Happy 2 years Boncuk!

The 3rd of November marked 2 years since we found and adopted our little Boncuk.

We were sat on our balcony when we heard a puppy crying, we couldn’t see where it was coming from so went downstairs to investigate, and that’s where we found Boncuk!
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She was tied to a post outside our apartment block, tied up with a piece of rope around one of her legs so tightly she couldn’t move it… she had no food or water and had just been left. We called our landlord down from his apartment asked why there was a dog outside, he had no idea either, but said we could keep it as long as it stayed outside. He later remembered that a friend of a friend had asked him if he wanted a puppy and he said he’d consider it… so we assume they took that as a yes and just dumped her there a few weeks later, but we don’t know for sure.

Luckily we had a tiny lead and harness that we used for my rabbit (don’t ask…!) and it was the perfect size for the tiny puppy, so we used that to keep her tied somewhere safe. Our landlord and Berkay made a shelter for her from an old vegetable crate, bricks, plastic and some hay, and then we headed off to the pet shop to buy some dog food and a proper lead.
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We decided to name the puppy Boncuk, Berkay chose it, it means ‘bead’ but apparently is a very common and unoriginal name for pets in Turkey, I’m not entirely sure of the relevance! Funny story – for 3 months we thought Boncuk was a boy… don’t even ask how that happened…

Looking back on photos I can’t believe how tiny she was. The vet estimated that she was around 5-6 weeks old. I remember her running around with Berkay’s shoe which was bigger than her! She looked so sad and had the biggest, cutest eyes. I love her ‘broken’ nose – it’s always been like that, half black and half patchy pink…unique!
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Two years on, she still looks exactly the same, only much bigger, with longer legs and an extra 11kgs in weight! She still has the same facial expressions, this is her sulky face, she still does this when we give her a wash or take her to the vet!
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She was the cutest little puppy ever, and is now the most beautiful grown up doggy… but still very naughty! We love you Boncuk (:

Celebrating Kurban Bayram in Calis…

This weekend marked the start Kurban Bayram, a 4 day religious holiday here in Turkey. 

Kurban Bayram is the festival of the sacrifice, where millions of people sacrifice an animal to commemorate the Islamic prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. Animals such as cows, goats and most often, sheep, are sacrificed. Once sacrificed, the meat is shared out, some is given to the poor, some is kept for the family, and some is given to other relatives, friends and neighbours.  Of course Kurban Bayram/Eid isn’t just celebrated in Turkey, it is celebrated by Muslims all over the world. In the UK the holiday is known as Ed-al-Adha.

While lots of people have time off from work for the holiday period, most people working in tourism will not have any time off at all, making it difficult for them to travel back to their families to celebrate, as they often live hundreds of miles away. Berkay is one of those people who works throughout the holiday and it is actually one of the busiest times at the hotel, so this weekend really just felt like any other!

We have no family at all here, they all live 4-5 hours away, so there was no chance to visit them. Instead, our old landlord invited us to go to their house for a BBQ. We used to live in the apartment above them so it was so weird being back there and seeing it all again. I used to love that old house, although walking back there yesterday made me realise how inconvenient it was, you can see that it is in the middle of lots of fields, there are sheep, goats, cows and chickens in the gardens and it was very much like a farm. From looking at the photo, you’d find it hard to believe that the tourist resort of Calis is just a 15 minute walk away.
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We arrived at 11 o clock and missed the sacrificing of the goat, which I was thankful for. I stood on our balcony and watched the sacrifice 2 years ago, and although it was peaceful and the animal didn’t suffer for long, it was upsetting. We live in a day and age where we are truely spoilt, and are able to buy meat all cleaned up and neatly packaged in the supermarket, we see it as an item, and don’t consider that it was once an animal trotting around a field somewhere… I have nothing whatsoever against the sacrificing, I would be a hypocrite if I did as I enjoy meat far too much to be a vegetarian, however, sometimes ignorance is bliss. The good part is that none of the animal goes to waste, they use the skin and wool, and every edible part, including the tongue and brain (yuck). I suspect that a lot of the population of Turkey will be eating sheep, or goat, for breakfast lunch and dinner for the next few days!

