Turkey

September-October 2012

Istanbul. The Dardenelles. Troy. Izmir. Kusadasi. Ephesus. Hieropolis & Pamukkale. Marmaris.


Post-Ottoman Turkey established itself as the most progressive of all Muslim countries with Mustafa Kemal Atatürk launching social and political reforms in the 1920s to modernise the country - the emancipation of women, the abolition of all Islamic institutions and the introduction of Western legal codes, dress and calendar and replacing the Arabic script with a Latin one.

 Such progress has come to a screeching halt under the current autocratic regime of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a nasty pieceof work if ever there was one who is hell bent on a regressive program that is intolerant of dissent, severly restricts freedoms, jails opponents and is taking Turkey backwards to a more Islamic-centric rule.

Turkey is evenly divided between westernised progressives, particularly in Ankara and Izmir and ultra-conservatives in the country regions. Our experience, prior to the 2016 attempted coup and consequent crackdown, was of a friendly population and non-threatening environment. There is some hope that Erdogan and his cronies won't be able to completely wreck the joint.

Istanbul

Istanbul/Constantinople/Byzantium, the country's economic, cultural, and historic centre.

The Dardanelles to Pergamon

Galipolli is the main drawcard for Aussies & Kiwis. Of significant interest to the Turks as well.

Izmir & Ephesus

Izmir - a pleasant bay-side waterfront but squeezy.

Histoic Ephesus - an ancient Greek city and later a major Roman one.

Kusadasi-Pamukkale-Marmaris

Pleasant seaside town to amazing travertine terraces to Eurotrash-infested departure point.

The Ruins

Our own bus with Abdullah, to guide & interpret if needed, and Vegdan the easy-going driver before heading to Greece.

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