Merhaba, benim adım Neil. Ben Avusturalya’lıyım.
I can only vaguely remember my first brief visit, in the summer of 1995, to Istanbul, Turkey, with an old school friend. Whilst I can recall it being quite interesting, it was one of many mini-break excursions of a few days duration, viewed largely through what a Turk might call the lens of the typical Western tourist or yabancı. A couple of days of city tours, mosque visits, a Bosphorous boat trip, and a few delicious plates of grilled fish by the waterfront. Nice, but not exceptionally memorable.
Quite a few years later, in 2006, having relocated from Australia to the cosmopolitan melting pot of London, fate gifted me the privilege of my first Turkish friendship. This site is dedicated to the wondrous land, people and culture which has captivated me ever since.
This site is no more, and no less, than a sharing of my own personal journey as I seek to explore and understand the soul of this land and its people. I have been touched deeply through my own encounters, as I’ve glimpsed the world, in as much as it’s possible for a ‘Westerner’ to do so, through the lens of the Turkish soul. Of course, in a land as culturally and historically diverse as Turkey, there is no single cultural lens. Turkey has many faces. It stands to reason that those faces I’m drawn to, the predominantly “traditional” ones which have inspired me, may not be your glass of cay.
I hope that this site conveys my ongoing fascination and affinity with this beautiful and complex land, its people, its culture. Where words fail me, as they often do, I hope that my photos and videos impart some sense of what I ‘ve seen and felt.
A Turkish friend once paid me a great compliment (I think). She said “You are the most unusual Westerner I’ve ever met. You look British, you sound Australian, but your heart is almost Turkish”.
I know that I have barely ‘scratched the surface’ in my efforts to know and understand the Turkish soul. I wish that I am able to continue this journey of discovery for many, many years to come.
Kalbinde yakılmayı bekleyen bir kandil, Ruhunda doldurulmayı bekleyen bir boşluk var, sen de hissediyorsun, değil mi? – Hz.Mevlana