Bat onesies, cakes & babies..

As i mentioned in yesterday’s post, I had the misfortune of getting up close and personal with a bat in my kitchen last night, thankfully I saw the funny side, and when Berkay came home from work this morning, I greeted him at the door wearing his bat onesie, ahaha. I tried to scare him but he just laughed, I don’t think he really believed I had turned into Batgirl overnight, I can’t imagine why, it sounds pretty realistic to me (:


I was a tiny bit warm wearing this..

We went to bed til 3 then woke up and went to our friend’s house for a while. Remember them from the other posts? Baby Çınar is adorable. He loves us too, always giggling at us.
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In typical Turkish style, our friend served us up cake, eclairs, cheese pastries and of course a glass or two of Çay.. Yummy. Good job I hadn’t eaten anything all day until then!

We’ve seen them more this past week than we have in the entire 2.5 years I’ve lived here, it’s sad really..only 18 more days in Turkey for me. If i can ever bring myself to book my flight.

Photos posted with permission.



Just a quick hello and and a photo post today, we didn’t do much, woke up, ate lunch, popped into Fethiye to exchange my iPod charger (6th one in the past 2 weeks, don’t even ask) and then came home and went for a little walk with Boncuk.  Then when Berkay went to work I realised we had a little guest..a bat flapping around the kitchen.  Thirty minutes and a lot of hyperventilating later, the bat finally flew out. Stupid animals, just like flies, no problem flying in through the tiniest nooks and crannies, but when it comes to flying back out they cant see the huge window open right in front of them. It was pretty traumatic, haha.

Anyway, here’s a few photos from our walk.
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How to make köfte

Berkay is the cook of the house, and today he made Turkish meatballs/ köfte from scratch to put on the BBQ. I thought I’d share his ‘recipe’ although he just judges everything by eye, so I don’t have exact amounts of specific ingredients.

Beef Mince (we used 400g and made 8 good sized meatballs)
2 Garlic cloves
One medium onion
Fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg
Black pepper
Dried chili flakes
Cumin powder

Olive oil

First, grate the onion and garlic into a bowl.

Next, make some breadcrumbs from crustless stale/dry bread. Berkay left half a loaf out this morning so it was hard by the time we needed it, he then put it into the oven for 5 or so minutes to make it even more crusty, but that’s not always necessary. He literally picked crumbs off the bread (but you could whizz the bread in a blender if you have one) and added them to the bowl with the onion and garlic, there is no exact amount here but less is best, you can always add more later if the mixture is too wet.

Then he added one whisked egg into the bowl, along with the minced meat. He also added the salt, black pepper, cumin and chili flakes at this point. Again, there are no exact measurements for this, to be safe you could add 1/2 teaspoon of each, but it’s entirely up to you and it depends on how spicy you like them. Berkay is a big fan of spicy foods so he added a good amount of chili flakes and salt. He added 2 teaspoons of olive oil too.

Now for the fun part, stick your hands in and give everything a good mix. You need to knead it all together for at least 5 minutes until everything is sticking together nicely, if the mixture is too wet you can add more breadcrumbs.

Take chunks of the mixture and roll into balls, then pat them down with your hands until they are around 1/2 inch thick. We made 8, but you could make more if you wanted them to be smaller. Put them in the fridge for 30-60 minutes to let them set a little.

Berkay cooked ours on the BBQ grill for around 15 minutes, make sure to cut them in half to check they are cooked through. You could also grill or fry them but you really just can’t beat barbequed köfte! Yummy.

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Here’s an amusing photo of Berkay lighting the BBQ.. yes, that is my hairdryer.

10 untrue stereotypes about Turkey..


Anyone who has never visited Turkey, or bases their judgement of the country by what they have seen in one resort, is quite likely to form their own stereotypes of the country and it’s people from things they’ve heard, seen or read.

Anyone who lives here, or who has spent a considerable amount in the country will know most of these stereotypes are not true. Here are a few of the most common ones:

1. Turkey is a strict Muslim country.
Well, it’s certainly true that the majority of the country claim to be Muslim by religion, but the country as a whole, is not. Turkey is actually a democratic republic. Turks are very proud of their history, particularly that of Ataturk. Ataturk is the founder of the Republic of Turkey, he reformed and modernized the country. Turkey is a secular state, meaning its government do not (or should not..) favour Islam over any other religion, and religion should have no effect on public life, politics or law (although this is arguable after recent events.)