While we were sat in the garden waiting for the BBQ to heat up, lots of people came to greet us with an ‘iyi bayramlar’ and a handshake, or when greeting people significantly older than ourselves, it’s our job to take their hand, gently kiss it then raise it to touch our foreheads as a sign of respect, something I still struggle to remember to do! Traditional bayram ‘seker’ or sweets were also handed out to us.
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Once the BBQ was warmed up, a massive bowl of VERY fresh goat meat was plonked in front of us ready to be cooked. A wonderful spread of salad, aubergine salad, yaprak dolma (vine leaves stuffed with meat, rice and herbs), bread and of course lots of fresh meat,  was laid out. Other neighbours, friends and relatives of these people came over and everyone shared the food. It was absolutely delicious. I really wonder why people don’t eat goat more often!
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We stayed for around 3 hours then headed back home, Berkay went to sleep for the rest of the day, then straight to work at 8pm in the evening, no rest for the wicked!  Whilst out walking Boncuk, I saw these two sheep in  a garden near our house, I know their fate isn’t good, I was half tempted to go and rescue them! Instead I settled for patting them on the head. They’ll be somebody’s dinner tomorrow probably…
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Although people may criticise ‘resort life’ as not being a true Turkish lifestyle, during holidays like this alot of people go back to their roots and participate in these old customs, at least this my experience here in Fethiye. I love taking part in their customs and traditions during days like this, I think I was more excited about it than Berkay was honestly!

Bayram continues until and including Tuesday, with banks, schools and government offices opening again on Wednesday. We won’t be doing anything else to celebrate, but tomorrow we are borrowing a friend’s car for the day and going for another BBQ, we have a fridge full of goat ribs given to us by Berkay’s friend, so it would be rude not to really, wouldn’t it?

Click HERE to read how Berkay celebrated bayram last year, although be warned that it does contain photos of animals during the sacrificing process that may upset some people.

Calis from the hillside!

Two days ago we went for a long walk up to the furthest point of Calış beach and back again.
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We walked from our house all the way to Koca Çalış and up a hill at the far end of the beach – the views were lovely and I saw Calış/Fethiye from a whole new angle!

The walk from our house to the end of the beach was around 2.6  km, so we walked over 5 km together – not easy in the 40oc heat! We waited til 6pm to leave because we’d melt into a puddle on the floor otherwise. I’d never been so far into Koca Çalış before, the furthest we’d really been was Sunset Beach Club/Surf Cafe. I definitely wouldn’t want to live there as it’s too far from anything else. We came across some pretty multi-coloured holiday apartments though which looked lovely, it’d certainly be more peaceful there!
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We took Boncuk too, we love taking her on long walks. The downside to taking her with us is that a lot of stray dogs approached us. At one point we walked past a restaurant with a dog roaming loose and it spotted Boncuk and started growling and barking at her, setting off a chorus of at least 4 other dogs – it’s quite scary, although most of the animals are harmless, you never know (we had a bad experience when she was a puppy, and I’ve been bitten by a street dog myself which meant I had to have rabies injections – not fun!) Having so many dogs roaming free is something that puts me off walking her on my own most of the time and we always have to plan our routes so as to avoid places where we know there are a lot of strays.

The Koca Çalış end of the beach appeared to be very popular with local people – there were lots of people swimming and having BBQ picnics which smelt amazing! When we reached the end of the beach we found a track leading up the hill and decided to climb it. It wasn’t too steep or difficult to climb, although there were a lot of sharp thorns and bushes which scratched our legs quite badly, but the view at the top was worth it. We let Boncuk off her lead while climbing up the hill and she loved it.
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The sun was just starting to go down as it was around 7.30 by this time, so it was fairly cool (by cool I mean around 35oc!!) but we were dripping with sweat from the walk – we tried to take a ‘selfie’ together with the view in the background but we just looked ridiculous!
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I think it would be lovely to come and sit up there with a drink and a snack to watch the sunset, or even to just sit down and watch the stars at night – quite romantic! Berkay was also eyeing it up as a potential fishing spot!
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We couldn’t stay and admire the view for too long as Berkay had to get back for work, but it was nice to see Calış from an alternative view point,  and lovely views across to the mountains too. Such beautiful scenery.

Vets, infections & injections…

We spent the afternoon at the vet with Boncuk yesterday.
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I noticed a few days ago that she was shaking her head a lot and she had started to cry when we were stroking her left ear, I tried to get a look inside to see if I could see something stuck in it but couldn’t see anything. It was Bayram so our vet was closed and we decided to wait a few days to see if it would get better itself or if she was still in discomfort – obviously if she was in pain we would have taken her right away, but she was her usual crazy self, jumping all over us and wagging her tail!

