Bayram I: Chios – the Mastic Island

Using Izmir as a ‘home base,’ I used the Bayram holiday to travel to two new places, Chios, and Bergama (coming soon!). Chios is a (not that) small island 7 kilometers off the coast from Turkey, in the Aegean Sea. It is most famous for its production of mastic, a tree resin. The name of the … Continue reading Bayram I: Chios – the Mastic Island

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Black, White, and Pistachios All Over: A Weekend in Gaziantep

Over the Thanksgiving weekend I visited some friends in Gaziantep, a city in southeastern Turkey whose population currently includes approximately 1 million Syrian refugees. Though the cities formal name is Gaziantep, the "Gazi" prefix was added to honor veterans of the War of Independence (establishing the Turkish Republic) in 1928. It is one of the … Continue reading Black, White, and Pistachios All Over: A Weekend in Gaziantep

Kurban Bayrami Part 4: Ephesus

But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. Ephesians 5:13 (NIV) God is the Light of the heavens and the earth; the likeness of His Light is as a niche wherein is a lamp (the lamp in a glass, the glass as it were a glittering star) kindled from … Continue reading Kurban Bayrami Part 4: Ephesus

Kurban Bayrami Part 3: Izmir

The second half of my vacation during Kurban Bayrami was spent primarily in Izmir, (formerly the ancient city of Smyrna, famous among other things for being the birthplace of Homer... but more on that later). See parts 1 and 2 of my vacation here and here. Izmir is the 3rd largest city in Turkey (population-wise), … Continue reading Kurban Bayrami Part 3: Izmir

Artwork, Adıyaman, Antiochus, and Apricots

Over the first weekend in October, my K-Town crew and I boarded a plane from Ankara and flew to Malatya, a city in Central Southeastern Turkey where 3 of our Fulbright cohorts are placed. The trip also served as something of a one month reunion, as we joined over 20 other Fulbrighters there. With the … Continue reading Artwork, Adıyaman, Antiochus, and Apricots