2. Women walk around in Burkas, covered from head to toe, only showing their eyes.
Wrong. It’s very rare to see women wearing Burkas in Turkey, it is discouraged.  A lot of women do wear headscarves, although this is changing too. In fact, those women working in government buildings are not permitted to cover their head while working.
Walking around Fethiye in summer, I have seen plenty of Turkish women wearing revealing clothing, leaving little to the imagination, beaches are full of Turkish people sunbathing in bikinis. I imagine a lot of the big cities to be the same. Of course, in strictly religious rural towns and more traditional families, a lot of women do still cover up, but it is their choice.

3. Turkish people are uneducated.
Wrong.  School education is compulsory for 6-18 year olds. There are over 100 universities in Turkey, some of which are very good, well respected and internationally known.  I think this stereotype is one which comes from people judging the whole country based on their experience in holiday resorts. A lot of resort workers are from small villages and towns far away and come to resorts to find work as they are not qualified in any area of expertise. A visit to Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir or any of the larger cities would most likely change your mind.

4. Men are dominant, women are submissive and stay at home.
Technically, women and men have equal rights, but in practice, I’m not so sure. As before, in remote, religious and traditional villages, it is the norm for the male to be the main breadwinner and the wife to be the housewife; to cook, clean and be a good host to guests. Of course, women being housewives doesn’t necessarily mean they are submissive, many prefer this than working, lets not forget that stay at home mums and housewives are still a common thing in the UK too. However, with more and more women having university education and being welcomed into professional jobs, families are being modernized and women becoming more equal, even in tourists areas, it is not uncommon to see female waitresses and bar staff now. The country is very divided though in my opinion, between those modern and traditional families and their very different customs and beliefs.

5. Turkish men are lazy.
I can’t speak about all men, as I only know a few, and living in a tourist resort, my view is somewhat limited. What i will say though, is that the men who work in these tourist resorts do work ridiculously hard, long hours, often in the boiling heat, for very little money. Those who have professional, higher paid jobs may work less hours, but often just as hard. There is very little government help and certainly no real benefit system here in Turkey, nobody gets anything for free, they have to work hard for it. Turkish work ethic is the polar opposite of laziness, in my opinion. 

6. Turkish men are allowed x amount of wives.
Wrong. Polygamy is illegal and can be punished with a prison sentence.

7. All Turkish men are love rats and just after your money, or a visa.
Wrong. Again, a stereotype based on ignorant views from people who have only ever visited holiday resorts. Sure, a lot of Turks working in resorts are liars and cheats, but not all, and they do not represent the country as a whole. Some resort workers take advantage of the foreign tourists and see them as easy targets for sex, money, a visa etc. The warning signs are there for these types of men, most men are very proud and would never ask for money, if anyone does, it should be a huge red flag. Turkish men are also very family orientated in general, and would never cheat on their wives, families, etc.  There’s a lot of bad eggs out there, but there’s a lot of good’uns too. Lets not pretend adultery doesn’t happen elsewhere either, there are bad men, and women in every country in the world, it’s just thanks to ‘take a break’ magazine that Turkish people have arguably the worst reputation of them all.

8. The water is dirty.
Wrong. In most areas the water is perfectly safe to drink, especially those where the water is freshly sourced from melting snow on the mountains, springs, etc. There are some cities where old plumbing pipes affects the safety of the water, but on the whole the water is clean, however it may upset people if they are not used to it, as it has a higher mineral content and particularly high chlorine levels. I have always drunk it and never been ill, but bottled water is cheap enough if you’re here for a holiday and wary.

9. The country is unsafe.
Not really. Crime happens all over the world, certain areas are more dangerous and it could be argued that gun and knife crime are more common in Turkey than the UK, but I have no statistics to confirm this either way. On the whole, Turkey is safe, the people are friendly and you’ll never be far from someone willing to help you if you get into trouble. Some people board their plane and leave their common sense at the airport, stay alert and keep your wits about you, as you would in your home country, and you’ll be just as safe as you are at home.