It didn’t get better over the holiday period – and I could tell it was infected as it was red and crusty… ewww. So this afternoon we took her. It was really hot and humid today so I was dreading the 2.8km walk to the vet, and the 2.8km walk back again… luckily Berkay spoke to his friend and managed to persuade him to take all 3 of us in his car, with Boncuk in the boot on a bedsheet. She hates being indoors so I thought she’d be scared in the car but she seemed to quite like it, no fussing, she just laid down, bless her.

She’s a clever doggy, she knows exactly what it means when she sees the outside of the Vet’s surgery, we attempted to walk inside and she sat her bum firmly down and wouldn’t move, she definitely is not a fan! We eventually had to pick her up to get her inside, she always gets so much attention in there, the vet and his mum are so friendly, you can tell they really love animals!

He had a look in her ears which made her yelp in pain, I felt so sorry for her. She was so good just laying on the table, a lot of dogs would growl or bite them if they felt threatened but she just laid down, she’s so sweet-natured! The vet was so gentle with her and his assistant stood and stroked her head and was talking to her. He decided he needed to give her an injection to make her sleep so he could look inside and clean them properly, he told us to go outside and sit with her for 15 minutes and that she should fall asleep – she was really fighting it bless her, she refused to sit or lay down and just stood up next to us with her nose resting on Berkay’s leg. Look how sad she looks in the photo, her ears were all floppy, eyes all droopy… but she was still fighting it and even managing to wag her tail at us!
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Eventually she did go to sleep, the vet managed to clean her ears and confirmed that she had an infection probably caused by ear mites. We were worried about how much it would cost, but it wasn’t too much. It was 65tl (£18) altogether for the injection, cleaning and ear drops… we ended up paying another 20tl (£6) and getting her booster vaccination and flea prevention done too.

The best thing about the whole experience was when we walked out of the surgery, and the vet said ‘geçmiş olsun’ (get well soon) to Boncuk. Is that not the cutest thing?

By this point Boncuk was feeling very sorry for herself. Again we were really lucky that the vet had to drive past our house in order to drop another dog home, so he let us take a free ride in the back of the car. The whole car journey home Boncuk wouldn’t look at me, she had her head down and was definitely being a sulky pants. Her face just said “I’m not talking to you anymore – you made me go to that nasty man who poked my ears.”
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Boncuk’s sulky ‘I’m not talking to you anymore’ face.

I think she’s gotten over it now though, Berkay’s been at work all night so he’s been at the hotel with her, he says she’s happy again now with her little waggy tail and no more sulky faces! Hopefully the ear drops will work and we won’t have to make another vet trip anytime soon.

It’s really hard to find a decent vet around here… some I feel are very over-rated, while others rightfully have a bad reputation. I think we’ve found a good one though – Suckun at Ankavet. He obviously really loves animals and is so gentle with them. Boncuk went there last month to have her hair cut and they ended up giving her a pom pom fluffy tail, she looked so cute! They are so friendly and really helpful too. Today they let us take home a 80tl (£22) 15 kilogram bag of dog food on a ‘pay later’ promise… we’ve done that before so they trust us to pay it back. We also purchased Boncuk’s kennel from them previously and they have boarding kennels for dogs to stay in short-term. If anyone is in the Fethiye area and needs a vet, I definitely recommend them. A link to their website with contact details – http://www.e-fethiye.net/ankavet.html
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Happiest dog in Fethiye?

Summer is in full swing in Fethiye now and the weather has finally improved with almost guaranteed sunshine for the next few months! Hotter weather is tough on us all, especially when we have no aircon to rely on, but just think how the heat affects the animals.

I see really fluffy dogs wandering around panting and feel so sorry for them, poor little souls need a haircut and some shade to cool down in! Luckily Boncuk has shade available all times in her kennel and she doesn’t have a ton of big old fluffy fur on her either… but she still feels the heat and is constantly panting during our long walks, even though we always bring her little travel water bowl along with us.

Yesterday, as a little treat, we got her a Twister ice-lolly to help her cool down. I know dogs shouldn’t have ice-cream in large amounts because of the lactose, but this was a one-off treat and we know doesn’t effect her badly as she’s had it before.

