Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Diary of a Foreigner Living in Turkey (1993-1998)


Swedish Pierre Flener from Uppsala Univesity takes his
daily memories of Ankhara to the WWW: "From September 1993 to August 1998, I lived in Ankara, Turkey. Early on, I started receiving a lot of email from friends and former colleagues, both worried and curious, asking what life was like in Turkey. They had the wildest prejudices about Turkey, imagining that I roasted in desert heat on some sand dunes, that I rode on camel back to my office, that I had trouble learning Arabic and reading/writing the arabic alphabet, and that all my woman students were fully veiled. But that Ankara lies 1,000m high on the Anatolian plateau and has continental climate, that Turkey features almost any geographical landscape you can imagine except deserts, that camels are not native animals there, that Turks speak, well, Turkish, an Altaic language that has nothing to do with Arabic and is written in the Latin alphabet, and that the majority of Turkish women do not even wear headscarves, all these facts had to be established. After responding to these enquiries individually for a while, I realised that I had to repeat myself a lot. I thus started grouping my answers into longer messages, called Impressions from Turkey, which I broadcasted privately. But then I started receiving fan mail from people I had never heard of, and they had my messages from people I also did not know, etc, all this proving that my writings were actually circulating on the internet! So I put the existing impressions onto my personal homepage, after merging some and renaming the series into Diary of a Foreigner Living in Turkey."

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