Hi my friends,
Turkey you will miss me !! I spent a month there, made 2000 km and met lots of lovely people!
Since my last article, I have traveled along the Black Sea, from Unye to the border with Georgia, around 500 km of flat =).
I was already convinced of this, but the Turks have confirmed their great hospitality skills. Turkey is not what television and news are showing us !
The first point I want to talk quickly is the terrorism. I never heard of it in Turkey, many Turks assured me that the country is much safer than we think from the outside. The amalgam in France between Islam and terrorists does not exist in Turkey, they know the true teachings of the Koran and apply them every day. An Afghan who I met in Trabzon told me about the sad history of his country and the fact that many terrorists are “educated” in Pakistan! I wanted to talk to you about this, but that’s just my opinion and I never felt like I was in danger.
Islam what does that say !?
I met Adam in the village of Yalikoy and he made me dream. I’m atheist and listening him I felt that he see a world hidden from my eyes! He spoke to me about paradise, its beauty, its grandeur, its riches … Gifts of Ala; Nature, water flowing from a fountain, growing vegetables, flowers turning into fruit, food we eat every day, ties with our family and friends … He had stars in the eyes and I was shivering, I thank him for this strong moment spent together.
Speaking of family ties, Adam and his father reminded me of my father and grandfather who were fishing together. My grandfather died three months ago, I miss him enormously! And as a coincidence, my encounter with Adam reminded me beautiful memories, I felt like I relived moments with my grandfather when I was thousands of miles away. I was in two places at once, my grandfather was with me and I was living the present moment! The mulsulmans give great importance to the family, the education of the children and the support of the elders. This is an example for me, and I’m thrilled to have spent a lot of time with my grandparents, they taught me a lot.
In the Koran it is written that we must help a person in need, I am not in « need », but I have always been welcome in Turkey! During this week along the Black Sea, I even wanted to sleep in my tent, but I couldn’t because I was being welcomed !!
First I was received by a couple, the man is a mason and he worked in France for three years. It was great to speak a little bit French with him. I slept in the barn over the three cows!
Two days later I went off the main road and I followed a river in the hope of finding a green lawn ! It’s difficult because there are lots of businesses, houses, hazel fields … By 9pm, it’s already dark, I plan to settle down along a small road, people pass by, I ask them If that is not a problem. They invite me to come and sleep at their home! And the funny thing is that they hosted a bike traveler three years ago, they remember it as it was yesterday! Directly after eating we walked in the neighborhood to meet the family, I entered in five houses !! Full of smiles, selfies and tea!
The next day the adventure continues, same scenario, I arrive in a small village, I ask if I can plant my tent and an hour later they propose to me to sleep in the garage. They bring me dinner, then we discuss all together until 10pm, they know how to welcome, I felt at home surrounded by my relatives!
Turkish women, strong and beautifull !
I was wondering at the beginning of my stay in Turkey about the life of women, I think I have the begining of response, which is once again my feeling and not the absolute truth =). First of all I noticed a big difference between cities and the countryside. In the city the majority of the women don’t wear heardscarf and they are dressed according to the criteria of the international fashion. They do not hesitate to answer me or to come and talk to me. I have also seen many women working and even managing restaurants and shops.
In the countryside, the heardscarf is a must! But they are colored, matched with beautiful dresses, also brightly colored. The separation between men and women is more marked, men drink tea in the cafe and women walk together. But in small villages I also saw women without heardscarf, talking to women as to men. They gave me the impression of knowing what they wanted and that they did not expect to be walked on. Of course always in the joy and the good humor that I saw in all the Turkish villages!
When I was greeted, I was able to understand the private life of women and their families. I have the impression they live like us in France three generations ago. The man brings money for the family, he has a physical job and the evening he sets foot under the table! During the day the woman takes care of the house, the animals and the garden. On many occasions, I only ate with the men while the woman was serving … I invite her to eat with us, but they either told me that she had already eaten either she will eat after =(. I do not like it clearly … However, my Turkish host who spoke a little French spoke of his wife with great esteem, he is aware that she is the one who runs the house, finances and who takes care of the children!
With my friend Adam, the sinner, I talked about security in Turkey and especially about women. He told me that for about 10 years any offense against a woman is reprehensible for life imprisonment. Moreover, there is a lot of civilian police, which according to him make the country very safe.
To conclude on the position of women in Turkey, I think they are still too subject to the decisions of men, I wish them more freedom and fight Erdogan who clearly does not value women. To my French readers, I wish to recall that in France the number of attacks and rape is very important and this remains taboo!
Trabzon and Thomas the cyclist
Trabzon is the last big city along the Black Sea before the border with Georgia. When I arrived there, I met Thomas, who was showing me great signs along the way. He is Italian and on his way to China! We spent a day together in Trabzon and we rode together for two days to Georgia.
Next adventures in Georgia! =)