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2006 Summer in Turkey

by Trudy (1/6/2009)

From Erzurum to Dogubayazit (and surroundings)



Tuesday June 13th: Erzurum -DoĆ°ubayazit (285 kilometres)

            Walking to a bookstore to buy a thank-you-card for Mehmet’s mother, I pass the court building. Ahmed is outside, smoking a cigarette. He sees me and asks ‘Çay?’ That tea is a very good opening sentence… First I buy my card and get a birthday card – I found out later. That happens when you do not speak the language. Tea then, with Ahmed, Kemal, Haluk and Pinar. They all help me with the text on the card. Time to leave, Kemal brings me to the post office and says goodbye.

            The trip with AĆ°ri Turs to DoĆ°ubayazit is a very long one… The minibus leaves 50 minutes late, the driver did not show up. The other passengers – a few exceptions – are toothless old spitting men. What fun is this…

            In DoĆ°ubayazit I walk to hotel Grand Deria, a distance of about 150 meters from the bus stop and even on that short distance, several touts are approaching me with offers for tours and hotels. In the hotel I ask the receptionist if there is a tour in the area possible. It is, half a day, by taxi and it costs 165 lira. I think that is a lot of money so I bargain. The price goes down to 140, still much but because I do not want to miss again like at Mount Nemrut, I agree. When eating an ice cream at pastane Manolya I read in my travel book about the travel agency of Cetin O. I go by his office for information. When I come in a man behind the desk – Mesut I find out later – gives me immediately a mobile phone. ‘Hello?’, I ask. The answer is ‘How can I help you?’. It appears to be Cetin himself. I tell him I like to talk to him. That is possible, he will arrive as soon as he can. Fifteen minutes later he is there. I tell him my request, he tells me what he has to offer and he says a full day tour costs 80 lira. I think it is a good option and I cancel the tour in my hotel. The staff members in the hotel do not speak English but say they understand my few words of  Turkish and gestures – tamam.

            Cetin invites me for dinner at Murat Camping restaurant next to Ishak PaĆ¾a Sarayi, there is a Kurdish singer, his uncle. Besides, he says, it is almost sunset, so you can make nice pictures in the mountains there. During our meal we talk about many things, he is a fluent speaker and very open. He tells many things you should not expect at a first meeting. Especially not at a business one, like this rather is. We talk about politics, his background – he is half-Kurdish and half-Armenian. We talk about religion; he is not a Muslim though he has been raised as one. He even tells jokes about prophets, imams and he has read the Bible, has been to a church. He is 29 years old, divorced and father of two children, a son of 5 and a daughter of 3 years old. Since his divorce he lives back home with his parents again. I think he is an attractive man…During dinner the restaurant owner and a friend of his, Serdar and Deniz, are joining us. Both speak English and Deniz also French, because she is studying that language in Adana. Sometimes the conversation is in Kurdish and I count for nothing. I ask for translations that I get. At the end of the evening Cetin brings me back to my hotel. We make an appointment for my tour tomorrow morning at 09.00 AM at his office.


Wednesday June 14th: DoĆ°ubayazit and surroundings (150 kilometres)

            When I arrive at 08.30 at the reception desk of hotel Grand Deria a taxi driver is waiting for me. That I cancelled is not understood. Also now they cannot or do not want to understand me, because they keep trying to convince me. Finally, the message is clear. The rest of my stay they say not a word to me again… I get the feeling I am not that welcome anymore.

            At 9.00 AM sharp I am at Cetin’s office, he will be my private driver and guide all day long. We start at Ishak PaĆ¾a Sarayi, a recently restored castle that could have been in the thousand-and-one night fairy tales. The castle is high at a slope and offers a view at the everlasting snow of Mount Ararat. It is over 300 years old and is built during a period of more than 100 years. That is why different architectural styles are noticeable: Seljuk, Ottoman, Georgian, Persian and Armenian. On the courtyard is the closed tomb for the people who lived here ages ago. Next to it, something many people thinks it is a doghouse, Cetin tells me. No, it is the ventilation shaft of the tomb, to prevent the air down there rots and smells awful.

