Trabzon, The Beautiful City of North East Turkiye.

Tea at the Cevahir Cafe at the Cevahir Shopping Centre

Tea at the Cevahir Cafe at the Cevahir Shopping Centre

I try to visit my home town Trabzonas often as possible. In my last visit (end of May, beginning of June) it was cross between spring to summer  time. The most beautiful time for countryside, sea side and mountains.

At this time of the year, everything in nature becomes alive again, many shades of green meets with crisp  shades of blue in the Black Sea. Flowers of all kinds are all over, smell of sea, various kinds of trees, flowers and grass has magical effects on us.  It is refreshing and soul healing to be with the nature at this time.

Melting snow on the mountains in May.

Melting snow on the mountains in May.

Trabzon changed beyond recognition within last decade. First it was a road which crossed the city, then followed by seaside main road. It has three big modern shopping centres, supermarkets and more or less everything that big cities have.

Trabzon has one of the biggest universities, Karadeniz Teknik Universitesi (Black Sea Technical University)in Turkey . I was told by my friend Dean of Education Faculty that only they had more then 10000 students in their campus which is separate from main university.

Last year Trabzon hosted European Youth Olympics Festival very successfully. This event itself gained the city many sports halls and venues of various types. [Read more…]

S/S Ankara

In Turkey, in 1950s there was a passenger ship called “ANKARA” In the immediate post-WW II era it served as the flag-ship of the Turkish Maritime Lines. It plied the Mediterranean between Istanbul and Athens, Naples, Marseilles and Barcelona. In those days’ standard she was a “luxury liner”, comfortable, containing all the amenities, and with an excellent cuisine.

This ship had an interesting story that relates to the U.S. Navy and the World War II. She was built in 1927 by the Newport News Shipyard in Virginia to serve in Antilles. Her original name was S/S IROQUOIS. Later, the U.S. Navy purchased it to use as a hospital vessel for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, it was renamed S/S SOLACE. In 1941 she was stationed in Oahu, Hawaii. [Read more…]

Vakifli Village, Samandag, Hatay and their View of the Protocols

Vakifli Village , high on the slopes of Samandag, referred to as Musa Dagh by Armenians, is located 5 kms from Samandag where around 150 people live, all Armenian Turks. Most have relatives abroad who coften come during the summer months and enjoy the tranquillity of the village which is famous for its orchids where organic oranges and vegetables are grown and most shipped to European countries. It is a very historical village near Hidir, another village where a maple tree has been growing for over 1,500 years next to a spring. There is a newly built Armenian Church of the Holy Mother of God.

[Read more…]

The Largest Tourism Fair in Istanbul , Feb 14-17, 2008

The Largest Tourism fair in Istanbul with International Participation from 55 Countries and 2,500 Companies – 14 to 17 February 2008

The Eastern Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel (EMITT) fair opened on 14 February with a ceremony that included Minister of Culture and Tourism as well as representatives from many neighboring countries. The fair featured many special events and promotions including performances, free holiday and flight giveaways. The organizers claimed that the occasion is the ‘’greatest tourism exhibition in the Mediterranean Region, the Middle East, Asia and South-Eastern Europe.’’

 

Countries neighboring Turkey all had stands, except Armenia, which is sad and a missed opportunity for the Armenian youth of Istanbul and Armenia. Armenian publishers have participated in Book Fairs before, but not in this fair. Georgia was represented at a stand, ABSOLUTE, where vodka and wine were offered both as refreshment and for sale. Iran had one of the largest stands. It was a pleasant surprise to see Palestine exhibiting the treasures of their small country, hoping to join the nations of the world, perhaps soon, following the independence of Kosova set for February 17, 2008 (In fact the declaration was made today.) [Read more…]

BAKSI MUSEUM and Research Centre for Folk Art – Bayraktar (Baksi), Bayburt, October 30, 2004

Baksi Museum and Research Centre

Baksi Museum and Research Centre

Bayburt is one of 81 provinces of Turkey, probably the smallest, but with a long history that dates back 2,400 years. Dede Korkut lived there many years ago, giving a reason for the people of Bayburt to stage a festival there every year. Coruh river, which originates in the valleys of Erzurum, goes through the center of the city, meandering along the rugged mountains towards the Black Sea and passes in front of a village called Bayraktar, once known as Baksi. Overlooking the Coruh valley and high on a mountain near the village of Baksi, a Museum and a Cultural Centre is coming to life, like no other in Anatolia.

