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Photo from Turkey

After having discovered Turkey of 1920 through French soldiers accounts, preserved in the centers of archives, I wanted to discover the landscapes which marked the youth of my grandfather, but also Turkey and the Turks of today. In August 2006, I went off with my husband, in search of adventure.

We rented a car in Istanbul, and we visited Kayseri, Kahramanmarash and its surroundings - Islahiye and Sulemanli (in the past, Zeitoun) -, Gaziantep, Adana, Tarsous, Mersin, Pozanti, Belemedik, Ulukishla, Nigde, and finally, marvellous Cappadoce.

Everywhere, we were very well received, particularly in Marash. We were positively surprised by the good level of the infrastructure and the development of the country. Indeed, there is less than one hundred years, the country counted approximately 10 to 12 million inhabitants for the majority illiterate and very poor. They were able to move there on mule tracks maintained by the peasants. Today, Turkey is rich of more than 70 million inhabitants who can read, and its agriculture is self-sufficing. The road infrastructure is of good quality. Industry is developing particularly between Istanbul and Ankara, on the edges of the Marmara Sea. It is an area which we crossed without staying on.

In the cities and villages where we spent a little time, it seemed to us that the Turks had found a good balance between tradition and modernity: the motor vehicles did not completely replace the animal haulage and industry did not destroy the small trades. We have seen people still making by hand carpets, caps, and even shoes.

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