an electronic diary recounting the journey of modern day nomad

Home invasion

wow. holy shit. two neighborhood kids just tried to remove the lock on the front door and break in the house today.  I do not usually answer the door, it is just too much trouble given the language issue. I can understand them, but they can not understand me.

first there was a doorbell ring. next came the banging on the door. i peeked through the peep hole and looked directly at the young man. our eyes met. he didn’t know it. i decided to wait in the kitchen. then there was lots of noise, like someone trying to slide something between the door jam like a slim jim. what i didn’t know at the time was that they began removing the entire door lock.

as i listened quietly in the kitchen, i was thinking what to do. i didn’t know what was going on, just the sense that it was abnormal.  the southerner in me started wishing I had my remmington shotgun, or a weapon. should i grab a knife? maybe nothing is happening really and it is all just something in my head? but I am in Turkey. then i imaged the headline, American commits assault and battery [ the unlawful and unwanted touching or striking of one person by the other ] during an attempted home invasion.

i decided to do two things, scream profanity and violently swing open the door - armed with my best kukri. what the fuck are you doing seemed appropriate. the perpetrators quickly ran down stairs and disappeared.

jesus. wtf. this is a seriously quiet neighborhood next to a mosque!!$%$#

then realized i have such a different mentality.  later that day i was asked, why did you open the door? because i wanted to beat them, legally should wait until they enter the home to beat them.

In the United States, a home invasion is an illegal and usually forceful entry to an occupied, private dwelling with violent intent to commit a crime against the occupants, such as robbery, assault, rape, murder, or kidnapping

The legal defense of self-defense in California law means that you can’t be found guilty of a violent crime that you committed in order to protect yourself, as long as your conduct was reasonable under the circumstances.  means that you need to have:

  1. Reasonably believed that you were in imminent danger of being killed, injured, or touched unlawfully,
  2. Reasonably believed that you needed to use force to prevent that from happening, and
  3. Used no more force than was necessary to prevent that from happening.

Moreover, thanks to California’s so-called “stand your ground laws,” you are under no obligation to “retreat” – that is, to run away or try to escape – before you use self-defense to protect yourself. 

definitely one of the more psychologically damaging crimes that people commit.

i am fine now, but catch myself listening to all sounds attentively.

100 posts! Awesomeness

I have often wondered, is it ever illegal to sleep in public?

in most American cities it is illegal for you to sleep in your car. many city ordinances also ban public sleeping, like one in Santa Cruz, CA, and refers to all sleeping in public as “camping”. i have encountered many “campers’ in my day, in assorted locations. I have yet to camp personally, but perhaps one day soon - ear plugs required.

I spend a year of my life here in this cozy neighborhood of Kurtulus on Bilezikci Sok. there are many spoiled cats in Istanbul, but can be found in large numbers here. folks love their cats. they take care of the them by leaving out food and treats out. people pet them. talk with them. love them. cats rule the roost here, and pretty much everywhere in this city.

 “Cats are lazy anarchists. This is one reason why they conform with us just fine in big cities.” Özgür Kantemir

Holy cow ~ all this roaming cattle makes me feel like I am back in India or Nepal. Hoşgeldiniz! East Turkey. 

when you live in Turkey, everything is a bit pre-historic; personally not so big on this stuff.  what did catch my attention was the evidence discovered showing human sacrifices (children) - what?! yes, check google. turned out to be an fun and interesting little visit. if you have a car, time, and interest - check it out.

Aktopraklik Mound is located 25 km west of Bursa, in Nilufer Province. the mound is on one of the natural terraces descending to Ulubat Lake.

Aktopraklik consists of three sites of changing locations, all in close proximity to each other. The site resides in the foothills of forest-covered mountains, and in between two large sources of fresh water. 

After uninterrupted use as a settlement site during prehistoric times, between 6300-5500 BC, the site is abandoned. During the late Byzantium period, the region is re-settled, and a rural settlement is built, which is most likely tied to Apollonia and Rynda

This elderly Kurdish woman asked me to take her portrait while traveling to Nemrut. 

This elderly Kurdish woman asked me to take her portrait while traveling to Nemrut. 

