course in the smaller towns one didn't need to ask to be taken there. The main road would be closed down and street market set up, just like that!

This photo above was taken in Izmir. Aside from showing a man lying down on the job, it pictures a big cistern of water, and the resting man is the one who delivers water to the shops and the vendors in that area.

In a sense this is the equivalent of our yard sale, in that the goods for sale are placed on the ground and bartering is above ground. This picture is so perfect for showing various manners and styles of dress -- from the very western dress to the styles worn by more rural folk. So many of the ladies wore scarves, and I asked our driver if there was any significance to the scarves, since mostly they didn't look like the "headscarves" that were then just starting to become an issue in the Turkish universities. Ahmet Bey looked at me kind of funny and said, "Mrs. Title, they wear them to keep their hair clean when they are in dusty places."

The lastest in Baby Bjorns are not a necessity here, at least they were not a necessity at the time I lived there or in the out-of-the-way places that I was drawn to. Just a strap or two did the job.

It was these daily markets that I found so very interesting. I rarely bought anything there; in fact, I didn't buy a whole lot of "stuff" during the time I lived there. But I came home with thousands of pictures which have helped me stay in touch with that very special time in my life when I learned so much, gained so many good friends and probably most of all, learned that we have it awfully easy living in the United States. I made a vow that I would never again complain about long lines at the post office - and here almost 20 years later I am still holding to that! But even with the difficulties that arise in living so far from home, I loved every minute of my time there and would go back in the flash of a gnat's eyelash!

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