            The golden entrance doors between the first and second courtyard have been removed during Russian occupancy and are now in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Several spaces for the family of the three women of the PaĆ¾a are next to each other, all with a view at the courtyard. In the basement are the rooms for staff, the stables and the prison. Finally a historical building without litter and graffiti. The view from the windows is breath taking. A bit below one of the windows there is a carved statue presenting a human, a lion and an eagle. Gorgeous to see but difficult to take a picture of. I am afraid of falling down so Cetin takes the picture for me, sweet isn’t it? Cetin is a perfect guide with a great knowledge. He points me at small details and every time I think I have seen a room, he comes up with a new anecdote or piece of history.

            After two hours visiting, we drive to Noah’s Ark next to the village of Uzengeli. The oval fossil stone is claimed to be the left over from the Biblical Ark of Noah. American archaeologists investigated the area in the eighties. They say it is authentic and religious people do believe this claim. Investigation is still going on, there are several websites – amongst one Cetin contributes to – and often (American) Christians visit the place. Cetin rents a building next to the Ark from the city council, it is a museum now, and you could say he is the manager. In this museum, there are many pictures, newspaper articles in several languages and pieces of fossil stone at display. Hasan Ozar is the caretaker, cleaner and he sells post cards and drinks to visitors. He lives in the nearby village but in high season he stays 24 hours a day in the museum. He does not get any salary, lives of a small pension (Hasan is 61 years old), gifts of visitors and the profit he makes. Of course I give something too. Hasan is a hajji, he went twice to Mecca, though the Islam (it is one of the five basics) that only once in a lifetime asks (if possible). With a lot of fantasy, I see at the green mountain slope something that could be a boat in earlier times. Not being religious, I do not believe it to be genuine.

            Then we drive to the Iranian border at the village of Gürbulak (35 kilometres from DoĆ°ubayazit) to go just a hundred meter before the border to the left. There is a large hole in the ground, 30 meters wide and 30 meters deep. According to the Turkish government, it is a meteor hole from the twenties and except for one in Alaska, the largest in the world. Others, I find that more likely, think it is a geological aberration. The ground water disappears, the soil moves and there you are: your hole is made! Making pictures in this area is not without danger. The guards might think you take pictures of the border and that is absolutely prohibited. Followed by a heavily armed soldier who is watching every step we make, we smoke a cigarette. The soldier does not like that, regarding the look on his face. I am not so disappointed about not making pictures here, that hole in the ground is not too special I think.

            Cetin takes us to a Kurdish family in the small village of Tapia. That family he knows since he was at school. The woman of the house just made fresh bread (lawash) and together with çay and fresh yogurt we get a pile of this bread. The yogurt is a mix of cow- and goat milk, much thicker than the yogurt I know, a bit more sour as well. It tastes delicious. She and her husband are very curious about my marital status and my kids. When I say I do not have children, they both shake their head. They feel sorry for me because I will not get them anymore. Divorced? I am such a nice woman, they say, why don’t I marry Cetin….?

            The last stop of today’s tour is in Diyadin at 51 kilometres west of DoĆ°ubayazit where there is a hot sulpha spring. Outside I see several small geysers. The rocks behind the bathing buildings are covered with the shining stuff. Apart from two bathing houses, one for women and one for men, you can rent a private bath here as well. We of course do so. The temperature of the water I compare with a Japanese onsen: hot. In addition, I compare this kind of baths with Dutch sauna’s. When I tell Cetin that there men and women are mixed and naked in the same large bath – not like here wearing bathing clothes, he is not shocked. The water is hot, so every quarter I get out to cool off and sit at an unstable bench. My arms and legs are full with white sulpha stripes and I smell awful, I want to go back to my hotel to have a shower and change clothes.

            We have dinner again in Murat restaurant where also Serdar and Deniz are. During this holiday, I wear a metal necklace with hearts with a keyhole and little keys on it, like the keys fit to my heart. Cetin, Serdar and Deniz asked about this necklace yesterday. I told them my heart is locked now. Deniz wanted to know what man I want to have in the future and I said ‘a Dutch man of course’. At first she found that strange but when I asked her about a future man, she said ‘a Kurd’ because of culture and language. The background of a future partner is absolutely not interesting for me; I gave that answer to stop the questions.

