Turkey Shooting: Catherine Bury ‘Killed by Gardener’ in Dalyan Holiday Resort – IBTimes UK

Turkey Shooting: Catherine Bury ‘Killed by Gardener’ in Dalyan Holiday Resort – IBTimes UK.

Now all the ignorant, racist bigots will come out of the woodwork. Read the comments in The Huffington Post…atrocious! So many uneducated imbeciles  you can just predict the reactions!!


A Visit to Kurdistan?

My Story

I took in a foster child aged 11,  14 years ago who was an asylum seeker from Kurdistan, Iraq. She was taken from an abusive family here in the UK. She is like our own daughter now MarshAllah!
She visited Erbil 2 years ago but was extremely limited in where she could go so was mostly indoors most of the time. However she really wants to go again with my husband and I as a safe family unit.
I would love to go to the regions around Erbil but i was afraid for so many reasons.

After reading Theopi’s blog i am seriously thinking of making this journey with my foster daughter. I will be looking into it much more and would love if there are any readers who come from or have recently visited this area, to tell me as much as they can.

Theopi's Blog

Listen to my From Our Own Correspondent on BBC World Service by clicking here

As we approach the cable car to take us to the top of Mount Korek, I’m stunned by the beauty that surrounds me. Bright white snow-capped mountains are all around. They glisten in the sunshine and despite the sub-zero temperatures give off a warm glow. And all is peaceful. A sharp contrast, I imagine, to 20 years ago, when gunfire must have echoed among these mountains and blood stained the snow.Me at the top of Mount Korek

But this no longer the battleground of Iraqi Kurds and Saddam Hussein’s regime. Thanks in part to a no-fly zone put in place 21 years ago, during the first Iraq war, and the more recent US-led invasion of 2003, some tranquillity has returned. The fall of the former dictator has given a once-persecuted people the security to rebuild and develop this now semi-autonomous region.


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Dont Hate Turkey! Sarai Sierra, American Tourist, Killed by Blow to Head

Sarai Sierra, American Tourist, Killed by Blow to Head, Turkish Police Say

A New York City woman vacationing alone in Istanbul was killed by at least one fatal blow to her head, Turkish officials said today. The body of Sarai Sierra, 33, was was identified by her husband, Steven Sierra, in a morgue, Istanbul police chief Huseyin Capkin said today. After an intense search that lasted nearly two weeks, the body of Sarai Sierra was found near the ruins of some ancient city walls and a highway on Saturday. Sierra was wearing the same outfit she was seen wearing on…Full Story

I am not going to discuss the whys and wherefores of this poor woman’s death because we don’t really know what happened.

I have to say i am disgusted with a majority of comments i have read around the net. There are people bringing religion, ‘Islam’ into it, talk about how the Muslims hate Americans etc. People who have never been outside their own countries stating how awful, backward and dirty Turkey is. This is mainly coming from Americans and probably the ignorant unenlightened majority whilst the other decent Americans have to take the flak!

People have asked questions which i will give my opinion below.

Comment:What is a married woman doing going alone to Turkey to take pictures.

A:This is 2013 and women don’t need chaperone’s and that includes the majority of Turkish women.

Comment: She had children she shouldn’t have gone off alone.

A: The children have a father too don’t they? A woman does not stop living because she has children if they are in safe loving hands of family. There are reasons families cant always go away together, does that mean a women is always the one to stay behind?

Comment: Americans shouldn’t travel to Muslim countries. They hate us!

A: I wonder why? Look at your foreign policy but it has not been shown that this is a hate crime so there you go ‘Islamophobia’

Comment: So you leave your kids to go off on some trip to a country where you know Muslims live and who will be very upset that you are walking around in jeans without a male escort?  I’m a man and would never go into any Islamic country, at least not without the second U.S. Army.

A:How ridiculous is this commenter? Many women in Istanbul and most parts of Turkey dress in jeans, skirts, tee shirts etc. They just don’t show a lot of flesh.  Turkey receives over 30 million tourists a year and  the vast majority of Turkish people, including men, are honest, kind and decent but i suppose you will find a few like the commentator above !

I travelled alone a lot when i was younger because i am a bit of an adventurer. It was almost impossible for me and hubby to be able to go as a family as there was always an obstruction. My girls had grown up before i started travelling but i wouldn’t have hesitated to travel even when they were small if we could have afforded it.

Bearing in mind that we are Muslims you can see that we are very enlightened and believe in the rights of men and women. Although hubby would be nervous about me travelling alone, he understood the thirst i had for seeing new places and cultures and gave me his blessings. He put my care in Allah and in my good sense.

I have visited Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia  and Pakistan and i must say it opened my eyes and changed the misconceptions i had about so called third world countries. Unless you have been to these places you cant make a judgment by what you hear in the media. I won’t go into that here though.

My most loved place is Turkey where I/we have been going to for 16 years also having a second home there for 12 years .Its a beautiful place with good-natured hospitable people who are very welcoming.

Having mastered the worst pigeon Turkish we are able to communicate and make friends, watch tv and read newspapers. We have also explored non tourist areas in Turkey so i believe i have a right to say that  I understand the people and the culture.

On the whole Turkish people are torn between extremities of old and new but are seriously the most modern of Muslim countries. I have found that, just like anyone in any other country is that if you treat them with respect you get that back.

I do know that the tourist areas are probably the paces with the worst reputation for touting, hard selling and flirting and lone women should be aware and not believe everything they are told by the men. Most people in the tourist areas come from inland Turkey where they can live from hand to mouth so when they see an opportunity to benefit themselves they have no scruples regarding hitching up with a tourist. I have to admit that if i was in their shoes i might do the same.

