Thursday, September 22, 2011
Friendliness and openness are Turkish trademarks. An invite for a cup of tea, a handshake or eagerness to pose for the camera. There's no fakery or pretence - they're real people and proud of their homeland. Strolling along the banks of the Dardanelles we saw couples and small groups of all ages; fishing, chatting, cycling and picnicking. A lone fisherman was hauling his nets a stone's throw offshore.
Then we came across a half dozen Turkish men enjoying shots of Raki with bread, dips and chocolate! They called us over and invited us to share. Within a minute or two one of them was laying into a violin virtuoso like he was at the Royal Albert Hall while the others broke into spontaneous dancing and clapping. A brief encounter; a memory gem.