10. Everyone wears a fez and has a mustache.
Don’t think there’s really any need to comment on this one is there?  (; Thought I’d end on a lighter note (:

Having a Turkish partner, naturally I am constantly defending Turkish people and trying to change peoples narrow view of the country I currently call home. As I have said, there are good and bad people and customs all over the world. Turkey is a beautiful country with plenty of kind, beautiful people. You have to know to look in the right places and not get caught up believing everything you read or hear, and know there is often a lot more to the country than we see in resorts and areas designed purely for tourism.


I am nocturnalOr a vampire.  I have adapted my boyfriend’s sleeping pattern (he works nights) and more often than not, I do not sleep until 8am, and wake up at around 3pm. People may say I’m lazy but I’m awake for the same amount of time as everyone else, I just prefer it to be at night. Cooler, quieter, more peaceful. (:
Another perk is the beautiful views of the sun rising up behind the mountains I have from my balcony.
Every morning around 0530-0600 I go out onto my balcony and just sit and enjoy the view. It is beautiful. I can see mountains from miles away, ones that cannot normally be seen from my balcony during the day. Sitting watching the sun rise above them is just perfect. Not something I’ll be able to do back in the UK.
Natural, calm beauty. What do you think?

Just a short little post today, a longer one coming tomorrow, I am determined to stick to my ‘blogging everyday’ promise.

Turkish picnic time.

All of the picnics I’ve been on in England consisted of little more than a cool bag, a picnic blanket, a few bags of crisps, hard boiled egg and hp sauce sandwiches wrapped in tin foil and bottle of lemonade. Here in Turkey though, when someone invites you to a picnic, it’s a whole different ball game, you pack up everything but (and sometimes including..) the kitchen sink.

It’s Sunday today, the ‘holiday’ day in Turkey, the large majority of people have the day off and take their families and head to the nearest beach to have a picnic. Berkay doesn’t get a day off, as most people in tourism do not, but working nights means we can still enjoy the day together sometimes. We joined his friend during his break and headed to Boncuklu koyu, a little bay the other side of Fethiye town.
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When we pulled up, it was clear everyone had had the same idea. Cars everywhere, all blocking each other in, barely an inch spare on the ‘beach’ to sit down. We did eventually find a spot, and begun unpacking our friends car. Sun umbrellas, 5 litres of water, blankets, rugs, towels, glass plates, cups, cutlery, a barbeque grill, a bag of meat, a bag of fizzy drinks, a bag of tomatoes, aubergines, potatoes, onion, peppers and bread, 3 adults, a baby and a carseat came out of that car. I have no idea how it all fitted in, if you saw the car, you’d understand.  Compared to what other families had brought with them, it was nothing. Next to us was a family who had a tent..filled with things and people. Outside, they had a gas bottle with a double Turkish teapot brewing cay on top, a BBQ and a huge rug with a lady sitting down hacking away at very fresh sheep meat, and a lot of it.

While Berkay & Serkan set to work on lighting the barbeque (it took several attempts, watching them move that BBQ around to various places was like watching a game of musical chairs) Serkan’s wife, their baby and I were left setting up the blankets, rugs and everything else. I was put on baby watching duty while she prepared the vegetables, salad and laid the plates out on the rug. Wise move – I’m much better at looking after babies than I am preparing food!
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I took the opportunity to have a little paddle with the baby, little Çınar is adorable.
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After 45minutes or so, dinner was ready. Doesn’t it look good?
While we were eating, a little kalamar (squid) caused chaos in the sea, grown women, men and kids alike were darting around screaming ‘Kalamar, Kalamar’ and trying to catch it in their hats, it was fairly amusing, made all the better by the fact we had front row seats. The little fella must have gotten away eventually.
After tidying up a bit, but somehow still managing to spread out across 3 rugs, we all went for a little swim in the sea. Since it was a bay it was very calm, no waves whatsoever. It was lovely and warm too, although it did start to get a bit windy and I was chilly then, I think I must be accustomed to the Turkish heat, anything under 30 oC and I notice it!
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We all headed home at 7pm, time for the boys to go back to work. I had a lovely day, even managed to join in a little Turkish conversation, I understand more than I can speak, always good to eavesdrop without people realising you can understand.. sneaky!

I really love these Turkish picnics. (: 

Photos posted with permission of those in them.

Turkish Delights..

We hopped on the dolmus and went on a little visit to the Turkish delight factory ( in Calis yesterday.