While traveling to Nemrut, had the opportunity to visit a Kurdish family, one of the tents they have lived in for 30yrs…

While traveling to Nemrut, had the opportunity to visit a Kurdish family, one of the tents they have lived in for 30yrs…

while traveling thru East Turkey, i requested a stop over in Nemrut. little did I know how difficult it would be to get here - see another blog entry for details.

one of the most frequently asked questions received is;

is the site easily accessible?

I arrived to Nemrut after three auto-stops (hitchhiking with a local - not by choice ) and paying a hotel as a service to takes us the rest of the way. I don’t advise this unless you 1) can speak Turkish 2) of East Turkish origin 3) have Kurdish ancestry.

there are two ways to enter, one entrance has access to the summit via a dirt road accessed. the other entrance is on a nicely paved road. the difference between the two is that the paved road takes you to a nice parking lot with stairs, climbing hundreds and hundreds of stairs [you can hire a donkey if you arrive close to sunset]. the dirt road drops you off via the back entrance guard shack - the very top of the site- and no stairs.

there are many organized tours available that manage the transportation to and from if you can’t be bothered. a bit expensive by Turkish standards, but the only option if you do not rental car.

some advice: 

do NOT enter the park carrying a tri-pod. they will ask for a 200tl (100 usd) fee. i recommend placing it in your back pack. when you get to the top you can decide if you want the tri-pod as there are many flat surfaces to prop a camera. if you are a rule-follower, or afraid of a Turkish prison trip ( no police for 100’s of km) please disregard and hand over the $100 ( 200 tl).

I arrived mid-day in the hell heat of August. was fortunate to have rainy weather, made for good photography, and a bearable visit. don’t forget water. while traveling thru East Turkey you should always carry  a liter of water. weather is hot, village stops are far and few between. 

over all, it was a great place to visit. well worth the effort for me.

"the star attraction in East Turkey;the enigmatic statues sitting atop the summit have become a symbol of Turkey” - lonely planet

Colossal stone heads at Mount Nemrut. the weathering adds to its uniqueness and beauty.

Colossal stone heads at Mount Nemrut. the weathering adds to its uniqueness and beauty.

River rat! #Ovacık

River rat! #Ovacık

It is back to business as usual here in Turkey - survived another Ramadan. No simpler joys in life then watching Turkish people happily socializing over food again - cafe’s, restaurants and streets a clamoring. Off to Tunceli (Dersim) for Bayram.

"The Dersim Massacre took place in 1937 and 1938 in Dersim Province, (formerly Tunceli Province)[5] inTurkey. It was the outcome of a Turkish military campaign against the Dersim Rebellion by local ethnic minority groups against Turkey’s Resettlement Law of 1934. Thousands of Alevi Kurds and Zazas[6] died and many others were internally displaced due to the conflict.
On 23 November 2011, Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave an apology for the Dersim operation, describing it as “one of the most tragic events of our recent history”

More updates to come…

It is back to business as usual here in Turkey - survived another Ramadan. No simpler joys in life then watching Turkish people happily socializing over food again - cafe’s, restaurants and streets a clamoring. Off to Tunceli (Dersim) for Bayram.

"The Dersim Massacre took place in 1937 and 1938 in Dersim Province, (formerly Tunceli Province)[5] inTurkey. It was the outcome of a Turkish military campaign against the Dersim Rebellion by local ethnic minority groups against Turkey’s Resettlement Law of 1934. Thousands of Alevi Kurds and Zazas[6] died and many others were internally displaced due to the conflict.

On 23 November 2011, Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave an apology for the Dersim operation, describing it as “one of the most tragic events of our recent history”

More updates to come…

Weekday camping trip to the North Aegean Coast

the Mysian city of Assos (Behramkale Turkish name) was founded in the 8th century by colonists from Lesbos, who specifically are said to have come from Methymna and later built its great temple to Athena (Doric Temple) to Athena on top of the crag in 530 BC.

Things you don’t know you don’t know - places in the neighborhood. #comeseeturkey 

Things you don’t know you don’t know - places in the neighborhood. #comeseeturkey 

Sunday Sunset @ Feridun’s Ev

Sunday Sunset @ Feridun’s Ev