            On the way to the restaurant Cetin makes a remark about it. I put off my necklace and give it to Cetin, meaning it to be a joke. He is much more serious about it then I thought before. He thinks now, he says, to have the key to my heart. He puts the necklace on his own neck and hides it under his t-shirt. He does not touch me, does not try anything, though the look in his eyes is a bit strange. In the restaurant Serdar and Deniz see my ‘naked’ neck. They ask for my key. When they see it is on Cetin’s neck, they have to laugh. Deniz is sincere in her laughing, really happy. Serdar smiles a bit greasy, not so nice to see. If I like him I do not know, Serdar is a bit too smutty in my opinion. Deniz asks if I love Cetin. I have to laugh, I like him yes, but love? No, really not.

            After dinner, Cetin drives me back to my hotel. He is behaving clumsily and I ask what the matter is. He pops the question: “Do you want to be my girlfriend?” I say no and I see his face set, he becomes very quiet. The word ‘girlfriend’ means more to me than I think to him, therefore my rejection. I ask him to pull over. Talking is much easier when you are not driving zigzag on a bad road full of potholes. “Did I hurt you with my answer?”, I ask. “No”, he says, “but I do not like it.” We talk some time and later we kiss… (After all…)


Thursday June 15th: DoĆ°ubayazit – Van (240 kilometres)

            I go to Cetin’s office because I want to go to Van. He is still busy answering his email but gets me a breakfast from pastane Manolya. My luggage I pick up from hotel Grand Deria – they react coldly when I say goodbye – and at noon, we leave.

            In the minibus are next to the driver two seats for passengers. I sit at the right hand side because of practical reasons: I can put my arm outside the window and that is nice in this heat and the seat belt of this chair is of better quality. Sometimes I lay my hand on the seat next to me. Suddenly I feel Cetin’s hand on mine, he is stroking it. I look surprised and he laughs. He tells me that my hand was there yesterday too, I cannot remember. To him that was difficult, he says, he wanted to touch me then too, but did not know if he was allowed to.

            Around three o’clock we arrive 45 kilometres south of Van, next to the boat for the island with Akdamar Kilisesi, a beautiful church as they say. First, we have lunch and then we hear that the Minister of Tourism is visiting Van today, so no boats will leave unless you rent one private. There is a lot of security around. Never mind that island, maybe some other time.

            We stay until six o’clock on the terrace, talking about his marriage and divorce, his and mine family, my work etcetera. Then I want to make a business deal. I like it being with Cetin and want to stay a few days longer. I like to use the possibility to go with him to Yusufeli and Barhal, though the tour price is quite high. However, I have a holiday and I can afford it. When I ask Cetin how much this tour costs for just me being alone, he gets tears in his eyes. He does not want any money from me; he does not see me as a tourist and business contact. He likes me and wants to be with me. I do not like this attitude, that car is not driving for free, is it? Not paying anything would make me feel less independent. I do not want him to loose money because of me. These days I drive with him 1750 kilometres, a lot of gallons gasoline that is. We agree that I pay for the gasoline but not for his guidance.

            He made a room reservation in hotel Büyük Asur for me and when I arrive I first go to sleep, I am exhausted. Cetin goes to a photo print shop to buy t-shirts with pictures of Mount Ararat, Noah’s Ark and Ishak PaĆ¾a on them. Around 8.30 PM I am awake again and we have dinner. After dinner some chat and çay with Remzi, the hotel manager, who is a friend of Cetin. Then it is sleeping time for both of us.


Friday June 16th: Van – DoĆ°ubayazit (195 kilometres)

            Cetin picks up the proofs at the T-shirt shop and I choose a few beautiful pictures of Van. I do not have to pay, the shopkeeper gestures. They give me a key ring with the famous Van cat on it. That cat has eyes in two different colours and is very popular. So popular that city council gives 30 Euro each month to their owners to make sure they will take good care of their pets. The Minister of Tourism is still in town and we skip our visit to Akdemar Kilisesi. We have a break at the kale, drink çay and visit an authentic Kurdish house. On our way back to DoĆ°ubayazit we stop at the falls of Muradiye. These falls are not as high as those in Girlevik but they are wider. Gorgeous. I hope the pictures show this wonderful sight very well. To get at the falls we have to cross a rope bridge, not very stable in my opinion. I scream a bit, this kind of bridge was never my favourite. Cetin has to laugh about it but gives me a hand and helps me crossing it.

