Friday, June 29, 2012

Back in Finland

I have returned now back to Finland. Now I have done Campus Europae Exchange year in Turkey and Spain. Also I did three month internship in Spain.  I will still continue the blog but I will not be posting as regularly as before. For example I will translate my final report of my exchange studies and post it to the blog. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog and special thanks for everybody who have been commenting blog posts. At the moment there is no plan to go abroad but I hope to discover new countries in the future.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Is Turkey safe?

Police
Generally it seems that people in Europe think that Turkey is more dangerous than European countries. For example when I said to my parents about the idea to go to Turkey they suggested if I could choose some other country instead of Turkey. Also I have read blog comments that people who are travelling this summer to Turkey are worried about the safety in Turkey because of the current situation in Syria. Some Turkish consider eastern Turkey unsafe but not because of the current situation in Syria.  In our trip to Eastern Turkey on April we were closest 15 kilometers to the Syrian border and everything was fine. Some Erasmus friends for example went from Ankara until to the border of eastern Turkey by hitchhiking and they also returned alive. After travelling to eastern Turkey and living 9 months in Ankara for me Turkey including eastern Turkey seems a safe country.

Before Turkey I had never seen big groups of policemen but here you can see them almost everyday in the center. Many times policemen are watching over demonstrations and once I saw 20 police cars heading fast to some destination. Still daily life is going nicely in peace. Turkish people for example respect much more possession of other people than Spanish. Here people do not steal or destroy your belongings right away if you leave or forget it somewhere.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Circumcision

Muslim men get circumcision. The operation is generally performed before the third grade in primary school and after that you become a real man. When you have recovered from the operation a party is organized. The idea that your family and friends are celebrating your penis sounds funny. I have been actually asked by a Muslim person if I am circumcised or not and I have to to admit that hearing that kind of question from a person who I have just met was very unexpected.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Friday in the metro station

Praying moment
Underground area of the center of Ankara
Friday is an important day for Muslims. The central metro station kızılay in Ankara is always crowded by walking people but on Friday in the midday people is sitting on the floor because there is not enough space in the mosque so people spread all over the station. Most of the people have carpet but also carton and newspaper seemed to be suitable for the ritual. The ritual consists of listening imam and praying which takes in total 45 minutes on Fridays

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Clothes in hot weather in Ankara

People
More people
The weather hot weather is now hot in Ankara. Temperature in the shadow is 25 celsius. On the street you can see women who seem to be wearing as much clothes as in the winter time: long jacket and scarf. Also you can see women who are wearing summer clothes: dress or skirt.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dolmuş


Dolmuzes in the center of Ankara
Public transportation in Turkey has one special characteristic. Public transportation is not organized only by one company. There are numerous private mini buses called dolmuş. Each dolmuş driver has a license from the state and then they start to drive the chosen rate. Dolmuş are peeping when they see a possible customer waiting on the street. Dolmuş do not have official stops so people can get in wherever they want. One ride costs 80 cents and you have always pay by cash.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Beard

The difference
Turkish men are generally much more hairy than I am. Here you can see the difference of five day beard growth between me and one Turkish man. You can barely notice my beard after five days as Turkish has a clearly visible thigh beard. Also children who might not even had puberty yet have hairier arms than I have. As current fashion is to keep hair minimum I have an advantage.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Turkish dessert

Baklava
Naturally there are also many Turkish desserts. The most well known is baklava what is often served with ice cream. Making baklava is not easy so people buy it from pastry shop. Baklava is made of thin layers of dough sweetened with syrup and honey. There is also nuts especially pistachio is popular. The taste of baklava is very sweet. The texture of Turkish ice cream is very thigh and it does not melt as easily as typical ice cream in Finland.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Atatürk

Picture of Atatürk on a building
People visiting Atatürks mausoleum
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is considered the most important person of Turkish history. He led the national movement which gained the independence of Turkey. The hero status of Atatürk can be seen in many ways: in almost all the cities there is a street named after Atatürk, Important constructions are named after Atatürk like Airports, stadiums etc., the most popular tattoo in Turkey is a signature of Atatürk, most of the homes have a picture of Atatürk on the wall and All the Turkish lira notes has a picture of Atatürk. Of course there is also a day owned to Atatürk. Finland or Spain do not have a person who has same hero status in their home country like Atatürk has in Turkey.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Eating out in Ankara

Example plate
In Ankara the cheapest option to eat outside is not McDonald's. The cheapest option is chicken döner kebab. In Ankara menu in McDonald's or in Burger King is 4 - 5 euros. With the same price you can also have a nice plate in a nice restaurant like the plate in the picture. There are also plenty of restaurants which offer home food for 2,5 euros.