As you can tell from the photos,  she very much enjoyed the ice-cream and made a big mess, ending up with a very amusing pink and white mustache/beard combination! Just look at that happy, satisfied face, I’m pretty sure I had the happiest dog in Fethiye for a few minutes this afternoon!
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After the ice-cream, we carried on with our walk where Boncuk made a new friend – he was so friendly and just wanted to play, but Boncuk wasn’t so keen. She didn’t put him off though, he joined us on the whole walk and ended up following us home afterwards! He’s disappeared now, hopefully he had a home to go to, he looked well fed and was very friendly so I think he probably did. Maybe we’ll bump into him again next time and hopefully Boncuk will be more friendly – she’s definitely very fussy about who sniffs her butt. (;
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Catching up with Berkay & Boncuk..

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It’s been 3 weeks tomorrow since Berkay went back to Turkey, but it seems like so much longer. The day after he returned he found a job, but quit after a week or so because he was only earning £6.40 a day for 13-15 hours work and he was getting frustrated as the greedy boss was taking all of Berkay’s tips off him. When you’re earning so little, tips make all the difference, it could double his wages.

He’s been walking around all the hotels in Calis and in Fethiye trying to find work, but no luck as of yet, nobody needs staff in winter as most of the hotels are closed, and the ones that remain open are quiet enough that they do not need to employ any new people. All I can say is that it is a good job I’m not there this winter as we wouldn’t survive, no way could we find enough money to even pay rent, without even thinking about bills, food and other costs.  Berkay is struggling himself, relying on friends to make him dinner and bring him food as he has zero money himself. It’s difficult for people here to understand, my Dad was moaning because I paid for Berkay’s upcoming flight to the UK in March and he thinks he should be paying for it himself, when that’s not even an option. If I don’t pay, I won’t see him, simple. Sure, at the moment Berkay doesn’t have to pay rent or electric bills, but phone, food and general day to day costs, buses, water, dog food… It all adds up, and earning £6.40 a day for a week hardly gave him an opportunity to save. He is doing his best to find work though, and is waiting for one hotel to call him back, it sounded promising!

I’ve got a feeling this summer will be hard too,  with the strength of the lira weakening meaning prices in tourist resorts will increase, while wages most definitely will not.

Anyway, the time off work means Berkay has been spending a lot more time with Boncuk, and has been taking her for nice winter walks along the beach, he managed to get food for her on a ‘pay later’ promise, so she’s well fed and happy. She loves staying in the hotel and being free to roam around while its closed, we are unsure where she will be able to stay in Summer though. She’s due her yearly booster vaccinations now, so Berkay is trying to get that sorted too, luckily he has a friend who knows a vet, so no doubt they’ll be on a ‘pay later’ promise too. Getting into debt for Boncuk is worth it, of course. (:
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This dog is Boncuk’s friend. It lives near the hotel and comes to the fence to say hello to her, Berkay let it into the hotel grounds today and let them have a little play off the lead together. Bless.
Berkay has also been spending a lot of time with friends, they often go fishing together hoping to catch some dinner! They are a lovely couple, we often went for BBQ’s together when I lived there, I have done a few posts involving them in the past. Their little boy, Çınar , is over a year old now, bless him. Berkay took this little monster dressing gown back for him from the UK after Christmas.  Seeing how big he has got really makes me realise how much things are changing and how long I’ve been away. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday I lived there, sometimes it seems like forever.
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Celebrating kurban bayram with Berkay..

***WARNING, THIS POST CONTAINS PHOTOS THAT MAY DISTURB SOME READERS.***

Tuesday 15th October marked the first day of the Muslim festival Eid-al-adha (kurban bayram in Turkish). If you aren’t aware of what kurban bayram is, you can check back at my previous post.. ”what is kurban bayram?” which explains all you need to know.

Most people celebrate bayram with their families, but Berkay is not close to his and doesn’t really keep in touch with them. He also has to work all over the holidays as it is the hotel’s busiest time. Last year we celebrated together with a BBQ and a walk along the seafront, but this year he was alone. Luckily, he has a great friend who works with him at the hotel, someone who he has grown really close to and who is like a father to him (his name is Ergun, he’ll probably be mentioned a lot!). They invited him to their village house for the day to celebrate so he didn’t have to be alone.

