In the last two years I've spent a lot of time criss crossing Turkey by car. This last trip, the longest at 4 weeks was possibly the most 'epic'. Part assignment work, part research for future assignments and part just fun. I've said it before but I am constantly amazed at the diversity of the Turkish landscape and the generosity of its' people. A few highlights :
In the northern Anatolian city of Çorum I spent a morning wandering the old market area where I stopped and chatted (and drank tea) with a knife maker (above) and third generation leather craftsman. Later that morning I stopped off for a simit - probably one of the best I've ever had. One thing lead to another and crack of dawn the next morning I found myself in the bakers' shop watching he and his crew crank out batch after batch.
I love random encounters. This guy ran up to me in Çorum and asked me to take his picture. After I did I went to show him the pic in the LCD and he walked off without looking. No idea what was going on there.
In Kahramanmaraş a group of kids wanted me to take their photos. As I was shooting them this little girl broke from the pack and ran over to this door. Obviously, she had more esthetic sense than I did. That door is right out of a Hollywood prop room. Wonderful.
Food is often a gateway for me. In Antakya, two ladies sat in an alleyway cleaning beans. I stopped to take a detail of the beans inwhich they promptly invited us into their home (a turn of the century French villa no less) for coffee. As we drank coffee people would poke their heads in and ask about the beans. They showed us around the house and ask I was leaving I wondered to myself if I would invite perfect strangers into my house?
On a warm afternoon in Istanbul this man strolled out and after lovingly dusting off his baby blue Vespa sat on the bike with a look of shear delite.
If anything Turkey has taught me how to 'hang'. Until I started going to Turkey I had little desire to sit and drink coffee or tea. Now it seems wrong if I don't spend a least some time each day doing just that.
Ah, the road. Is there a better feeling than having a tank of gas and no itinerary?