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Human interest story - Bursa
1.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 20 Jun 2008 Fri 06:02 pm

I too have visited Bursa and share some of the author's observations. (Grey Bursa vs. Green Bursa)Atmospheric dry deposition fluxes of trace elements measured in Bursa)
Here is the human interest story by
Amanda Coffin
Tell us about yourself. What made you come to Turkey?
I had been working for twenty years in the US as a systems engineer, spending as many holidays as possible in Turkey. A couple of years ago, I realized that I no longer loved my work or found it rewarding. At the same time, two friends about my age died suddenly. I realized that I might, in fact, work at an uninspiring job until the standard retirement age, or I might drop dead at my desk in the meantime. Neither of those prospects appealed to me. Life is capricious, and I decided to follow its example. What I really wanted to do was live in another culture and write. I sold my house and my car, left my job, subscribed to "Writers' Marketplace", packed a backpack and a suitcase, said goodbye to my incredulous friends, and boarded a flight to Istanbul.
How did you decide to settle in Bursa?
Accidentally, really. A Turkish acquaintance in America had suggested to me that Tirilye, a village on the Sea of Marmara, might be just the place for me. As she described it, it sounded lovely. I'd traveled around much of Turkey, and I like the eastern Mediterranean very much -- Anamur still takes my breath away -- but I thought I might feel a bit too isolated living down there. I went to check out Tirilye. It didn't take long. It is indeed a beautiful village, but very small. It wasn't where I wanted to be. I decided to go into Bursa for a few days to think things over. I wasn't going to live in Bursa, of course -- none of my guide books had particularly flattering things to say about it. One of them pointed to the city's automotive manufacturing industry and suggested that Green Bursa would more aptly be called Grey Bursa. Nonsense! The first thing I noticed about Bursa is the number of enormous, ancient trees shading the many pedestrian-only streets and parks. Bursa was first capital of the Ottoman empire, and the city is packed with history. It has great, authentic character and dignity. Bursa doesn't put on airs for tourists.

What do you do in your daily life?
I write. I read with greater appreciation than ever, given the cost of obtaining Engish-language books. I knit -- Bursa is a textile center, and finally the economics of knitting work in my favor. Unlike the US, I can knit a sweater here for less than I could buy one. I explore.

None. It horrifies my Turkish neighbors and friends, of course.

Has living in Turkey influenced your approach to life?
Absolutely! America is, by and large, a fretful, high-strung country. It's very easy to get swept up in that, even if your nature is more placid. The children playing outside my flat run with sharp objects, don't have bicycle helmets, and ride in cars without child seats or safety belts. Bursa's sidewalks often have a set of steps where you least expect them. Dolmuş drivers whip through traffic while making change and talking on their cell phones. These things would have American parents and tort attorneys in a frenzy. I suppose one could say that I have more things to worry about here in Turkey, but without all the constant reminders to worry about them, I don't.

Turkish language?
Yavaş, yavaş. Slowly, slowly. My biggest barrier is stage fright. When I start to speak, I can sense my hard-won vocabulary and grammar exiting my head. I admire the Turkish language tremendously -- it is the most logical and regular language I've ever studied. I will certainly keep striving, especially since I've met very few people in the Bursa area who speak English. My flawed Turkish is the only means of communication in town. Most Turks are genuinely patient, helpful and good-humored as I muddle along. I was speaking with a Turkish Cypriot once, trying to explain what I did for a living in the US. Reaching into space for the Turkish word for "engineer", I grabbed "enginar", telling the man that I'd worked for twenty years as an artichoke.

Let's talk about Bursa, tell us your discoveries.
I'm still discovering, but my favorite things include stopping for coffee in the 15th-century Koza Han, or silk market; going to one of Bursa's many hamams every couple of weeks (I go to a normal hamam. I haven't tried the thermal mineral baths yet); strolling around Muradiye, the Sultan Murat's vast tomb complex -- the tilework in some of the tombs rivals that in Topkapı Palace; wandering aimlessly through the maze of covered markets, hans and bedestens; going to the Karagöz shadow puppet theatre...