Crimes against foreigners are not as common as many Americans think. In fact on the whole Turkey’s crime statistics are 10 times better than US. I have bought 3 properties over the years carrying large amounts of money from bank to bank in taxis and peoples cars, i have left my handbag twice in a taxi and in a restaraunt and had them delivered back to my home/hotel. I have been escorted by families late at night making sure that i get home safely. When electricity goes off for hours or even all day, people have sent food or lamps.  If you are a visitor in a home as a guest you will be treated like royalty. If you need help there is always someone willing to help you even go out of their way to do so. I love the way people in Turkey look out for each other. Everything is not perfect nor is it anywhere but i have never felt afraid or alone in Turkey.

I have travelled to many many countries, Muslim and Christian and the people are no different except in the way they look, dress or behave socially. I find that a majority of tourists treat the natives as if they are ignorant or stupid when in fact they themselves are the ones who are! People who don’t travel far from their own culture think that their way is the only way and the rest of the world are wrong.

If you are a woman travelling alone to Turkey or for that matter any country you are as safe as you would be anywhere follow the rules below.

  • Always research the place your going to making sure you stay in a populated reputable area.
  • Learn a bit of the language, it will be appreciated.
  • Let people know of your plans even at your hotel.
  • Be friendly with other women including the natives. You can get advice are even a companion.
  • Walk assertively and confidently.
  • Don’t go out with strangers or even go to any unpopulated area alone .
  • Consider wearing a (fake) wedding ring.
  • Trust your intuition.

Istanbul was the 5th most visited city in 2012

Turkey here i come !

Turkey has become my second home and has a very special place in my heart.
I do like the hustle and bustle of the resorts, but i really do enjoy visiting the areas out of the tourist resorts, seeing the real Turkey.
Turkey is such a diverse country,and what the tourists  see isn’t really the ‘real’ Turkey,   its just a small part of a wonderful country that deserves  to be explored & appreciated.

I went out there 15 years ago for a 2 week holiday and came back with the legal documents to an apartment, after 4 months i went back to collect the deeds and that was that!. In 15 years i upgraded my apartment to luxury standard and had intentions of retiring there with hubby.

Unfortunately with many health problems that hubby insisted must be dealt with through our health care systems here in the UK i had to give up my dream. It was like a bereavement. I had planned and designed and had all the  furniture hand made to my own designs (not the sofa though)I didn’t settle for cheap stuff either or rent it out, it was supposed to be our retirement home. I had learnt the language enough to communicate, haggle and have a social life with the locals.  The Turkish are a wonderful nation.  They are very family orientated and love children and have great respect for their elders.  They will welcome you into their homes with open arms and share with you everything they have.   I have also learnt that with many in the tourist areas they are always looking to make some money out of the foreigners but i have become very wise now in how to deal with that lol.

I love the food, i love the fresh fruit ans vegetable which are all home grown. Alanya  is the only place in Turkey where bananas are grown and there is nothing like a banana straight from the tree 🙂

Last year we sold up but i am going back in 2 days time and cant wait to visit friends.I will go back to Antalya of course this time staying in a hotel in the lovely city of Alanya. I will miss getting up and having breakfast on my balcony, inviting friends round for dinner or a party and just having te freedom to do what i want. It wont be the same in a hotel 😦

I am still grateful to have had those 15 years and will never forget the good times and the stressful times of learning, adjusting and communicating. If any of my followers have not been to Turkey they should really give it a chance. they would be surprised to know that it is a very developed country in many aspects, yet again it is still a developing one in some others. The Turks are a very warm and welcoming people who will welcome foreigners and will be delighted to help them.

Another noteworthy point is that Turkey’s government has a tradition of being remarkably secular for a Muslim nation.

see you all in 2 weeks 🙂

Post 9/11 travel. What does a Muslim look like?

Slowly-by-slowley (A roadtrip through one Turkish-American marriage)  writes On post 9/11 travel. This is the blog of a very wise, educated young woman who touches a subject that has prompted me to write this post.

I traveled to The US many years ago and really enjoyed the experience. Americans are just like me, they don’t have 2 heads or shoot you on sight. They are friendly, grumpy, rude,polite, ignorant, educated and they are just like anyone else on the planet 😉 However… their politics/policies leave a great deal to be desired, especially after 9/11

I would have loved to take my dear hubby to the Space Center in Houston, Texas. To show him that dear old UK would look like a toy town compared to Miami, Florida or Tennessee, the places i have visited. He would not believe the size of the plates and glasses served  up in fast food joints and even in cafes where you can get 1/2 a litre of coke in a standard glass! I could go on and on about the massive differences i enjoyed experiencing but i just don’t have the time.

Since 9/11 many people we know including non Muslims who are Asian  have had terrible experiences after arriving at airports in the US. An Indian female (Hindu) co worker of my hubby was held for 1 hour in solitary before being strip searched. She was quite traumatised and in tears all of the time. Her holiday to visit relatives was ruined. A Sikh…for goodness sake, wearing a turban had a similar experience. He was made to remove his turban which you may or may not know is an article of faith that has been made mandatory by the founders of Sikhism. It is not to be regarded as mere cultural paraphernalia. Its an insult to make someone take it off.

Strip searching is taking place even with US citizens and that’s bad enough but the treatment is even worse for people who look Asian or Middle Eastern

Now i know you might say the US have to protect themselves from terrorism but its become mass paranoia hyped by the media and politics to their own agenda. I would like people to reflect on who are actually the ‘Terrorists’ Come on Americans is this really how you want the world to see you? Is this how you want to be treated?

Unfortunately hubby refuses to be put through the process of detainment,strip search and humiliation. I know for a fact that if we did go together i would suffer the same humiliation as him.

This had deprived America of the pleasure of meeting me :-0

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