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Exactly how conservative is Eastern Turkey?
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parnett



Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 114
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It does make a difference if a mosque uses megaphones to broadcast the call to prayer. However, even more important, is how close you live to a mosque. In Gaziantep, one didn't have a choice as it seemed there were at least 5 for every square mile.
More fond memories of G-tep:
-My barber cutting my hair with a cigarette dangling from his lips two inches from my head.
- Everyone crying over the death of Princess Diana even though most of them had no idea who she was.
- The insane chaos whenever Fenerbahce or Galatasaray football came to town.
- From November 1st until the day I left (June 16th), there were a grand total of five days in which the electricity, heat, water and cable all worked for an entire day (I kept track). Once, the water was turned off for 15 consecutive days.
- The wedding parties on the apartment houses' roofs in which revelers screamed and sang to all hours of the morning on weekday evenings.
- One of my students breaking into the teacher's room and then my locker and stealing the following day's exam, and me being blamed for not having the locker properly locked.
- The man in the university cafeteria serving soup with no shirt on and a cig dangling from his mouth. The black specks in the soup were not pepper.
- The country peasants trying to figure out the escalator at the new department store.
- My first meal with the rest of the faculty in which a male teacher sitting next to me took a red pepper, put it so close to his nose to smell it that his disgustingly long nose hairs rubbed against it, and then put it back on the plate.
God how I miss Gaziantep!!!
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La Reve



Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 62
Location: Ici

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:24 am    Post subject: Exactly how conservative is Eastern Turkey? Reply with quote

The link for Guney's school has a Trojan, should you click on it.

Perhaps that link is incorrect or should be deleted?
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La Reve



Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 62
Location: Ici

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:27 am    Post subject: Exactly how conservative is Eastern Turkey? Reply with quote

Parnett painted a rather horrid description of Gaziantep.

Has much changed in 10 years since he's been there? Just curious....
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lucia79



Joined: 18 Jun 2011
Posts: 156

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

parnett wrote:
-The man in the university cafeteria serving soup with no shirt on and a cig dangling from his mouth. The black specks in the soup were not pepper.


I really needed a good laugh. Thanks! Laughing
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lucia79



Joined: 18 Jun 2011
Posts: 156

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

parnett wrote:
There was also the insane manner in which the utility bills were paid. The building was given one bill each month for electricity and water. The amount was divided by the number of flats in the building which meant everyone paid the same amount. So I would pay the same amount for electricity that the family of six above me paid.
It's sad to say, but I have some friends who live in an apartment building where the heating bill (I don't know about their water/electricity usage) is still paid in the same manner. Sad
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sedaa91



Joined: 07 Jan 2012
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gaziantep is really, really, REALLY freakin' hot in the summers. Like never lower than 40 degrees Celsius. However, if you are looking for a culture shock, and don't necessarily mind living on your own, go for it. I grew up in a city 30 minutes to Gaziantep (well... wouldn't really call it growing up) and can't stay there for more than 5-6 days when I go. Big cities, more foreigners make me feel more like I am home (NY).
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sedaa91



Joined: 07 Jan 2012
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

parnett wrote:
It does make a difference if a mosque uses megaphones to broadcast the call to prayer. However, even more important, is how close you live to a mosque. In Gaziantep, one didn't have a choice as it seemed there were at least 5 for every square mile.
More fond memories of G-tep:
-My barber cutting my hair with a cigarette dangling from his lips two inches from my head.
- Everyone crying over the death of Princess Diana even though most of them had no idea who she was.
- The insane chaos whenever Fenerbahce or Galatasaray football came to town.
- From November 1st until the day I left (June 16th), there were a grand total of five days in which the electricity, heat, water and cable all worked for an entire day (I kept track). Once, the water was turned off for 15 consecutive days.
- The wedding parties on the apartment houses' roofs in which revelers screamed and sang to all hours of the morning on weekday evenings.
- One of my students breaking into the teacher's room and then my locker and stealing the following day's exam, and me being blamed for not having the locker properly locked.
- The man in the university cafeteria serving soup with no shirt on and a cig dangling from his mouth. The black specks in the soup were not pepper.
- The country peasants trying to figure out the escalator at the new department store.
- My first meal with the rest of the faculty in which a male teacher sitting next to me took a red pepper, put it so close to his nose to smell it that his disgustingly long nose hairs rubbed against it, and then put it back on the plate.
God how I miss Gaziantep!!!


This makes me Laughing how long ago were you there??
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parnett



Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 114
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Find out the year Princess Diana died and the film Titanic debuted, and you will know when I was there.
It was hellishly hot there in August and September. There was one AC at the university- in the President's office.
Memories of Gaziantep have been flooding my mind lately. A few others:
- The university had a sort of petting zoo in the garden outside the cafeteria. Chickens, ducks etc. were housed in large cement "habitats" for the parents to see. One habitat was home to several cats. They were given leftover lettuce, tomatoes and pistachio shells to eat. When they died of starvation, workers were sent to the street to capture more, and bring them to the school and their certain doom.
- I tutored a beautiful young married woman at my flat twice a week. At least 4 of her relatives would escort her to my flat, and then sit and wait in the kitchen while I taught her.
- The horrible smell of perspiration emanating from almost every armpit in the city.
- I took an illegal job at the only language school in the city to meet people. I begged them to be discreet about my employment as the university might fire me if they were to find out. As I approached the school for my first lesson, I noticed that large copies of my picture were plastered on every telephone pole within a block of the school with the headline, "American Teacher at Dilko!!!"
- The small movie theater down an alley which showed blue movies. Yes folks, believe it or not, in the heart of conservative Muslim country, there was a porn theater. I never ventured inside though I was tempted at times.
There were some good aspects of teaching in Gaziantep. Many of the students were great. For the most part, the teachers in my department were friendly and helpful. The President of the school took me to lunch on a regular basis. I befriended the owner of a pistachio farm, and was given free pistachios whenever I wished. Teaching at the language school was too much work, but I did meet some nice people, including my gf.
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Yogita



