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


Over Halloween weekend a group of Fulbrighters met up in Eskisehir, a popular liberal university city (maybe the Austin, Texas of Central Anatolia? Not quite as weird, but you get the point) to celebrate the holiday together. I laughed while experiencing a bit of in-country culture shock. Strike one: We traveled to ‘Eski,’ as we … Continue reading ‘Hallow-Eski’

Kurban Bayrami Part Two: Termessos

Our last full day in Antalya was spent at the nearby archaeological site of Termessos.  Here's that text transcribed, unless the image isn't clear [sic]: Termessos is one of the best preserved and most attractive archaeological sites in Turkey. Termessians referred to themselves in inscriptions as Solymiasa, native people of Pamphylia. Their language seems to … Continue reading Kurban Bayrami Part Two: Termessos

Şükran Gününüz Kutlu Olsun! (Happy Thanksgiving!)

This post sends my sincerest Thanksgiving greetings to my friends and family, wherever they may be. This year marks my first ever Thanksgiving away from my traditional Waggoner family Thanksgiving/ reunion in Wood County, OH. İ took the opportunity this week to teach my classes about the history and traditions of the holiday, which was … Continue reading Şükran Gününüz Kutlu Olsun! (Happy Thanksgiving!)

Do Ebru

While visiting the caravanserai of Silahatar Mustafa Paşa Hanı in Battalgazi, Malatya, I was privy to an intimate and impromptu demonstration of the classical Turkish art form known as ebru (sometimes known as water painting or marbling). The oldest determinable ebru works date from the early to mid-1500s; traditionally ebru was used as the media … Continue reading Do Ebru

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

Dipping My Toes in the Aegean

Last weekend my fellow K-Town Fulbrighters and I went on our first big adventure away. Two of our colleagues in the English language department were delivering a paper they co-authored at a conference at Muğla Sitman Koç University. It just so happens that we have two fellow Fulbrighters placed there who could put us up. … Continue reading Dipping My Toes in the Aegean

Türkiye’ye hoş geldiniz (Welcome to Turkey)

I've been in Turkey for almost two weeks now... here's the recap. I’m Flying Away My flight took me from DCA, Reagan National Airport, to JFK in New York City, to Rome, to Istanbul, and finally to Ankara. I met one of my fellow Fulbrighters in JFK while waiting to receive boarding passes, and from … Continue reading Türkiye’ye hoş geldiniz (Welcome to Turkey)