I’ve been wanting to go for ages and at 6pm yesterday evening, Berkay announced over dinner that we were going out somewhere as a surprise, and that’s where he took me. (: I’m very easily pleased.
When we got off the bus, wow, the smell. YUM.
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It’s basically a mini department store, this place sells everything. Handmade natural soaps, decorative soaps, jewellery, key rings, wind chimes, decorative plates, cay glasses, china & ceramic goods, silver & brass Turkish coffee pot sets, oils, nargile pipes, there was even a section for clothes upstairs.
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Also an impressive collection of herbs & spices.
The main attraction though, was obviously the Turkish delight! There is a huge selection of all kinds of Turkish delight and other sweet goodies.  There is also a huge glass window where you can look through and see the factory workers making it all. It smells so good.
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This is what we came home with, Turkish Delight, some soft chewy sweets and a bracelet that Berkay bought for me, how sweet. (:
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One big holiday?

I live in a tourist destination, surrounded by sun, sea and sand. But does that mean my life is one big holiday? Definitely not.

I apologise in advance, this will be a rant. There is nothing that frustrates me more than people making comments about how my life must be one big holiday since I live Turkey.  Friends, Facebook friends, even family, there have been plenty of people commenting exactly that.

I suppose it depends on what your idea of a holiday is really. To me, and from what I observe of a lot of holiday makers, a holiday in Turkey is a get away from the stresses of home, a week or two in the sun with the ones you love, worrying about nothing more than which restaurant to go to for dinner. Relaxing in the sun, getting a tan and swimming. No worries about paying the bills, no cooking, no cleaning. Room service, restaurants and maids to do all that for you. No working. A fun few weeks abroad, knowing your house and all the familiarity and luxuries of home are waiting for you to return at the end of it. Of course, not all holidays are like that, but this is just my opinion from observations.

Sure, I don’t work, but that is where the similarities between a holiday, and my life end.

The sun is lovely, and I’m lucky to live in a place where it’s guaranteed sunshine for almost 6 months of the year, but the 35 oC+ heat is not so lovely when you don’t have the option of laying around a pool all day. As I have previously mentioned, I don’t have a pool, or air con, so getting up, going to the market, walking everywhere, cooking, cleaning and doing housework in the heat are all part of my everyday life, not something I’d consider part of a holiday.  I’ve commented in the past about how much British people love to complain about how it’s too hot to do anything when the temperatures reach 20oC + in the UK, people always reply ‘its different when you’re abroad’ . Its not the country that makes it different, its the lifestyle, of course the temperatures feel a lot different when you don’t have the option of sitting by a pool and doing nothing all day.

We don’t have a holiday lifestyle at all. In the 2.5 years I’ve lived here, I have never been to a bar. We don’t drink alcohol. I’ve been to a seafront restaurant with Berkay a handful of times (unless it’s in a turkish cafe, we do go to those more often). We’ve been swimming a total of 6 times this year (apart from when family were here, and yes, I counted).

I don’t consider spending the majority of time on my own while Berkay is working 15 hours a day, a holiday. It’s isolating. It’s lonely.  We never get to spend more than 5 hours a day together, let alone a week or two. I also don’t think people realise just how little money we have, in summer it’s not so bad, £460 a month. I’m willing to bet a person on holiday here would spend that, or more, in a week. Winter in Turkey is the hardest, living off £250 between two people is impossible. Spending the end of every month wondering where our next meal is going to come from, whether or not the internet supplier is going to cut us off if we pay it late, that’s not part of a holiday. Getting into debt with friends in order to pay bills, that’s not part of a holiday.

It’s not a holiday not knowing when you’re going to see your family again, always having to say goodbye to someone, always missing someone, whether it be my parents, brother and sister, my boyfriend or my dog. There is always someone.  My holiday is when i go back to the UK with Berkay, I get to spend Christmas with him and my family, stop worrying about money for a few weeks and enjoy the luxuries I had back in England. That is my holiday.

Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m lucky, and of course there are tons of reasons why living in Turkey is great, the good outweighs the bad perhaps, but that is for another post. I know this is the lifestyle I have chosen for myself, for now. I love living here. I know there are millions, billions of people worse off than me. This isn’t a post to make you feel sorry for me, its a post to make you realise living in Turkey is not a holiday. Not for anyone. No more so than living in London- a huge tourist destination, is a holiday for the millions of people who live there.