First he went off to Ergun’s brother’s house for breakfast which was the typical Turkish type, eggs, bread, honey, cucumber, tomato, cheese, olives and of course a glass or two of cay!
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They then went around to a few other family members houses. When they got to Ergun’s wife’s family house, they sacrificed their first sheep. This is something that is supposed to be done by professional butchers, in order to minimize stress to the animal and get it done as fast and humanely as possible. I suspect that an awful lot of people do not actually follow these rules, and carry out the sacrifice themselves, which is what Berkay’s friend and all his family do. Obviously though, the rules are there for a reason, and should be stuck to.

After skinning and cleaning up the first animal, they visited Ergun’s brothers house, and performed the sacrifice over again with another animal, this time a goat.
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After that, they ate lunch, he didn’t tell me what was on the menu, but I presume it was extremely fresh meat..
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After lunch, they returned back to their village house where they sacrificed their own goat.
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I asked Berkay to take these photos for me to share on here and give everyone more of an insight into the whole experience, but I do understand they may offend or disturb some readers, hence the warning at the start of the post.

I have seen discussions saying the act of killing so many animals for a religious festival is barbaric and wrong, although the same people complaining are not vegetarians themselves, and enjoy eating meat. The reason we find it so cruel, is that we are too used to having easy access to meat in supermarkets and shops, meat from animals that are already killed, then cut up and neatly packaged. We pick up the meat off the shelves and take it home to cook without a second thought as to where it has really come from, we don’t think about the poor animal it once formed. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.

Personally, as long as the sacrifice is done correctly and the whole process is over quickly with limited suffering to the animal, I see nothing wrong with it. Sure, it’s not pleasant and I would never be able to do it myself, but It’s the circle of life, and an important part of celebrating kurban bayram in Turkish culture.

I hope everyone who celebrates Eid had a wonderful few days, now all the remaining sheep & goats can breathe a sigh of relief, until the next bayram..or wedding.. or funeral.. or birth! The Turks sure do like to celebrate special occasions by killing a sheep or two.

What is Kurban Bayram?

As some of you may know, it is Kurban Bayram next week, but what does this mean, and how will it affect your holiday to Turkey?

Bayram literally means festival, or holiday, and is used to describe national and religious holidays in Turkey. There are two main religious (Islamic) holidays, one being Seker Bayram (celebrated after Ramadan), and the other being Kurban bayram, which is celebrated next week. In the UK this is known as Ed-al-Adha.

Kurban Bayram is the festival of the sacrifice, where millions of people sacrifice an animal to commemorate the Islamic prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. Animals such as cows, goats and most often, sheep, are sacrificed. Once sacrificed, the meat is shared out, some is given to the poor, some is kept for the family, and some is given to other relatives, friends and neighbours. Of course Kurban Bayram/Eid isn’t just celebrated in Turkey, it is celebrated by Muslims all over the world.

This year, preparation for Kurban Bayram begins on the eve of the festival, the 14th October. Kurban Bayram will run from and including 15th-18th October and government offices, schools, post offices, banks, and some supermarkets will be closed throughout these days. Turkish people will be busy visiting family and friends, so roads, transport, hotels and restaurants will be very busy and full during the festivities.

What is my experience?
I was living in Turkey last year for Bayram and the atmosphere during this time is very special, it’s even something an outsider who doesn’t celebrate can sense. The only thing I can compare it to is Christmas. All the family comes together and enjoys time off from work and school to celebrate.

Berkay came home from work on the morning of the first day of Bayram and said our landlord had invited us downstairs for Turkish tea and to see the animal they were sacrificing. We stood on our balcony and watched as he tied the sheep up, said a prayer and slit its throat. It was all over very quickly. After he had killed it, he cut it’s head off, hung it up and began to skin it, then he cut its feet off, finished skinning it and cut its organs out. The wool and skin was left out to dry and the blood all washed away. That was it. My landlord is practically a farmer and owns sheep, goats and chickens so he was able to perform the sacrifice on his farm land, however, normally the sacrifice is supposed to be carried out by a professional in designated areas. It is not supposed to be done publicly in parks or playgrounds nowadays.

The sacrifice was over very quickly and it was very humane, it could be very disturbing for some people to watch though. It upset me a little, but it’s good to be reminded where your food comes from. Meat is so readily available in supermarkets these days that we all take it for granted and don’t really stop to think about where it really comes from.

The meat is given out to poor people, friends and neighbours. We got given a whole leg, it was a bit weird seeing it in my freezer.

