Dear Turkey: My Million Reasons to Visit You.

Safranbolu turkey, shivya nath

Why visit Turkey? Over a month of exploring the country, I met the sweetest locals and formed amazing friendships, despite no common language between us.

Dear Turkey,

I left you with a heavy heart, etched with the magnanimity of your people.

A kind lady in the small town of Safranbolu opened her doors to me on a late rainy afternoon, to feed my vegetarian self a special meal of Peruhi (Turkish pasta) and Pasta (cake in Turkish) prepared for a family gathering.

Also read: 10 Travel Tips for Your First Trip to Turkey

black sea coast, Amasra, karadeniz
Why visit Turkey | Sunflower fields along the Karadeniz countryside.

An old man from a bakery in Ordu gave me a ride in his truck to the town’s chocolate factory, after I walked five kilometers and stumbled into his shop for directions for the remaining three.

A family living in an isolated hut on Boztepe Hill invited me in for a meal of home grown aubergine.

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boztepe hill, ordu
Why visit Turkey | Inviting entrance to a family home on Boztepe Hill, near Ordu in Turkey.

A blacksmith who found me admiring his creations invited me in for çay and proclaimed his eternal love for Hindistan even though he had never been there.

A young otel (hotel) owner in Cide went out of her way to ensure that I boarded the right connecting buses to my next destination without losing money or time.

A cafe owner in the small town of Ordu, where we impulsively got off the bus on my way to Trabzon without a hotel booking or so much as a google search, treated me to delicious Turkish coffee made with a secret family recipe. Then ferried me, my backpack and my friend in his car to a lovely boutique hotel which I couldn’t have located myself without speaking Turkish, let aside get the negotiated price he got me.

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Turkey people, Turkish culture, Ordu Turkey, turkish customs, turkish food, why visit turkey
Why visit Turkey | With my Turkish friends in Ordu, a small coastal town in Turkey.

The airport guy at Istanbul airport who ferries goods gave me a chocolate seeing me struggling to find small change to make a phone call.

A restaurant manager offered me a whirlwind tour of Guzelyurt after I decided his restaurant was too pricey for me to eat there.

An English teacher in a small village in Kapadokya confided in me on how much she misses her mother and told me everything I know about the Turkish education system.

Also read: What the Kumaoni People of Uttarakhand Taught Me About Life

Turkey people, Turkish culture, Turkish women, turkish customs, why visit turkey
Why visit Turkey | With my Turkish teacher friend in a small village in Kapadokya (Cappadocia).

So many people offered me rides to my destinations along the Black Sea, indulged me in conversations without much of a common language (after first trying to converse in Arabic), and treated me to Turkish tea at the drop of a hat.

You were good to me, Turkey, and I want to come back. Your people are one of my million reasons.

What are your reasons to visit Turkey?

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  1. Nice essay Shivya. You are absolutely right about this capital country of the world because of it’s beauty, location and culture mix of Asia and Europe both. You know Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “If the whole world were one country, Istanbul would be its capital.”

    1. Thanks Sarosh; I’m glad you liked it! I think we can all agree with Bonaparte. Have you been to Turkey btw?

      1. Yes, I had been there several times, I love this part of the world.

  2. Your “Turkey Story” makes me want to visit this place sometime in future. We have a friend who is part Turkish and has visited us several times to Goa.

    1. I’m so happy I’ve put Turkey on your wishlist too, Roberto! It’s absolutely one of my favorite countries in the world, and Turkish people are just so friendly. I hope you can visit soon 🙂

  3. No wonder you reminisce it shivya . It’s truly a beautiful part of the world .

  4. Your blog is amazing! Thank you so much for showing me the beautiful pictures of nature and cities and poeople…

    Blog : global vegan fare

    1. Thanks Kum; glad you enjoyed this virtual journey through Turkey!

  5. Pingback: My Million Reasons to Visit Turkey. | The Talking Sloth - Asia
  6. I am delighted that you have provided travel information of Turkey. I could come to know about the place and I will keep in my list of travel.

  7. Hey Shivya !!
    Your blog is really cool. I like the way you express your travelling experiences.I am looking forward for a trip to Turkey this coming December.I would like to know your suggestions about my travel during this month of the year and how safe is Turkey ?

  8. Rose Dulay says:

    I left my heart not in San Francisco but in the beautiful city of Istanbul.

  9. This is a beautifully written post. I fell in love with Turkey back in 2006, particularly Istanbul. And I always thought ‘one day I would like to live here’. After visiting several times and becoming a digital nomad, the pandemic forced me to put down some roots and now I live in Istanbul. This city and country has such a soul – I am discovering new things about it everyday. And the hospitality that you write about and that I have experienced travelling through Turkey has been incredible. Great article!

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