A night in a Turkish pension, the fractured love of a western woman for the pension owner. The impasse which love cannot overcome, cultural isolation from her man and from his women. The attempted escape, initiated but not fulfilled. The journey goes on.
A casual meeting with a fellow bus traveller leads to a startling discovery -
A glimpse into the mind of a Turkish tourist tout. How the bait is prepared and displayed. How his flexible mind can encompass a sense of duty and a duty to exploit. Western women as fair game, Turkish women belong in the kitchen. The couple who see this man so differently, yet are confronted by the same image.
Turkey is a land of symbols, not the least of these is supplied by the thousands of minarets that reach up from its many mosques. The minaret is itself a symbol of success, here size does matter and the attempts of the village to improve its endowment are quickly rewarded. But easy come may become easy go. The mystery of the missing minaret is not solved in this story, but its peripatetic nature gives a clue to Turkish entrepreneurism.
This is a cyclical tale of the rise from agricultural primitivism to dollar dependency,
and then the fall. Tourism brings riches and good living to the village -
Ascent to a mountain tomb, a brief meeting with an anarchistic group of youngsters, and later the dreadful mistake of taking a lift with them. The horror of a journey where all control is lost and madness reigns, when adhesion to the group sloughs off Muslim hospitality. The dreadful outcome of a vengeful act that goes too far, regret and loss.
The delight of admission to a local community at a moment when company is really needed. The warm glow of instant acceptance. The gift of natural Viagra and the adventure of early trials. A cathartic event which proves the efficacy of young potatoes, reunites a couple and establishes the supremacy of mind over matter.
Attacks by groups of children in this city are not rare, but they are very frightening.
How fortunate then to meet to meet the local Director of Tourist Information immediately
afterwards. A half-
A miraculous survival and a conversion to Islam and the rural life -
The behaviour of the inhabitants of a city in the extreme reaches of Turkey vacillates between kindly welcomes and teasing taunts. A walk to the castle, a chance meeting with a disabled young man, an invitation to lunch with two young women, all of this leads to an encounter with one's worst fears. A reversal of mastery contrasts the friendly and the feared, the fit and fine with the infirm and ugly.
A visit to the beautiful temple in the hills provides a view over a luxuriant walled garden far below. But the garden has a guard whose existence shifts from the ephemeral to frighteningly fierce. A tale of survival and values, in which death is faced and purchased.
The sparkling beauty of a valley leading to the Cachkar mountains of North Eastern Turkey. This is the land of the Laz where powerful imagery and powerful emotions flow down from the summer cattle meadows where the rutting bulls fight for their females. Sparks of romance ignite between the policeman and the landlady's daughter, sparks as transient as the fireflies that grace the green slopes of the village.