            While driving I see him several times look a me with a smile on his face. I ask him why he looks at me that way. “Nothing special,” he says, “I just like looking at you.” Well, that is familiar feeling; I sometimes stare at him without blinking. I am falling in love with him, help! At 3.00 PM, we are back in town. Cetin has to arrange some business stuff at his office. Next week he has to guide a group Americans towards Mount Ararat and the weekend after that he is taking part in a big culture- and tourism festival. That festival is held now for five years. I use this time to have my laundry done, do some shopping, writing this diary (with coffee and tatlĆ½ of course) and use the internet in cafe Elit.

            At night, we talk about our youth, about school. He tells me about his army experiences. How strict it was, showering rules for example. Men in the Turkish army do have to shave everywhere, including their pubic hair. This is done so everyone stays clean and there will be no lice. Three times a week officers check with a very simple order: Pants down! He also explains me about circumsion.


Saturday June 17th: DoĆ°ubayazit – Kars/Ani – Barhal (575 kilometres)

            Around 9.30 we leave for Kars to visit the archaeological complex Ani in the neighbourhood of that city. Ani used to be the Armenian capital, now it is a ruin, very much neglected. Part of that neglect is caused by the fact that half of Ani is on Armenian territory. Though the Armenian government offers to help, the Turkish government said no. Cetin thinks one of the reasons for this is that Turkey is afraid that Armenia will claim land after restoring Ani. Turkey and Armenia are not really close friends. Pity, Cetin tells every year more of the ancient buildings collapse. However, despite of the decay, the place has character. A mysterious atmosphere, the isolation giving history. The river that cuts the place in two pieces is also the border. Several heavily armed guards paying close attention to all visitors. Part of the complex is still off-limits but a permit to visit is not necessary any more like it was a few years ago. Cetin is very quiet, his Armenian background is showing. He tells me he always when he is here is touched and getting a bit sad. That melancholic part makes him attractive to me.

            The road between Kars and Yusufeli is stunning; it looks like a fairy tale to me. High rocks, deep gorges, a wild river – sometimes close next to us, sometimes deep down. The rocks change of colour constantly in these Karadeniz Mountains. At a certain moment, they are red, as red as blood almost. On the Coruh River you can raft. Not my idea, I am not such a heroin. The road is narrow, only one car can drive at the time. Between the uncountable hairpins there are places to pass. Cetin uses the horn at every corner, a few times that is needed and we go to such a passing place.

            In Yusufeli we stop at a çay bahçesi. There it goes wrong. Cetin is joking about his bill to me. We laugh but then he says something about ‘Natasha’s’ that I do not appreciate. I feel hurt and keep quiet. When he asks what is happening I tell him he is giving me a ‘Natasha-feeling’ and that I thought something was upcoming between us. From that moment on, he does not say a single word to me. In Barhal, Mustafa DelioĆ°lu - the pension owner, brings me to my room. Cetin and he are talking, they are friends. I am alone on the terrace for almost an hour and I feel lonely. I do something very stupid. I give Cetin the amount my tours with him normally would have cost. He throws the money back to me, telling me he is not a ‘Natasha’ and that normally men pay women, not otherwise around. There is a lot of wind on the terrace, he takes the money, put it on shelf under a book. It cannot be blown away now. (Later I take the money back, an amount of 500 lira – 250 Euro – I do not leave for nothing).

            Finally I cannot control myself and I ask him ‘Why?’ He tells me I have hurt him terribly with my remark. He is in love with me. He does not like me just because of sex; he likes me for who I am. Do I think that bad about him? He says my remarks just finished everything that was possible between him and me. In his anger, he says he hopes I will feel a lot of pain. My apologies – this I really do not want – he does not accept because ‘when you shoot someone you cannot say sorry to the dead guy as well’. He says I do not trust him and that I should have told him about my feelings for him. He is right. I try to explain, without success. He tells me it all was a dream. When I ask him to sit next to me, he says no. He walks away, going to use the internet. I write him a letter in which I try to explain my feelings, my fear and put it in his bag. When he returns after 45 minutes, he starts playing with the 4-year-old son of Mustafa. Half an hour later, I give up, I go to bed. I ask him to read my letter and not just throw it away. That he promises.


