Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cleopatra island

Yesterday Turquoise Diaries was on her first daily tour of the season on the Turquoise Coast of Turkey. As it is customary here, we have joined a daily tour boat and went to Sedir island or also known as Cleopatra İsland. The first picture is from here.

What is famous with this island is its very small and unique beach. Story goes that Cleopatra had brought this sand from Red Sea for her sun baths but in reality it is a very rare and organic sand made from sea shells where each grain of sand is a perfect sphere. Nowadays its forbidden to enter the beach as well as to remove any sand from the island.

Island is also an open museum. Dorians are its first inhabitants. Later the island saw permanent settlements in the Greek, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine areas. After a cooling swim just like Cleopatra, I spent happy hours walking around the ruins.

And here is a picture of me at the boat taken with the camera of my 7 year old niece. She thinks she is a great photographer but as you can see she definitely needs some training :)) Well, her excuse was very simple and concrete ' but the boat was shaking...'

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer Routine

We have quickly settled to our summer routine. Starting the day with this view from the balcony of our bedroom... Then some walk at the beach and swim before the breakfast. Then some more beach time before noon and then the indoor hours starts with reading, internetting and working on unfinished projects and of course sleeping.

Yesterday we went to Datca town. Our house located 10 km out of it. We had some drink in its small harbour to welcome the quite and cool evening hours. As it is typical in June, night time is quite cool .Well some of you asked me where Datca is: It is an 80 km long peninsula in the south west corner of the country located between the Mediterranean an Aegean seas. Touristically it is a rather untouched area compare to nearby famous destinations of Bodrum and Marmaris. Our house located on the Mediterranean side. The island seen from our beach ( pls look at my previous post) is Simi of Greece. Itis very close and there are daily ferry boats between Datca and Simi..

Friday, June 26, 2009

At the beach

We have finally settled down and our lazy days under the sun has started.... Datca and the beach infront of our house is surprisingly empty for this time of the year. Maybe due to on going financial troubles in the country and in the world, people decided to cut their travel expenses this year. So when we were at the beach today, there were only us. It was like our private beach.. So far life is good....

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

shopping on the road

Still on the road, driving between Denizli and Mugla. We should see the first glimpses of sea in an hour time. When we stopped to buy gas, I bought this beautiful hand made doll, made by local women. LOve the colors on her skirt. Its 13:45 here..

On the Road

We are finally on our way to the beach house and this post is from my mobile office in the van. We left İstanbul yesterday and spent a night in Eskisehir on my mother's house. Now we are driving thru in Sandıklı, a town famous with its thermal waters. Weather is already hot. It's 10:30 now and we are planning to reach Datca around 17:00. Cant wait to jump to the sea...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

İran on my mind...

Yesterday I spent a beautiful Saturday night glued in front of TV... I tried to catch glimpses of streets, I was peacefully walking just 2 months ago.. When I decided to travel to İran, everybody advised me to go before the elections and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the time..How right they were....

People were hopeful about the coming election, hopeful about the days to come. Their hopes, became my hopes, but how could I forget the fact that democracy and religion are tricky businesses in this part of the world. I should have known it better because I also live in this part of the world.

I travel a lot. The negative part about travelling a lot is the fact that I keep forgeting about the places and names after a while, but I always remember the people that I met. Now I worry about the safety of the people that I met in İran. The friends I made, the people I met on the streets who usually offered me tea, the young ones who tried to practice their Turkish that they learned from Tv, the shopkeepers that I bargained and joked, our guides who worked very hard for an unforgettable trip.... What was common in all of them is; they love their country, they know that they deserve better.. I feel sorry for their shattered dreams and mines...and I hope that the worst is over...

Photo: wall paintings and posters from İran

Friday, June 19, 2009

A night in İstanbul

I met with great people during my travels and some of them became my best friends in time. Last night I was with my Cuba days buddies Nilgün and Semiha. We talked, drank and ate all night long. There was a comforting breeze coming from the Bosphorus and occasional fireworks from the nearby hotels entertaining their guests. Well, the topic of the night was not our boyfriends and husband (mine!!) as expected but UFOs. Nilgün attended a recent UFO congress and told us that they are going to collect the enlightened ones on 2012. They even saw an UFO during their meetings. Something to think about.....

İmage: from the lovely balcony of Semiha...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Evil Eye Beads

In Turkey we like to hang evil eye beads to our offices, homes, cars, boats etc. or wear it in the form of jewelry. In a way you could attach them to everything that you wish to protect from evil eyes. It could also be your new born baby, or pets. I just love them. I have one in my house, one in my car and a small turquoise color one framed with gold that I use as a necklace..

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

3rd World War

I cant sleep..... Every morning in the very early hours of dawn, the 3rd world war erupts in the airspace of my house. Opposing parties are seagulls and crows. I literally jumped out of my bed with the sounds of two screaming armies and as you know they are not the types of birds who receive the grace of good voice. My husband says that they are protecting their young ones. I am impatiently waiting them to grow to have some silence. O, how lucky you, starts the day with the sounds of singing nightingales....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Every summer I like to collect weird shaped pumpkins for decoration. I took this photograph last summer. They were the collection of a proud farmer. Aren't they lovely???

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lycian Way Dreams

We are moving to our beach house in 10 days to spend the summer. Our number one item on our to do list for the summer, is to be on this exact location and to look at this beautiful scenery.

This photo taken on the Lycian Way, near Fethiye - Oludeniz, from a fantastic spot on the 509 km long trekking route on the southern coast of Turkey. The walk passes many remote historical sites but as you can imagine we are only planning to cover a very short distance of it.

