Satire, news embargo and social media ban in Turkey Culture / Politics / Travel / Turkey

Today, it was april 1st, that day when everybody tries to fool everybody else. I had a lot of different versions of expressing this in the German version of this blog post, but my English is not good enough, so basically, you are pretty lucky that this introduction ends here. In addition, we already laughed a lot these days. For example about some persiflage of...

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What I did wrong when I entered Turkey Languages / Turkey

So yesterday I went to Turkey to celebrate my 44th birthday with some very nice friends in Izmir. I guessed that I had gotten pretty used to this almost regular trip from Berne, Switzerland, via Istanbul to Izmir, but then I totally failed at a certain point. At the Istanbul border control I saluted the officer in charge with a nice:

Lost without translation Culture / Refugees / Religion / Turkey

This year I did some things for the very first time in my life. E.g. today I bought some headscarves intended for Muslim ladies. I did this in İskenderun in the south of Turkey in a shop that is heavily related to Muslim and Ottoman culture. And no, I do not want to become a Muslim and a woman at the same time. This is...

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Christmas impressions from İzmir Culture / Religion / Turkey

I know I am late with this subject. But as long as they play Christmas music here at the airport of İzmir (and they do!) I am fine with that. You should, too. So I came to Turkey on december 24th and expected a country without any Christmas decoration. I mean regarding the fact that there are officially 98% Muslims living in this land. I...

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“Just relax” – this is the orient. And it is Christmas. Culture / Diversity / Travel / Turkey

Drama and fortune are always close to each other. Especially when you visit the orient. And I am not even deep inside the Middle East but only at its edge: in Turkey. I got here by taking the airplane from Geneva, Switzerland, via Istanbul to Izmir. So actually the airport in Istanbul was only a transfer station. Wait, “only”? I didn’t know that all the...

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Leaving Turkey – a first brief résumé Culture / Turkey

For the last 10 weeks I have been in Turkey. Definitely enough time to experience some weird stories. That is why now, as I wait here at Izmir airport for my flight back to Switzerland, I write this short résumé. It does not cover all aspects of my journey, but at least I can say the following: Turkey is the first country where …

The Rape Rules of Turkey Culture / Politics / Travel / Turkey

Okay, so you think this headline sounds strange? It is because so are the laws in Turkey. I was told about them in English so I decided to write this post in English, too. My couchsurfing host in Mersin told me about these “rules”. It all started with her telling me that people have strong grids in front of their houses’ windows to keep burglars...

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Cumhuriyet Bayramı – Holiday Of The Republic Of Turkey Travel / Turkey

Last week “modern” Turkey celebrated its “birthday”: on october 29th, the 92nd anniversary of founding the Turkish Republic (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti – T.C.) was solemnized (yes, I had to look this word up so I do not use celebrate twice in the same sentence). My couchsurfing host took me to a parade held because of this occasion here in Mersin which was smaller than the years...

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Mersin is the place at the sun Travel / Turkey

For the last two days I have been staying in Mersin which is a city of almost one million residents located at the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. I don’t want to beat about the bush for a long time: this city seems pretty different to the other Turkish cities I have seen so far. In a positive way that I really like. Here is...

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