Sunday June 18th: Barhal – DoĆ°ubayazit (485 kilometres)

            In spite of my sorrow, I do sleep well, though early awakened by the sun. My room has no curtains and the sound of the wild whirling Barhal River is deafening. A quarter to seven I am dressed and waiting on the terrace. My necklace he gave back to me, he removed the two keys and put them in his wallet, having access to my heart, he said. I write a second note and I attach one of the hearts to it. Quarter past eight Cetin comes for breakfast. He is still angry, hurt and at a distance. I cannot stop myself, I have to cry again. He reacts irritated, he does not want to see me cry, and it does not change anything. Over and out it is. I tell him I do not cry on purpose but it just happens. Than he says something comforting. Time will tell if what I say about my feelings is true, he says. I ask what he means. He says: “We can call, chat, mail, sms or send letters.” Wow, he does not refuse any contact of which I was afraid.

            Cetin has to answer mail by internet – business never stops – and gives me the advice to take a walk in Barhal and surroundings, to have some time for myself, to think. Around noon, he will go back to DoĆ°ubayazit and he offers me a ride to Yusufeli. Nice, because there is only one dolmus a day here, at 6.30 in the morning. I walk in the direction Cetin told me. The Georgian church I am looking for is at a distance of about one-and-a-half kilometre. After twenty minutes I still see nothing so I go back, probably I went too far. Wrong. I did not go far enough. Murat, a village boy of about 13 years, guides me to the church. Climbing at ‘Turkish’ stairs and regularly slipping away over loose stones and sand I get there. The church is locked but by a hole in the wall I can see it was used as a mosque until the new one in the village was built. Walking back goes much faster and at Cir restaurant I drink coffee to rest.

            When I return at the pension after a walk of 90 minutes Cetin is inspecting the minibus, a long drive ahead is making that necessary. He sees me on the terrace and waves at me. My heart jumps up, thank god, he is no longer ignoring me. The Turkish-Dutch dictionary from Elazig I put in his bag, written in it I hope he one day will visit me in Holland and thanking him for four unforgettable days. Half an hour later he comes to the terrace too. He gets me tea. He seems to unfreeze and as long as we do no talk about ‘us’, we talk again. It looks a bit like the first evening, just tourist and guide, sometimes business like, sometimes a bit more personal. About that ‘us’, he says he needs time, he does not know what the future will bring.

            In Yusufeli I offer him a lunch, I like to eat myself and he has another 500 kilometre ahead. We eat delicious kebab and drink litres of çay. He asks what I am going to do today. I tell him I do not know yet, Artvin maybe or Yusufeli and then tomorrow to Trabzon. He is silent and lost in thoughts for a while. Then he asks what I am going to do in Trabzon. Again I say I do not know yet, Sumela monastery that is for sure. Maybe Ayder for the hotsprings, maybe Giresun. Again he remains silent. Then he says: “Do you want to come back with me to DoĆ°ubayazit? We can go to the hotsprings in Diyadin tomorrow together.” What a question, of course I want to come. Even he is at distance, being with him is great.

            To protect his eyes against the sun during driving he likes to buy sunglasses. The 12-year-old boy who sells them says all sunglasses are 15 lira. Cetin says that is too much. Go bargaining, I say, you are Turkish, you know how to do that. He laughs and yes, after a few minutes he has fake Gucci-sunglasses for just 10 lira. He looks like a mobster with those dark glasses. I say I want compensation. He looks surprised, what do I mean? “I want a picture of you with those glasses next to your office”, I say. He smiles, that is a deal.