 

Dean of the Fine Arts Department at Marmara University, Prof Husamettin Kocan, who was born in Baksi, is the creator of the Baksi Museum and Research Center of Folk Art. Melih Fereli, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Project 4L at the Istanbul Museum of Contemporary Art, states the following in a catalogue, ‘’Shaman’s Diary’’: ‘’Nowadays, one should really have been at the small village of Bayraktar in Bayburt, in order to experience the euphoria on the occasion of  a very significant turn being taken in the process comprising efforts that focus on bringing back the enlightened days of Anatolia, and to witness a truly universal statement being made’’.

[Read more…]

Allianoi, The Last Trip to the Ancient Spa in Turkey : Picture(240), Allianoi

Allianoi

Allianoi

The Last Trip to Allianoi, The Ancient Thermal city near Bergama, Turkey Sunday, February 3, 2008

Allianoi has been in the news during the past several years when it became known that the world’s oldest known ancient thermal city wolud be flooded when the nearby irrigation Yortanli dam would start holding water, now set for mid-February, 2008. A small creek that flows though orchards and  under a restored Roman bridge near the site and runs through the diversion tunnel under the dam now, will start filling the reservoir and cover the area.

Loyalty Journey

On Sunday, February 3, 2008, close to 500 concerned citizens and members of organisations working on Allianoi came to the site from Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and many towns near and far by bus, car and taxi, to attend a rally dubbed as, ‘’Loyalty Journey’’, to save yet another treasure of Anatolia. The rally was organized by Atlas magazine, Doga Associationa nd Doga Tourism. The photograph taken by Ahmet Cicek of Yeni Asir shows the concerned individuals including a lady who told the story of Allianoi with tears, asking that the site be saved (Photo1.) [Read more…]

A Trip to UZBEKISTAN

When the opportunity came to travel to Uzbekistan to look at the Energy market, I took it without hesitation. I thought I could also go to Kazakistan and Turkmenistan before heading back to Turkey. Since getting a business visa would take time with many formalities, I contacted Elma Tour in Istanbul at the recommendation of the Uzbekistan Embassy in Ankara and obtained a tourist visa in Istanbul within a week, although at a cost almost three times had I obtained in New York. I also made my hotel reservations through the Elma Tour Agent which works with the Uzbek tour, since I was going to a country for the first time which, I though, would still be functioning under the old Soviet system. My trip proved this to be the case.

Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, one of five Central Asian countries, proclaimed its independence from the Soviet Union of Socialist Republics on August 31, 1991, less than 7 years ago. It is in the mist of political and economic change and has selected Turkey as a model in many aspects. In fact, Turkey was the first country to recognise Uzbekistan and travelling as a Turk proved its privileges, as I witnessed first hand. As of this writing, the Turkish Prime Minister is on an official visit to Uzbekistan, where he and a large delegation of Ministers, Parliamentarians and Businessmen have been warmly welcomed, followed by a trip to Krygystan.
Uzbekistan used to be a part of greater Turkistan before its break-up by the Soviet Union in the 1920’s. During the Russian rule, the area used to be referred to as Middle Asia plus Kazakhstan. The other countries are Turkmenistan, Kyrgystan, Tajikstan. East Turkistan, which is under the Chinese control and referred to as Xinjiang was also a part of the old Turkistan. Most doubt the unification of all these Central Asian countries as a single country, Turkistan, even though there are efforts along that line. If the European Union becomes the United States of Europe, there is no reason why a United States of Central Asia can not established and even include Azerbaican and may be Turkey so Turks don’t need to worry about being left out of the European Union. [Read more…]