Have you traveled in Turkey?
Yes. I've spent quite a bit of time in the eastern Mediterranean between Adana and Anamur. I walked and mountain-biked through Cappadocia for two weeks. Since I've been living here, I've made some short trips. I went to Antalya this summer to see La Boheme at the Aspendos amphitheatre, which was extraordinary. I've explored Kütahya, the Marmara coast, and of course, Istanbul. I spent August of this year making a big, sweeping loop around easternmost Turkey. That was an intense trip, very difficult to summarize -- eastern Turkey defies description in many ways. I stopped for a short time at Sinop on my way back west, and that left me wanting to explore the Black Sea region further.

What is your preferred characteristic trait of Turks?
I'll cite the same characteristics that nearly everyone else does -- the genuine kindness and generosity of the Turks. My neighbors are endlessly dropping by my flat with food, strangers are quick to smile and strike up a conversation in the market. I wish I could be more original, but this quality is so striking, especially when one comes from a place where people are much cooler and more reserved.

What was the annoying one?
As an animal-lover, I struggle with many Turks' fear and loathing of dogs. I understand our cultural differences, but I still go a bit mad when I see a flying rock and hear yelping.

Turkish Cuisine?
Turkey is a culinary paradise. I lived in the cold, snowy, northeastern part of the US -- "fresh" produce came from California, Florida or Chile for most of the year. I delight in walking around the pazars to shop. It's especially easy to be a healthy, happy vegetarian here. Honestly, my only wish is that Turkey could grow coffee. The imported stuff is wickedly expensive!

Any suggestion to people planning to visit Bursa?
First, if you are traveling by bus, be aware that the otogar is over 10km away from the city center. Terminal buses run back and forth frequently. I was horrified to hear from a travel writer that she'd hated Bursa -- she'd only wandered around the otogar and dismissed it as a dismal city. She didn't realize that she'd been nowhere near central Bursa. After that, it's only a matter of your preferences. Bursa is rich with the earliest Ottoman history. Mt. Uludağ is here, if you like to ski or trek. You can wander the markets for days, until you can't shop a minute more. Soak in thermal baths, or one of several normal hamams. Bring comfortable walking shoes and just explore!


2.       MrX67
2540 posts
 20 Jun 2008 Fri 06:05 pm

Bursa is the one of the nicest city of Turkey,so why i think Amanda's prefer was good for her new lifeBut i think to be used on a very different life takes a long while if you living on a part of paradise even

3.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 20 Jun 2008 Fri 06:13 pm

Cadmium and lead contamination in vegetables collected from industrial, traffic and rural areas in Bursa Province, Turkey


Bursa's Double Image

Bursa's city air pollution, by Stephen Kinzer, N.Y. Times:

The last decade has not been kind to Bursa. The city has grown without much apparent planning to a metropolis of 900,000. Two large auto factories and dozens of metal fabricating plants and textile mills have turned what was once known as Green Bursa into a major industrial center. Residents say that pollution has raised the air temperature so that snows, which used to be knee-deep each winter, now rarely reach ankle height. But in springtime, there are enough trees blooming to show how the city won its fame as an idyllic retreat.

Chemistry Department, Arts and Science Faculty, Uludağ University, Bursa, Turkey.

Rapid urbanization and industrial development are the most important causes of air pollution in Bursa. Smoke and sulfur dioxide concentrations were measured at five stations over a period of 20 months between 1986 and 1987; the concentrations of the total suspended particles were determined in the samples collected at two stations in June and October 1986. Some of the trace elements (Fe, Pb, Cd, Zn) were measured in October 1988 by atomic absorption spectroscopy of 28 samples from two stations. The first-order regression equations were calculated in order to find the relationship between the concentrations of smoke, sulfur dioxide, and meteorological conditions. The trends in the concentrations of measured air pollutants were compared by the long- and short-term limit values, as specified in the regulation.

Urban air PAHs: Concentrations, temporal changes and gas/particle partitioning at a traffic site in Turkey



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