In the evening we all gathered around for a barbeque downstairs in the garden (we all know how Turks like their bbq’s, don’t we?!) and of course the only thing on the menu was the meat that had formed part of a fluffy white sheep in my garden only a few hours earlier.

I have seen comments from people in the past who say the process of sacrificing millions of sheep over a few days for a religious festival is barbaric and inhumane, however, the meaning behind the tradition and the process of giving meat to those less fortunate people is a good one in my opinion, it is not meaningless killing for the sake of it, it has a purpose. Some people do find this an outdated, old fashioned tradition and some modern families like to donate money to charity instead.

Those normal tourists on holiday are very unlikely to see anything going on, they will probably be blissfully unaware of the sacrificing going on, as I mentioned above, it is often only done in designated areas in main towns. In the days leading up to Kurban Bayram you may see truck loads of sheep and goats being taken to towns, villages and cities. You will know the fate of those livestock on board. You may notice restaurants and hotels more busy than normal so it’s a good idea to book in advance if you plan to visit or go out during the next week. Remember banks will be closed and ATM’s may run out of cash. It is a nice idea to wish people happy holidays by saying ”Iyi Bayramlar”.

Overall, my experience of Kurban Bayram is a good one, It is more than just a bunch of crazy Turk’s cutting sheep’s heads off, in most cases, it is a traditional, civilized, family celebration of a religious festival. 
I wish I were there this year!

Evim Güzel Evim…

When I tell people I live in a holiday resort in Turkey, I’m 99% sure they assume I live in fancy apartment with a pool, air-con and all the other luxuries. They couldn’t be more wrong.

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View from my house

We live on the 2nd floor of a typical Turkish building. Our landlord lives below us, and below him- his son, daughter in law and grandson. We live a good 20-30 minute walk from main Calis, and 10-15 mins to the nearest bus stop and corner shop.  I actually enjoy being further out and more in the countryside, I have lovely views, hardly ever hear a sound (unless it’s coming from an animal) and can wander around on my balcony without worrying scores of people are going to see me.

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The views from my balcony, I LOVE watching the sunrise behind the mountains in the mornings.

This is our living room, we never even use this room. In the two+ years we’ve lived here, we’ve only sat in it a handful of times. We did bring the balcony table in here last winter though, it was way too cold to eat outside! Note the lilo in the corner. Haha.

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Our bedroom. Fan, bed, chest of drawers. Teddies. What more do you really need?
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Spare bedroom. Also known as the ‘bed wardrobe’, it’s never normally as tidy as this, it has a tendency to get covered in clothes, hence the nickname. Note the slanted roof, I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve both hit our heads on that, d’oh!

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Kitchen. I’m sure these are the standard cupboards in Turkish houses.  I’m forever seeing photos of peoples kitchens and it’s always the same ones. This fridge is the most expensive and newest thing in the house. Funny story about that actually, when we first got it, all our Turkish neighbours invited themselves over to look at it, it was as if we’d had a baby and everyone wanted to get a peek. It was hilarious at the time, I’ve never known anyone get so excited over a fridge. Bless them!

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Balcony. We do enjoy our BBQ’s out here.

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Our bathroom is a tiny, cupboard sized wet room, tap and shower head opposite a toilet. We also have another toilet of the ‘hole in the floor’ variety.

We don’t have any luxuries, just the basics. No dishwasher, no tumble drier, no microwave, no electric hobs or oven (I do have a mini oven though), we don’t even have a TV (Thank God for laptops and internet!) Aircon is a luxury I only experience when we walk into a supermarket and we don’t have a pool. But what we do have is priceless. Lovely views, friendly neighbours, wildlife & animals everywhere and tons of fresh fruit and vegetable plants and trees in the garden. Pears, apples, grapes, lemons, peaches, plums, oranges, grapefruits, onions, potatoes, corn and pumpkin to name but a few.

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 Pears and grapes growing in our garden.

We practically live on a farm, surrounded by sheep, goats, chickens, horses, cows, camels..etc.

My landlord owns these chickens, sheep and goats. He sells the sheep during Bayram.

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Our house is nothing special, far from it, and we only rent. But it’s been our home for the past two and a half years and I love it. I can’t imagine anyone else cooking their dinner in our kitchen, eating their dinner on our balcony, sleeping in our room.

It’s going to break my heart to leave next month.