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Ghosts in the doorways

Derik, Mardin Province, Southeastern Turkey

After Job and Viransehir, our Turkish Tulip Trip meandered even more decidedly off the beaten path for one more day. We arrived in Derik, a short jaunt north off the international highway leading along the Syrian border from Urfa to Mardin. Derik is the home of Abit’s mother’s side […]

The key to paradise

Wisdom in the southeast comes in many forms, even delivered in my native language. As seen parked in front of our vehicle as we left Urfa.

“But we have to take your guests there. These are very important saints. You all need a blessing for your trip. It’s the most famous place in Viransehir. […]

Safe, scary or a place for sharing?

With tulip leaves on our terrace well up, spring is on its way early here in unseasonably mild Istanbul. We are anticipating our May journey. Turkey has been in global news for some serious reasons already in this New Year, so it’s time for an update!

Closest to home, the disappearance and murder of […]

Mardin, Midyat, Diyarbakir, Derik, Hasankeyf…

Places we hope to see this May, in the company of friends new and old, staying in ancient “karvansarays” and villages where Abit grew up, where many in his large extended family still live. Details are being determined, and will appear here soon.  

If you are interested in joining us, please let us […]

Grist for the mill

SFO International Terminal. The flowery taste of jasmine tea takes my mind back to those years I spent traveling to Hong Kong, Osaka, or Seoul from this very airport. 16-hour slogs across the Pacific, flying most often into the old Kai Tak, coming in so close between the highrises you could almost see […]

Eight Thousand Years

Remnants of the outer walls of the Basilica of St John, with the Selcuk Fortress at the top

“My father found our new house”, my husband Abit told me as he came into our vintage textile shop one afternoon in late August 2005. Oh God, this was bound to be tough – what […]

Selçuk: An Aegean Home to Art

The historic valley on Turkey’s West Coast where we live has more than its share of diverse cultural attractions – from centuries of wonders at Ephesus, a city founded by a mythical tribe of women warriors known as Amazons, embellished by King Croesus, liberated by Alexander the Great and nearly […]

Turkish Textile Arts in Transition: A Brotherhood of Carpet Sellers

The Carpet Merchant, Jean-Léon Gérôme

The occupants of the cavernous room, with walls of hewn stone punctuated by arabesque carved doorways and filled with a soft light from above, are rapt with attention. Three men in flowing robes and large turbans watch while a barefoot carpet seller with a long beard works […]