Phote: from my friend Ozan Alperden

Sunday, June 14, 2009


If you can start the day without caffein or pep pills,
If you can be cheerful ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist your complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can understand that loved ones are too busy to give you time,
If you can overlook when people take things out on to you when thru no fault of yours, something goes wrong,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

Then you are probably a DOG...
I heard this piece on a zen talk given by Tara Brach and love it.....

Tea for two

If you have nothing to do on a hot day in İstanbul, the best thing to do is to go to a small cafe at the Bosphorus ( İstanbul strait), wait patiently for an empty table right by the sea, drink lots of tea, watch the passing boats and dream lazily and that's exactly what we did yesterday.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Less is more ????

I like the idea of less is more and trying to adopt it to many areas of my life, but when it comes to books, paintings and beautiful pieces I want more and more...

The latest addition to my paintings was a gift from a dear friend in İran...Sara and I first met thru our blogs then I have the chance to meet with her on my trip to İran this past April. So Sara's Khatoon found its place among other paintings I collected from my trips to Cuba, Mexico,Bolivia, Mexico, Cambodia, Holland and Bolivia. This is the entrance of my house where I like to display colorful paintings for a colorful welcome..

You could visit Sara's blog at

A Decluttering Miracle

Ara Güler is the first name that comes to almost everybody's mind when you think of the word photographer in Turkey. His documentation of İstanbul in the 50s are just magnificent. Even before I interested in photography, I bought some books of him just to enjoy his images, but never had the chance to acquire a photograph signed by him...

Well, guess what happened two weeks ago. I started a decluttering mission at home mainly targeting the boxes full of old documents. After half an hour, first I found my missing university diploma which was proudly received once upon a time and still a great mystery how it ended in a lousy box with paid bills from 20 years ago.

Then I found the great treasure. It was sleeping in a dusty file from my banking days. A signed photograph from Ara Güler taken in 1950. After the initial shock, I vaguely remember that it was a gift from a client. It was framed immediately and found its proud place among other black and white photes.

So all I can say decluttering is great. Who knows what you will find among your long forgotten stuff.

Today you could still see the great master and glance some of his photograps in his lovely cafe in the Beyoglu district of İstanbul.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Algeria Street

Yesterday we were at the European side of the city. Algeria street or otherwise known as French street is a very nice area where you could find nice shades, small restaurants and good food. When we stopped for lunch, there was also a fashion shoot. So here is the photo shoot of the photo shoot...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My little tomato farm...

So what if my piece of land is really really small and my rooster is fake...... I have big imagination... Have a nice day...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Farmer's market

Monday is the day to go to farmer's market for weekly fresh fruits and vegetables. It is located very close to my house and it is always a delight to walk, look and shop around the stalls. Today I took my camera with me.

Favorites of the season are artichoke and fig. Here people say that if you eat 40 artichokes in the season, you will have a very health liver. I am almost on the half way.. I like to serve it with fresh dill, garlic and walnut.

Unripe little figs to make jam are a special delicacy of this season and it is usually the Turkish Roma women who peel and sell them.And if your packages are heavy you can always hire a young and nice porter to bring your goods to your house.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Lazy Weekend

Although the weather in İstanbul is excellent I spent the whole weekend at my home. The reason: my still swollen face from the teeth operation. I did not want to shock the world with my beauty :))
My balcony was the main attraction area of lots of reading, writing, eating and drinking...Sometimes I need times like this. It refreshes me.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Life is...

Life is what happens to you when you are busy making plans...
John Lennon


Friday, June 5, 2009


Yesterday I finally had my long time dreaded teeth operation. After 2 hours it was finished and I had a great relief. I had some pain during night,and this morning I started the day with a swollen face. Right side of my face doesnt look like me. It's strange.

Photograp is the George Washington's teeth from the great collection of The Library of Congress in Flickr. They are great old photographs to look. If you havent already checked, I strongly advise it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Turkish Grand Prix - F1

Fastest cars and their fastest drivers are in İstanbul for this weekend. Unfortunately I will be watching the race from TV as the ticket prices are quite high. However my lovely husband, who is working at the Automobile Federation, was in charge of taking some of the pilots from the airport and he took me some pictures.
It looked like Jarno Trulli the driver of Toyoto arrived in a happy mood.

While Ferrari's pilot Felipe Massa was in a hurry. Both these guys were also played in a footbal match last night to raise money for UNESCO. Very nice of them. So let the best one wins on Sunday.

Big in Japan :))

My old time friend Mutlu recently returned from Japan with lovely pictures. I just love this one. It is the entrance of a restaurant. Very cute and inspiring...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Faces from İran

Taking photographs is a rather recent hobby for me and since I started doing it I love taking the pictures of people. If they are aware that you are taking their picture and have no objection, there comes and instant connection thru the camera and most of the time a shy smile.

I saw many faces thru my lenses during my recent trip to İran. İranian people are very friendly and keen to invite you to a cup of tea and conversation if you can find a common language to speak. Some speaks English and the ones from Tebriz area mostly speak an understandable dialect of Turkish. And in big cities it was common to find people to chat with a very basic Turkish which they learned thru illegal satellite TVs. They sincerely dont understand why the people, especially in the West like to portray them as evil. I dont know about the politicians but the avarage İranian is very friendly and hospitable.. I had no negative experience.

Most of the people I met were willing to pose but with a request. They kindly asked me not to put their picture to internet, and I bow to their wishes although they are among some of the great images. As always, like everywhere in the world, children are the willing and smiley faces in front of the camera.

You could see more of my pictures from İran on


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