Why do people become addicted to Turkey? What creates that addiction? Is it just a great place to holiday? For many its just a holiday for others it goes further to actually living in Turkey full time. For some they buy holiday homes and spend as many weeks of the year in Turkey as they can.
Some have become addicted to travelling the lengths and breadths of Turkey and writing about their journeys and others like me and my other fellow bloggers want to write about Turkey and all it has to offer.
But what is so amazing about Turkey, why does it draw people in a never let them go….
To be honest, each individual will have a different story and a different reason for their love of all that is Turkey.
I remember the first time I visited Turkey, I had been through a bad break up and my friend who’s parents had fallen in love with Turkey many years before had a holiday apartment in a little place called Turgutreis on the Bodrum Peninsula. Well it was little when they first visited, not so much now.
I had no idea about Turkey, not one bit of information about the place, couldn’t have told you the capital (which is??), no idea what the people were like or what the food was, never mind where on earth it was. Let alone where the Bodrum Peninsula was and in fact that it was even called that.
All I knew was someone had offered me a cheap holiday and chance to put the past behind me.
I stepped off the plane and the first thing that hit me was the heat, then the strange language and then the beauty driving along the road to the airport, the moon was huge in the sky like you could reach out and touch it and it hung over the sea sending light across little towns and fields and the strange worded signs as you passed by.
I fell in love right then and there my soul told me I was home.
And then the addiction set in………..
So what is it, what’s this addiction.
Turkish people are so welcoming and friendly, not just the seasonal workers, but hospitality is a huge part of life in Turkey and you will almost always be welcome. They will make you feel like their friend in minutes. They will welcome you with open arms into their homes and no matter their circumstances, will not let you go without giving you Çay and food.
The ancient deep set culture, that sometimes does drive you insane, but there is something wonderful about the strength of their culture and how it bonds each one together. Their sense of community and family is something which I love and also hate at times. I sometimes feel the British culture is slipping away yet in Turkey they hold on tight to it, rightly or wrongly, there is something wonderful about it.
The history, the history is layers and layers of ancient and modern history, so many people have lived on the land that is now Turkey, the country is covered in ancient ruins. Once a powerful empire that stretched across continents and is the only country that is both in Europe and in Asia. There is always something new to learn about the history or some old relic or ruing to discover, that often leave you amazed.
The food, well you can’t have a list of addictions without mentioning the amazing Turkish food. I love Turkish food, the sweet and almost sickly at times baklava, to the amazing savory dishes, to wonderful fish, and of course Turkish delight. Not to mention the wonderful fresh season fruit and veg sold at the weekly markets in ever town. To each regions specialty foods, and different type of kofte (meatball) in every corner what’s not to love. And you have tasted kebab till you’ve tasted the many Turkish kebabs.
Wonderful beaches, that line the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, not to forget those on the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea. Endless sunshine and heat in the summer, and cool to freezing cold winters which offers skiing and snow sports.
Not to mention some of the amazing areas of Turkey, like Istanbul so soaked in history and spanning two continents. To the ancient caves of Cappadocia, where you can stay in a cave hotel and visit the fairy towers, travel by horseback or fly in the sky in a hot air balloon. To the amazing Iznik where the first council of Nicea was formed. The ancient trail of the Silk Road which passes through Turkey. The Lycian Way were many a hiker has walked the exhausting road to discover the history of the Lycans.
Turkey has something to offer for everyone, (I am starting to sound like an advert) but it really does.
But I think it goes deeper than that, there is something that calls to the soul of many, it’s something unexplained, that gets hold of you and doesn’t let go. For many it is the warmth of people, for some it is the beautiful history and for a few like me it can be the love of a good man….
I may not be living in Turkey just now, but the country is my home, not my second home, but my home, it’s a place I love with all my heart, a place I feel at peace in. I may not be there just now but part of me always will be and I know I will live there again soon.
I will never forget my first sight of Turkey and how it made me feel. I don’t think I want to unearth the deep secret that binds so many to the country. I like the mystery and perhaps that’s is what it is, the deep ancient mystery that lies across the country like a blanket.
When did you first fall in Love with Turkey, why do you think you became addicted?
© 2016, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.