Living in the Aegean // Turkey

I feel at home while spending days visiting the Aegean region of Turkey. I mostly encounter relaxed people living on the coast; old men who are always into fishing or playing cards in the old coffeehouses, hard-working women keeping the Aegean traditions inherited from old generations and cheerful children running around their homes with no boundaries. 

 

On the streets, my attention is often captured by the colorful ancient houses with newly washed laundry hanging to dry on balconies and the smell of lavender detergent. At the end of August -when tomatoes get ripen enough- villagers are ready to place the trays full of dried 'tarhana' -homemade traditional Turkish soup made of a fermented mixture of plain yoghurt, flour, vegetables- on streets, and dozens of canned bottles filled with 'salça' (tomato paste). As preparations are done, a bunch of ladies begin to chat to neighbors to pass on gossips of their “mahalle” (neighborhood). 

 

What’s also impressive is the cozy, sweet way that Aegean living brings peace to my life directly. Near the sea, waves with soft dancing noises, people who seem confidently happy, old Greek architecture that looks graceful in every different corner, and something magical in the air letting me live in the moment are just some of those remarkable things that I find in this region.

© 2023 by Deniz Yılmaz Akman

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