Saturday, November 6, 2010

Different Worlds, Same Country

We ventured out today to the M1 mall for a little Saturday shopping. After a slight detour(missing our exit and driving about 25 miles before there was another), we arrived. This mall is just gorgeous-marble floors, beautiful architecture, and very modern stores. On our way out of the parking lot, we saw a field with what appeared to be people gleaning-or picking the leftover crops for themselves. How could these two seemingly opposite ways of life exist so close to each other?

That's the thing we are noticing about Turkey-or at least the region where we are living. It's as if this nation can't decide if they want to be modern or old world. When traveling off base, it is not uncommon for us to see a Mercedes sharing a road with a horse-pulled cart. Seriously. In the mall, you see people dressed just like us mixing with people wearing traditional Muslim attire. The M1 mall sells paper-thin TV's and expensive haute couture just up the road from the open air meat market that sells lamb heads and cow stomachs.

Turkey has only been a sovreign nation for about 90 years-so they are a "baby" compared to many other countries. Perhaps they are still going through growing pains as a nation. Maybe they are still figuring out their identity moving forward. Regardless, it is interesting to watch and experience. Just don't ask me to go to that meat market.

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