Thoughts reverent and irreverent from the road in Turkey

"Go to Bayraklı on the Metro," the archaeologist at the Altınpark Achaeological Park in Basmane had said to me. "I live there so I know it's easy. Just go straight ahead." On previous visits to İzmir I've often spotted brown tourist signs pointing to Tepekule, brackets Smyrna, and wondered whether I...
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Tagged in: Bayrakli Izmir Smyrna
Returning to İzmir after several years’ absence I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Would Anafartalar Caddesi, that olde-worlde thoroughfare that runs east from Basmane Station, still look as ramshackle as ever, or would the modernisers have had their way with it, cleaning it up, evicting the squatters and installing...
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Working for the Lonely Planet Turkey guidebook for ten years gave me a fantastic opportunity to travel all over the country. The trouble was that much of that time was taken up either in transit between towns or in running from one hotel to another checking up on cleanliness and...
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I always forget that you can get out of İstanbul on the ferry from Eskihisar to Topcu. I suppose it's just so far out in the eastern suburbs. Much easier, if you're staying in Sultanahmet, just to go to Yenikapı and hop the Yalova or Bandırma boats. But today I was...
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Time was when Kayseri was not a place one actively wanted to visit. The streets were dark, the pavements uneven and after 9pm a woman alone was likely to find herself attracting attention of the wholly unwanted kind, leading to self-imposed curfews in hotel rooms that were wholly lacking in comforts...
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Tagged in: Germir Kayseri
So here I am in Kayseri on a lovely autumn day and I'm running round town like a blue-arsed fly trying to find out where the bus to Ağırnas leaves from. You'd think this would be easy, wouldn't you? After all it's not that long since a new museum on the...
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I'm in Kayseri looking for a new quilt of the fast-vanishing old traditional type when I see a bus heading for Talas and decide to grab it. In 19th-century accounts of Kayseri it is usually Talas over which the writers wax most lyrical and if the jam-packed conditions on the bus...
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It's my last day in Istanbul so I've decided to do something I ought to have done years ago, namely walk along the Land Walls that make such an impressive introduction to the city as you whisk in from the airport. Somehow there's always been something standing in the way of...
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In the cool of early evening I thought I'd take a turn around the back streets of Eminönü. It always surprises me how busy this area is, yet how little the crowds of passers-by actually seem to notice what they're passing by. For most it just seems to be a...
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It being another lovely sunny day, I thought I'd take the ferry up the Golden Horn to Hasköy and check to see whether the Aynalıkavak Kasrı pavilion really had reopened to the public as I'd heard. It's always lovely to take that ferry ride although I was a disappointed to find...
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