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Robyn and Dave, not to get too gushy, but I am in awe. Thank you for taking me on this amazing journey to Turkey-I can hardly wait to go there. A Turkish friend of mine is going back home next month-any suggestions as to which spices I should ask her to buy for me? Last time she went she brought some smokey dried crushed pepper that I've used up-still don't know what it was called.
Looking forward to your next assignment.


Your describe reminds me of a Sunday market we went in Naples (Italy) a few years back – in one of the ‘quarters’ – Piazzas something. Same smell, color, and the narrow-slopping streets – albeit satellite dish!

Some of these buildings must be crumbling, potentially unsafe for inhabitation – what do the lower income community think about the prospect of relocating? Do younger generation find it more welcoming?

Re photos of all men (and baby) – obviously women engaged in group activities as well, as you described, is it just more difficult to get women photographed?


Hi Linda - Thank you, we're so glad you enjoyed the piece (more to come from Turkey)! Gosh, can't you just go with your friend? Being there with a local would be the best thing in the world.
But if you can't -- I would ask for more kirmizi biber (which I think is what she brought you), good sumac, dried mint (so much better and more fragrant than what we used to get in the US). Where is she from -- that would also influence your request. I would ask her if she can buy firik, burned green wheat. It's smoky and makes a lovely pilav with lamb. We also brought home cheese -- Van-style otlu peyniri is wonderful and I bet you can't find that in Canada (can you get that through customs?). Or hazelnuts -- which are so much cheaper and better than what we would get in the States. Or honey from Van. Or, or, or....

Katy - yes the area does remind me of pix I've seen of Naples now that you mention it. The laundry in the streets!
Many of the residents are technically 'squatters' -- albeit squatters who've been in their homes for 40-50 years. When Greeks and Armenians cleared out (or were cleared out) they just abandoned homes. And other pple moved in.

Many pple aren't keen on relocating (1) bec the govt asks for $$$ up front for their flats ... and most of these pple don't have incomes that allow them to save up chunks of change, and (2) the housing they are moved to is usually waaaaay outside the city, in newly built high-rise blocks. Imagine moving from a neighborhood where, when weather allows, life is lived outdoors, and you can walk to the grocer (or the weekly market) and have pretty much everything within reach --- to an area of sterile highrises.
The situation very much reminds me of China, actually.

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