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  • hardie karges 11:28 pm on August 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: DVD, , review, Turkey, Winter Sleep   

    Continuity Errrors? DVD Review of Turkish ‘Winter Sleep’… 

    Spoiler alert (maybe spoiling your popcorn, that is): this movie is long. Pack a lunch. Pull up a beer. Better yet: pull up an Ottoman (pun intended). This is a Turkish movie, after all, with all that implies: beautiful landscapes, frumpy old women and cultural anomalies. If at first it doesn’t seem like much is happening, tension is building just below the surface. This movie explores interiors like I haven’t seen since Bergman, Woody Allen notwithstanding.

    Horses run wild. Tenants skip the rent. Kids are naughty, and the winter is cold. Landlords collect the rent, and so do hotel managers. Guests are better than tenants, because they pay more rent. Divorcees lament their fate. Wives resent their husbands. Young wives are more easily estranged from older husbands from the get-go, given the inherent inequalities. This is all pretty boring stuff, until you give it a name, and a face, and a place—and a decent script. (More …)

  • hardie karges 7:07 pm on July 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Sarajevo, , Turkey   

    The Fat Lady Sings: Goodbye Asia, Hello Istanbul–and Sarajevo… 

    The Great Mosque of Istanbul across the water...

    The Great Mosque of Istanbul across the water…

    June 2014

    Going round trip from LA to Bangkok, via the Atlantic and Europe, using frequent-flyer miles, I pretty much got a free stopover in Istanbul, so sounded good, thought I might take a quick trip down to the border with Iraq and cross over into the Kurdish quarter; word is you could go in without ever really checking out of Turkey, just come back to the same border crossing and officially you were never really gone. Just stay in north Iraq where the Kurds are friendly reasonable people.

    There’s only one problem: a new militant group called ISIL or ISIS or something like that that’s making sudden inroads into the region and causing problems where control is scarce or non-existent. It seems that they spun out of the Syrian war and have spilled across the border. Only time will tell if they’re ultimately successful. But I don’t want to hang around Istanbul for a week, and there’s nowhere else in Turkey I really want to go for that length of time. (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 7:25 pm on July 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      wow – this was most interesting – and I enjoyed your account of each stop – and now I know that you live in Phoenix, and you are another year older – that’s good!

  • hardie karges 1:48 am on July 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Kurd, Turkey   

    The Last Crusade: Who’s on Top? 

    So now Turkey is attacking neighboring Kurds, under the guise of cooperation with the USA in its fight against ISIL. Kurds are the only effective fighting force against ISIL, of course, and mostly Muslim, if far more tolerant and secular than ISIL. I guess that tells you where the Turkish Government’s sympathies lie, ironic for an essentially European people with a Middle Eastern religion and a Mongolian-related language…

    • Esther Fabbricante 2:02 am on July 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Sending to Giles and Lisa who have just returned from Turkey on a 10-day tour.

  • hardie karges 2:29 pm on June 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Turkey   

    Arab Spring, Turkish Summer… 

    Turkey is shaping up as the travel bargain of the summer. Fares RT to Istanbul from the US are already as low as anywhere else in Europe (though the distances are greater), and that is likely to improve. Turkey is the European hub for Central Asia, of course, hmmm….. it’s also the one place where you can enter Iraq without much rigmarole, or danger, through the border into the northern Kurdish part of Iraq, no visa required as of my latest knowledge. Show me a former war zone, and I’ll show you a travel bargain. Political tourism, anyone? Maybe I should go do research for my book “Hollywood Baghdad”….

    Need a hostel while you’re in Turkey? We’ve got a load of them listed in the “Backpackers & Flashpackers in Eastern Europe” book, in almost a dozen cities, forty in Istanbul alone, one of Europe’s highest concentrations…

  • hardie karges 4:08 am on April 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Goreme, , , Turkey,   

    Featured city: Goreme, Turkey 

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    Weird landscapes at Goreme, Turkey

    GOREME is a town in the Cappadocia region of central Turkey and the center of the tourism industry of the region, based on and around the “hoodoo”/“fairy chimney” rock formations which define the region. These are formations in which a hard upper stratum has formed a cap over softer strata, which have then been weathered away and frequently carved out for utilitarian purposes, especially clandestine Christian churches in the era in which that was subversive. It’s surreal and imaginations have gone wild to promote it, most often comparing it to the “yabba-dabba-doo” landscape of Fred Flintstone’s Bedrock City. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Hostels are of good quality and good value.  There are half a dozen listed in the book “Backpackers &f Flashpackers in Eastern Europe,” with complete specs and contact info.  Check it out.



  • hardie karges 9:44 pm on January 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Turkey   

    Istanbul, Former Capital of the Ottomans: Take Your Shoes Off 


    ISTANBUL sits at the head of modern Turkey, and is one of the world’s great cities.  It might not be like the old days in command of an empire, but it ain’t bad.  Istanbul’s glory days started as Constantine’s “New Rome” in 330 AD for over a hundred years, and then continued as the Byzantine capital of Constantinople for a millennium, before becoming the Ottoman capital for almost five hundred years.

    (More …)

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