Monday, 13 January 2014

A Second Look


These three derelict buildings stand at the entrance to our village. They've been in this sorry state since way before we bought our land in 1990. With the exception of recent graffiti by love-lorn adolescents, they have been left to their own devices. Over the past 23 years, I have occasionally wondered who owned them and why they haven't been restored but my interest wasn't sufficiently piqued to investigate.  Until now that is.  The main benefit of giving up the day job two years ago was time. Time to read, time to walk, time to cook, time to do nothing and time to chat with our neighbours.  A chance conversation filled in the history of these ruins and now, as I drive past, I fancy I see the ghosts of a completely different era. The building on the left was a mosque and the other two were teahouses. The main road from Izmir to Bodrum ran right in front and, although I can't imagine there was that much traffic in the 1950s and 60s, the teahouse customers would have had a ringside seat.  Historians and hippies alike would have passed by and probably broken their arduous journey at one of the cafes.  In the daytime, the tea houses were the quiet domain of the fathers and grandfathers but in the evening, the village delikanlı (literally crazy-blood young men) would take over the cafe with music and alcohol and party under the watchful eye of the large bald proprietor,  sufficiently far away from the village houses that their parents were either unaware or prepared to turn a blind eye.  Serving alcohol in close proximity to a mosque has long been illegal in Turkey so this brazen flouting of the law added spice to the night's entertainment.  The nearest military police station was 6 kms way in Mumcular and luckily for the miscreants, the law drove around in a very noisy jeep. At the sound of gendarmes approach, the lads would bolt for home, running across the fields rather than along the road, to discourage any keen soldiers from the chase.  When the new coastal road was opened, these buildings were abandoned and are now waiting to fall down, but there are still elders in the village who remember, with a glint in their eye, when they were capable of running across a stoney field after a drink or two.

26 comments:

  1. That's super...I can just see the old boys!

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    1. I love listening to old stories - much improved with the constant telling I'm sure

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  2. What a delicious tale. You should put up a blue plaque!

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    1. I might just put up a tiny sign to say what the buildings were

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  3. Love it! It's amazing what we find out about our villages isn't it?

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    1. Haven't found any murderers yet like you

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  4. It's a great story from a bygone era (though not that long ago) when life was so much more social and relaxed. No wonder there is nostalgia for those days.

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    1. Not long ago at all, but almost forgotten

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  5. That was a delightful story! In central anatolia I was saw half built empty homes and wonder now if they ever have such a tale behind them.

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  6. Thank you for this post its like the beginning of a good book, so interesting, I want to know more.......

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    1. I'm tempted to add these nuggets to a book.

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  7. . . tales whispered over a glass of tea - made ever more epic (to local eyes) by the passage of the years. Enjoyable history lesson.

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  8. Lovely post Annie, and to be able discover these treasures, being in charge of your time is a wonderful thing. Before i forget, I will be in Bodrum - at my parents' timeshare place near Bodrum- early Aug. I greatly hope and look forward to meeting you, insallah : )

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    1. I hope your visit doesn't class with my trips t Greece as I'm looking forward to meeting you.

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  9. Dear Annie, this posting just tickled my fancy. I can see those young men leaping and bounding and zig-zagging across the fields. Spirits high and eyes gleaming.
    Thank you for sharing the history of this ghost site which must have seen so many youthful shenanigans and heard so much gossip and cherished the wisdom of the elders. Peace.

    PS: I've been away from blogging for many weeks and so I've missed all that you posted during that time. If you have any postings you'd especially like me to read, please let me know. Peace.

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    1. Hope you are rested after your blogging break

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  10. Only just got here, but did enjoy both the story and its telling. I too can imagine that glint in the old men's eyes! Great fun. Axxx

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    1. Our villagers know how to tell a good story

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  11. What a great story. It would be good to hear from some of those old boys....eyes glinting, as they remember the past.

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    1. They are also still fond of a raki or two in the evening

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  12. I bet they wish they could still run like that! A super story, but sad to see the old buildings crumbling unloved.

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    1. Running is out but they still walk with their cows a couple of kms a day

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