It is really infuriating to see people dismissing my life as ‘one big holiday’ when that is a million miles away from the truth.

Meet Boncuk..

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What is your pet?
A dog. Don’t know the breed, a mix i guess.

What is their name?
Boncuk (pronounced ‘bon-jook’) It means ‘bead’ in Turkish. I’m not entirely sure why, but apparently it’s a very common name for dogs, cats, budgies.. etc here in Turkey, I assume because of the ‘beady’ eyes? Who knows (:
How old are they?
Not sure when her actual birthday is, but we think she was born sometime at the end of September 2012. We’ve had her since 4th November 2012 and the vet estimated she was 6 weeks old then.

Where did you get them?
Long story. We came home from the market one day and heard a yelping crying downstairs. We looked over the edge of the balcony and saw a tiny pup tied up. We went down to investigate and assumed our landlord had gotten a dog, although she had been left with no food, water and was tied to the balcony railing by a piece of rope around her leg which was cutting off the circulation. It turned out she wasn’t the landlords, he had no idea where she’d come from. He later remembered he had said in a random conversation with a passer by that he wanted a dog to guard his sheep, but nothing more was ever said. We assume the passer by came back with this puppy a few weeks later, but why they didn’t tell anyone and left her with no food or water I have no idea, or perhaps she was just dumped there by someone else. We untied the rope and gave her some water and cuddles, she was shaky and terrified, poor thing. The landlord didn’t want her, but since we fell in love with her, he said we could keep her, as long as she was kept outside. So that’s what we did-built her a home out of old slates, bricks and plastic, and tied her up using a lead I had for my rabbit (don’t ask haha).

She still lives outside now, but she doesn’t mind at all. Berkay has built her a nicer home and we play with and walk her everyday. Having dogs living outside is a bit of a controversial thing I think, but she’s a happy woofer and doesn’t mind at all. (: She always greets us with a waggy tail and only barks if she hears or see’s someone/something unusual.

Here’s some photos from the first few weeks we had her, I can’t believe she was so small.
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Do they know any tricks?
Not really tricks, but she knows the standard ‘sit’, ‘lay’ and ‘give paw’. She also knows ‘get your ball’. We’re trying to teach her to ‘wait’ but she’s not quite mastered that yet, too excitable! She only knows English too, despite being Turkish!
Do they snuggle, give kisses, follow you around?
Since she’s not allowed indoors, no she doesn’t follow us around, but she does walk well off the lead. She does love to give kisses yes, it’s made for some quite funny photo attempts.
What are some of the funny things they do to make you laugh?
We walk her at the top of a hill with some old ruins, we often sit on the fallen bricks while she’s running around and she’s started to do a new, funny thing where she’ll get her ball, come running up behind us sitting on the brick wall and jump on our laps for snuggles, ball still in mouth! She makes me smile all the time. It’s also hilarious when she’s just so eager to get the treats that as soon as she sees our hand in the treat bag, instead of waiting for us to say ‘sit’,’lay’ or ‘give paw’, she does all three before the treat has even left the bag, in the hope she’s done something right and won’t have to wait!
She loves eating ice lollies too, not the healthiest thing, but they do a good job of cooling her down.969322_10152018420858776_2039837235_n1014132_10152018426603776_824724086_n

Berkay is her bestest friend in the world ❤

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Stuffed Mushrooms..

I can’t cook to save my life, but even I can manage these (:
Perfect on the barbeque, yum yum.

Ingredients used:
3 mushrooms
3 garlic cloves chopped/crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
handful of grated cheese

>> Rinse the mushrooms and remove the stems.

>>Peel, crush and chop the garlic cloves. Berkay is the expert at cutting things ridiculously small!

>>Mix in the garlic with the olive oil, add salt if you wish!
Put to one side while the mushrooms are on the BBQ grill.

>>After 5-8 minutes and once the mushrooms are soft, spoon the olive oil/garlic mixture in.
Leave to cook for another 5 minutes.
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>>Once they’re almost ready, spoon granted cheese on top and leave til it’s melted.
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It couldn’t be simpler!  (:
Here’s ours with the rest of our BBQ dinner, köfte (meatballs), Turkish rice, grilled tomato, pepper & onion. We also had the customary loaf of bread on the table of course. (:
Afiyet olsun!