Easy Vegetarian dinner with tastes of the region

This meal combines tastes and adapted recipes from the Maghreb to the Levant to Anatolia. Nohutlu pilav, or rice with chickpeas, is a street and home cooked staple, often served with boiled shredded chicken. Because I used canned chickpeas, I began by preparing the rice and then added the chickpeas on top towards the end … Continue reading Easy Vegetarian dinner with tastes of the region

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Bayram II- Bergama (Pergamum)

Kurban Bayrami 2014 Part 2. You can read part one, about my trip to Chios, here. For more on Izmir, click here. Most people who spend a decent amount of time touring Turkey make a point of visiting Ephesus (Efes), the ancient Biblical city, as I have. Though they are almost equidistant, far fewer people … Continue reading Bayram II- Bergama (Pergamum)

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

Bayramınız mübarek olsun

Tomorrow marks the first day of the Festival of Sacrifice, the most important celebration in the Islamic calendar. Corresponding with hajj, pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiday is known as Eid al Adha in Arabic, and Kurban Bayramı here in Turkey. It is also known in Arabic speaking parts of the Muslim world as Eid al … Continue reading Bayramınız mübarek olsun

Urfa Part One: Göbekli Tepe

In early March 2014 I went with a group of fellow ETA’s on a whirlwind weekend tour of two of the most important and historic cities in southeastern Turkey: Şanliurfa (more commonly known by its former name, Urfa) and Diyarbakir, a journey I will be covering in a series of posts. This post is the … Continue reading Urfa Part One: Göbekli Tepe

Planes Trains and Automobiles (Getting Around and Getting By in Turkey)

There are lots of ways one could seek to describe a year in a foreign country. This is a semi-chronological list of cities visited and forms of transportation utilized in those places (cities with multiple visits are listed as one entry for uniformity) ... for what it's worth. I often tire of people's shock upon … Continue reading Planes Trains and Automobiles (Getting Around and Getting By in Turkey)

Come As You Are: Mevlana Seb-I Arus 2013

The week leading up to December 17 is known in Konya, Turkey as the Mevlana Festival, in celebration of the ‘urs of Celaladdin Rumi. ‘Urs is an Arabic word which can be translated as “wedding day;” in this context it refers to the death anniversary of a Sufi saint, or revered Islamic mystical figure. The … Continue reading Come As You Are: Mevlana Seb-I Arus 2013

Kahvalti

Kahvalti means breakfast in Turkish. What a 'typical' Turkish breakfast consists of could be debated (endlessly?) but some of the basic staples are bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, and cheese. Let's follow that basic list with runners-ups: olives, eggs, and sweet spreads (jams, 'bal-kaymak,' which is honey and clotted cream, pekmez (often with tahini, the much improved Turkish … Continue reading Kahvalti

Visualizing Politics: Election Season in Turkey

Today Turkish citizens are heading to the polls to vote in local elections taking place across the country, including an estimated 6 million young people, eligible to vote for the first time. In the midst of election season, Turkish politics and civil society have faced waves of controversy. Issues involving internet access and freedom of information … Continue reading Visualizing Politics: Election Season in Turkey

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