Auld Lang Syne

Dogubayazit, Turkey Aug 17, 2018 Five years ago, when I was traveling through south-eastern Anatolia, I had stopped in Dogubayazit, the last town in eastern Turkey. In the few days spent there, I had stayed in a hostel called Otel Tahran. It was owned by Bilal and it was his friend Mustafa, who had shown … More Auld Lang Syne

The Ghost of Ani

Kars, Turkey Aug 15, 2018 On a wind-swept plateau bounded by the deep gorge of the Akhurian river on one side, is the site of Ani. Begun in 961 AD, it flourished between the 10th and 11th century as the capital of the Bagratid kingdom of Armenia. Its position on lucrative trade routes ensured that … More The Ghost of Ani

Kurdish Kindness

Eastern Turkey June 2013 It started with my arrival in Sanliurfa, a city in south-eastern Anatolia, I had wandered into a shop in search of a travelling alarm clock and the owner of the shop was keen to speak in English. He bemoaned the fact that he rarely got to practice his English. Not only … More Kurdish Kindness

In a Tea Garden

In a Tea Garden Istanbul, Turkey Dec 26th, 2003 In the Sultanahmet area of Istanbul, along the Divan Yolu is a cemetary. It houses the tombs of some of the Ottoman rulers – those of Mahmud II, Abdulaziz and Abdul Mahmud II. The tombs are raised off the ground and made of white marble. At … More In a Tea Garden