            We continue in the direction of Kars. Twenty kilometres outside Yusufeli he suddenly turns left, into a narrow road, away from the main road. “Why do you do that?” I ask. “Five kilometres up in the mountains there is a nice church, I assume you like to see that,” he answers. I want to see everything. Will this be not too far? No problem. The narrow road, sometimes frightening narrow – I think the wheels are over the edge – is next to a deep gorge. I do not dare to look constantly down, it is beautiful but it makes me a bit nauseous. The winding road goes up and up, deep into the mountains. Because we are driving slowly, it seems much more than just five kilometres. We see an old woman walk down very slowly. IĆ¾han Kilisesi is, though not restored, very beautiful. It reminds me of an old French convent. The caretaker removes the litter and the weeds, thus making it less abandoned. He points us at ornaments amongst one of a lion fighting with a snake. On the way back, 45 minutes later, we see the same old woman still walking down. Cetin stops and offers her a ride. Then we head for DoĆ°ubayazit where we arrive at ten o’clock, the night inky-black.

            Cetin is really a fantastic driver. He definitely likes to drive fast but he does not take any risk on these sometimes bad roads. He slows down where that is needed. He is the only Turkish man I see wearing a safety belt. He himself says he likes his life and he does not only use the belt when there is police nearby.

            At hotel Nuh he gets me a room. The price is at first 50 lira but after some talking it goes down to 30 lira. I ask him how he did that. He says he told them he would pay for the room, not me as a tourist. Aha, that is how it works! We go to Murat Camping again where Deniz and Serdar join us. Cetin is opposite of me and I like that, then I can look at him. He asks Deniz to change places so he is sitting next to me. Why? He does not touch me and I cannot look at him anymore. He seems a bit angry again.

            Serdar and Cetin are talking almost constantly Kurdish. Only Deniz talks some English with me. I ask the men to speak English so I can understand it too. Yes, they say and continue in Kurdish. I get irritated and ask Deniz if she sometimes likes to flush men through the toilet, they never listen to a woman. Yes, Deniz knows that feeling too. This remark starts a complete discussion, both men are offended. Even though I explain the sarcasm of my remark, they are still a bit angry. Then Cetin says I have to flush him down again and continues talking in Kurdish. At 23.30 I am bored with it. My dinner is finished, my beer glass empty and I want to go to my hotel. Cetin orders a new beer. Deniz is going to sleep, she is tired. I ask Cetin to call me a cab, that Kurdish is not fun for me. Again irritated he says he can bring me to my hotel now and then return. Okay. At hotel Nuh he just says good night and leaves.


Monday June 19th: DoĆ°ubayazit – Diyadin v.v. (102 kilometres)

            Early in the morning, Cetin sends me a sms with excuses for his grumbling behaviour last night. In his office I have breakfast. When Cetin arrives he gives Mesut and Melle a kind of a kiss, he shakes my hand. Ouch, that hurts! DoĆ°ubayazit has not so much to offer that I have not seen already and I do not just want to walk in the streets. A day with a lot of çay and internet it will be.

            At noon Cetin and I have lunch together; I want to talk with him. The conversation we have lasts two hours; it is nice and clearing things up. I can explain why I am afraid: he 29 and in Turkey, me 43 and in Holland, will that be possible? I say what I expect (just keeping contact). He says he expects the same from me. He need to be sure about my feelings for him. I tell him I have fallen in love with him, but will that feeling remain? Will the contact not just fade away? He understands some things but thinks I make too much fuss of the difference in age. How much time he needs, he does not know. He does know that he will not give in today because then will happen what I am afraid of: loosing myself and he does not want that to happen. I now also know why he got that angry. I said he was giving me a ‘Natasha-feeling’ and no one is allowed to say that. I ask him two things. I want to have something little from him that I can take with me to Holland as a remembrance of him. He nods, he is working on that already. In addition, before I leave I want a real kiss from you, I say, not just one on my cheek or a handshake like this morning in your office. He looks surprised and explains the tradition. Men do give each other a kind of kiss but they do not kiss women who are no family in public, that is not done. I say I understand but the distance was not that nice and besides, you kissed me before? He nods again, he gets my drift. And that real kiss? That is okay, he laughs, with pleasure.

