Fun-Facts of Turkey

1) The love of cats is a sign of faith in Islam. There are many myths and legends surrounding the Prophet Muhammad and his cat Muezza. In the most famous story, she saved him from the snakebite of a poisonous viper. Muhammad stroked her back in gratitude – since then, no cat has fallen on its back, but always on its paws.

Cat in the hospital

2) Instead of beer: Cai (tea) and Ayran (yogurt) are the traditional drinks.

But we still had a beer or two.

To curb alcohol consumption, beer advertising is banned and supermarkets do not sell alcohol either. Beer is not drunk in public.

Beer is only available in special stores with this writing on a blue or yellow background. The beer is packed in opaque black bags (everyone knows what’s inside).

3) WCs can be found all over the country and are usually in good condition. Often also with disabled toilets.

Bath with tree at the campsite in Ünye
Super design for the soap dispensers: via the pipe at the top left, the soap is distributed centrally to all washbasins.
The brush has already seen better days.

4) Old Turkish mansions
Lady Montagu, the wife of the then British ambassador to the Ottoman court,  in her letters of 1717: “It seems to me that the local style of construction is very pleasant and very suitable for this country. It is true that they do not take much care to embellish the exterior of their houses, which is made of wood and therefore subject to many accidents. However, this is not due to the bad taste of the people, but to the oppression of the government. A gallery leads to all the rooms, which are usually very large and have two rows of windows, the lower one of painted glass. Rarely are there more than two stories, each of which has its gallery. The second row of windows is very low and has bars like in the monasteries. All the floors of the rooms are covered with Persian carpets.

5) Preparation of Turkish coffee and read the future/fortune from the remains of the coffee drunk. This practice has its beginnings in the Ottoman Empire. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the coffee from the Turkish-Arabic cultural area then came to Europe. Thus, after enjoying the delicacy, a sticky residue remains on the bottom of the cup, in which, after drying for a short time, statements and conclusions about the future fate of the coffee drinker can be made with a little imagination. A bit like in 1001 Nights.

6) Zanguldak, near Bartin, is the smallest airport in Turkey. Flights go to Dortmund, Düsseldorf and Istanbul. The former military airport flies passengers from (former) coal mining areas in Turkey and Germany.

Thank you, Hüseyin, for the ride to the airport including luggage, and many greetings to the bicycle club Bartin! Thank you, Matthias, for welcoming us in Dortmund and bringing us home safely!

7) Rolf at the Kuaför: Turkish hairdressing has long time been a skill passed down from generation to generation. A kuaför master passes on his title to his apprentice only after years of training, because who would want a burning stick to singe excess hair shoved up his nose by a novice? Most men in Turkey would not even dream of shaving themselves every morning. Turkish men regularly visit a kuaför to get an excellent shave, which then usually lasts only a few days. A visit to the beard shearer is considered a social event where men meet, get shaved and perhaps have their hair cut, drink tea and chat.

8) Instead of the medical record, you get the phone number of the attending physician. Thank you, dear Dr. Göksel, for the medical care, 1000 thanks, dear Stefan, brother heart, for close physiotherapy advice, both remotely!

Our tour to this point can be seen here:

We are very happy about the many healing and motivating wishes. So nice that we can also entice silent readers to comment with our report:-). Today the Tour de France starts in Bilbao. A year ago we rode parts of the route. We fever in front of the TV and look forward to cycling again soon.

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