Joined: 17 Jun 2012
Posts: 53
Location: Turkey

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

parnett wrote:

- The horrible smell of perspiration emanating from almost every armpit in the city.
- I took an illegal job at the only language school in the city to meet people. I begged them to be discreet about my employment as the university might fire me if they were to find out. As I approached the school for my first lesson, I noticed that large copies of my picture were plastered on every telephone pole within a block of the school with the headline, "American Teacher at Dilko!!!"
- The small movie theater down an alley which showed blue movies. Yes folks, believe it or not, in the heart of conservative Muslim country, there was a porn theater. I never ventured inside though I was tempted at times.
There were some good aspects of teaching in Gaziantep. Many of the students were great. For the most part, the teachers in my department were friendly and helpful. The President of the school took me to lunch on a regular basis. I befriended the owner of a pistachio farm, and was given free pistachios whenever I wished. Teaching at the language school was too much work, but I did meet some nice people, including my gf.

I've noticed the smelly people too when taking public transport Confused
There are ups & downs living in any foreign country, we just have to find the better parts.
You had quite an adventure though LOL Mr. Green
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sixthchild



Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Posts: 283
Location: East of Eden

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HA, this sounds just as it was when I first arrived in this blessed and cursed place! If I had read any of the books about this place before I came here I would never had boarded the plane, the image of this country has been badly tarnished, well before "Midnight Express".
However, looking back over the years, the things that Parnet talks about were what gave me a few moments of quiet satisfaction.
The country is full of people who have not got very much and even less education, we all know that every time we are forced to use a public toilet, but we stay, we make the best of it and slowly things get better.I have seen huge changes in this country over the years and most of them for the better, its just in some places you will find it is still very much work in progress, go there and see how much Gtep has changed since the death of Diania, I reckon you will be pleasantly surprised!
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Parnett, Gaziantep has very much changed since you were there. For one thing, there's more than one language school, and more than one university.

As we speak there's construction everywhere, including in public transit. When I visited someone gave me the directions: "follow the construction to where the tram ends and take the tram to the castle."

It's one of the "Anatolian Tigers," and as with the other Anatolian Tigers it's seen an amazing transformation, both economically and culturally over the past decade.

I'll concede that Gaziantep is the most "Middle Eastern" city I've seen in Turkey, but I wouldn't describe it as particularly conservative, even compared to Konya (which I also wouldn't say is as conservative as people make it out to be).

Why do people keep describing Turkey as a "conservative Muslim country"? Except possibly for Albania and pre-coup Mali, it's probably the least conservative Muslim-majority country on the face of the planet. Again, I'd say it's probably about as conservative as the United States; and like the United States a secular country. I'd suggest that even the most conservative parts are no worse than most of Kosovo, a fully European "country."

Regards,
~Q
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sixthchild



Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Posts: 283
Location: East of Eden

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My, My, My, Q, you do get around a bit. Must say I envey you for having travelled to that part of the country but by all accounts it is baking hot!
Once again I take my hat off to you on some insightful comments!
Turkey is indeed a country that surprises a lot of people who come here with pre-concieved ideas about it and its people. I would say on balance a lot of America is agruably a tad more conserative than many places in Turkey.
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Özcan



Joined: 19 Feb 2013
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:11 am    Post subject: Re: Exactly how conservative is Eastern Turkey? Reply with quote

Yogita wrote:
Having 4 wives is illegal here. Only one is allowed Wink

I know this is not a religion discussion forum, but I thought perhaps you and others might be interested in learning more about our culture and religion. First, we should always separate "Islamic traditions" from actual Islamic teachings, since both can be totally contradictory due to misinterpretation (whether deliberately or not) by clerics. In Islam you can actually marry more than one wife only in certain (extreme) cases, such as after the Bosnian war where most men were killed and, as a result, there were (and probably still are) a lot more women than men in that country...

I won't go into details here, but in our Scriptures the context is clear; when mentioning marrying more than one woman, it always mentions "orphans". In fact, the Creator openly states that He prefers marriage with one woman for men. Moreover, He also says that, "no matter how hard you try, you will never be able to make all your wives equally happy". Basically, God is openly discouraging marriage with more than one woman. It's obvious that marrying one woman is the norm and marrying more than one the exception. Unfortunately, traditional clerics can be hypocrites and often are. And trust me, you can't learn these things from anti-Islamic propaganda websites such as Jihadwatch or Robert Spencer Wink
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sixthchild



Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Posts: 283
Location: East of Eden

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Özan
Like the way you slip in that big "creator" word in your response, so there is one then according to your teachings? Yet when I talk to fellow belivers, they don't use that word, just give the impression that someone else did all that work. I like the idea that you can have more than one wife, but in reality it must be an emotional minefield and bloody expensive!
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Özcan



Joined: 19 Feb 2013
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops, I accidentally deleted my own post. Please pm me if you want to know or discuss something.. I don't think the mods want us to turn this thread into a religious debate or something..
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