Turkey! A huge country that spans across two continents, connecting the East and the West.
There are so many places to visit that a week or two weeks or a month wouldn’t suffice.
There is Istambul, Ankara (its capital!), Antalya, İzmir, Cappadocia… Turkey is packed with remarkable destinations. Yet my first incursion into Turkey bypassed all those places. Muş came to be. With roughly 80 thousand inhabitants, it is a place lost in the Kurdish region, 1500 km away from Istanbul.
Muş felt like it ran at two different speeds. On one hand it boasted modern buildings all around, wide avenues filled with shops and shoppers, one large university campus… Yet it still didn’t feel modern, per say. On the other hand, women selling foodstuffs and kids offering their shoe polish services right on the streets was a common sight. As soon as you stepped off the commercial area, things were quite different: endless roads under never-ending construction, stray dogs barking, trash scattered everywhere, run-down facades… It had it all.
Something that really took me by surprise was the way men presented themselves. And I don’t exactly mean the way they look but more on their behaviour. They strolled down the streets arm in arm with their male friends. Wasn’t expecting that, to be honest. Body language is indeed a fascinating subject.
You’ll for sure drink plenty of tea (and coffee!) among friends, sitting (almost squatting actually) in cute little chairs paired with cute little tables at one of the many cafés. Besides all the social life, coming to Muş had the purpose of becoming multipliers for preventing addiction. Addiction from what? Drugs, alcohol, smoking… We had debates, talks and got an insight on various policies that countries use to tackle these issues.
Got the chance of meeting really clever and downright interesting people. It would take a lifetime to put into words all that we lived among those 7 days together.