            The hotsprings I had cancelled because Mesut was coming with us and I want him, even how nice he is, not constantly around us. Now Cetin says Mesut is only going with us as a driver because Cetin does not like to drive after two busy days and all those kilometres. On the other hand, maybe we go together, he says. Great, I look forward to it. Alone again for a while, that is what happens when having a boyfriend with commercial interests. Before we leave we eat, our stomachs are making a lot of protesting noises. Arriving at the hotsprings we have to wait three quarter of an hour before the private bath is available. We chat about relationships, boyfriends and girlfriends. The water is hot, the air is cool so we get in and out of the water to warm up and cool down. In the water and on the benches outside the bath we do not sit close next to each other but with quite some distance between us.

            Around ten o’clock we are back in DoĆ°ubayazit where I go to my room, he to his house, both to take a shower, we smell like rotten eggs. Cetin picks me up from the hotel again. When he sees I have changed clothes he is surprised, I look beautiful he says and deserve a kiss... The only place in town where we can have a beer and talk without half of the city staring at us is, you have guessed, Murat Camping. Melle and Deniz are present as well, Serdar has left for Istanbul on a business trip. Tonight no live music, the singer has a day off, we can talk without yelling. We make two pictures, one of Cetin and me. Back at my hotel we wish each other good night, without a kiss. An hour later, I am already half asleep, I receive a sms: ‘Do not think I do not have feelings for you, but this is just the way I am. Do I see you tomorrow at my office?’ Some more sweet sms from him to me and vice versa follow…


Tuesday June 20th: DoĆ°ubayazit – Trabzon (610 kilometres)

            Cetin is later in his office than I am, so Mesut gets me breakfast of Manolya. The breakfast in hotel Nuh is nothing, the worst I had in Turkey so far. Cetin made a ticket reservation for me for the bus to Trabzon at 14.00 hours. The morning is for me alone again, and then we have lunch together, of course in the aile salonu…. For a while, we are alone, and then Melle arrives, few minutes later Mesut is there too, bringing a large pack, a gift. Nice, all those friends but sometimes I wish they were on the moon! I do not want to unwrap the gift because of my travel to Trabzon. It is not necessary, Cetin tells me what is in it: a wall carpet from his office, so I can think of him in my house. Mesut and he are making a joke: there is also a bomb in it, they say. Even if I would believe that for a second, which I just do not, that believe is gone when I see Cetin handle the pack. Absolutely not soft handled.

            A passionate goodbye is what follows. Will we ever see each other again? Time to go to the otogar. Melle is there too to say goodbye. The bus is 45 minutes late so while waiting we talk. When it arrives, we say goodbye, decent with a kiss on the cheek and a handshake. I do not cry yet, but Cetin’s eyes are suddenly very red… The bus leaves and we wave. Then I cannot control myself and I cry softly for at least fifteen minutes. Happily for me only my neighbour sees me crying and she is discrete. In the bus I send two sms and immediately receive one back with the text he will miss me and that I should take care of myself.

            After changing busses in AĆ°ri and waiting for an hour at the bus company office, I continue for Trabzon. Nearby Erzurum we stop for dinner. I can sleep a bit but arrive very exhausted in Trabzon at 01.15. Almost 11 hours travelling is not my favourite hobby. A taxi brings me to hotel Nur and soon I am asleep.

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From Elazig to Erzurum
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From Dogubayazit back home

1. From Ankara to Malatya
2. From Malatya to Adana
3. From Adana to Elazig
4. From Elazig to Erzurum
5. From Erzurum to Dogubayazit (and surroundings)
6. From Dogubayazit back home

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TLC servers hacked, all user emails & pass...
admin: We removed the user password data from the servers until the issue is ...
E-T: It´s one of the things on my bu...
gokuyum: No. It doesnt make sense. You can say ... yapmak istediğim bi...
og2009: DÜNYA TOPLUMU VE FELSEFE ... okul ... felsefe ... ....
Holidays in Turkey
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24 HOUR FLASH SALE for learning Turkish e-...
qdemir: ...
Grammar Textbook
qdemir: ...
E-T: I see you have done this before?
harp00n: Bunu ... daha önce de ... Bu konuda iyi olduğun ç...
og2009: ...
og2009: ...
og2009: ...
og2009: ...
harp00n: ...
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