Turkey was one of my favourite trips. Not only was the trip the first one with my boyfriend, but it was filled with such variety: busy cities, historical ruins, relaxing days on the sea, and adventure. I loved learning about Turkey’s many different cultures and religions, meeting so many nice people and of course, eating Turkish food! When I look through this gallery, I still cannot get over the variety of food I ate on this trip – I don’t think I had the same meal twice!
We were so inspired by the food we had in Turkey that we made our own Turkish breakfast.
While Turkey is beautiful, the country has a dark side too. The country’s past is filled with many bloody conquests, wars and sieges as the land was overturned by various cultures and religions. The powerful Ottoman empire ruled Turkey for the longest period from the 14th right up to (in various forms) the 20th century and it was during World War I that the Ottoman government committed ethnic cleansing against their Greek, Assyrian and Armenian citizens. It wasn’t until 1922 after the Turkish War of Independence that monarchy was finally abolished, and the modern Republic of Turkey was established in 1923. Since the formation of the modern State of Turkey, the Kurds have accused the Turkish government of suppressing their identity and mistreatment. This has resulted in many revolts, uprisings and an ongoing Kurdish-Turkish conflict that is present to this day. Political protests are common in Taksim Square in Istanbul, and along with Kurdish rights, groups have also protested for women’s rights, LGBT rights, freedom of the press, freedom from torture and other human rights violations.
Police brutality has been the subject of many recent protests, and is explored in the Turkish horror film Baskin, which I reviewed after seeing the movie at the Toronto Film Festival.
While the state of Turkish politics makes me really sad, I want to remember all the amazing experiences I had while visiting this fascinating country, and keep trying to make more delicious Turkish food at home. More to come!