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 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

Istanbul (Marathon)’da Sonbahar

The weekend of the Vodafone Istanbul Marathon, a large group of Fulbrighters gathered in Istanbul to participate in the 10k and fun run. The Istanbul Marathon is the only day of the year when the famous Bosphorus Bridge is open to foot traffic, and we couldn’t miss the opportunity to boast that we’d crossed continents … Continue reading Istanbul (Marathon)’da Sonbahar

Bambaşka Biri

I'll get back to posting stories and photos from my travels this winter soon, I promise! I've been having some issues trying to figure out cost-effective video sharing on WordPress, and so I'll be launching a new YouTube channel that's specifically devoted to videos from my travels across the region. In the meantime, I wanted … Continue reading Bambaşka Biri