Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cellular confusion

Despite their many and long-held animosities, Turkey and Greece have a lot in common. Not that either of them would admit it. When I visited Athens a few years ago, people often stiffened noticeably when we told them we were from Istanbul, and then insisted we absolutely must try "Greek baklava," "Greek coffee," or "Greek kebab" -- all of which tasted pretty much exactly like their Turkish counterparts.

See my toes? They're in Turkey. That island offshore? That's Greece.
The similarities are so strong that while riding in a minibus on a winding road hugging the cliffs along Turkey's Mediterranean coast, even my cell phone got confused about exactly where it was.

"Sayin musterimiz, yurt disi operatorden sinyal almakta oldugunuz icin Turkcell Dunya tarifesi ile ucretlendirilmektesiniz," read the first in a barrage of text messages explaining call and SMS fees in Greece and touting the "avantaj" of Turkcell's international calling packages.

Dear customer, you are getting a signal from an international operator and will be charged Turkcell World fees...

The nearness of Greece is particularly keenly felt on Turkey's Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, where places like Ayvalık, Bozcaada, and Kalkan retain the distinctive architecture of their historical "Greek quarters," if not the residents, relocated in the population exchange of 1923. Near Fethiye, an entire town, Kayaköy, stands empty, its stone homes never re-inhabited after their owners were forced to leave. Continued saber-rattling today over Cyprus and an Aegean territorial dispute are further proof, though, that closeness doesn't always lead to comity.


TurkoAmericano said...

That happens to me too! You got to be careful, if your phone is downloading anything, you can get hit with roaming charges.

murdum-erigi said...

Ah I know the place in the photo!!Isn't it a place in Kaş, can't remember the name but next to the Asmaaltı Bar? I did love lying there, even now I can feel the breeze and the serenity of the place <3

The Turkish Life said...

Yep, in Kaş, just one of the nondescript swimming platforms slightly uphill from the harbor on the road that goes out to the ancient theater. Definitely a relaxing place :)

Kalkan Villas said...

Each of these 2 countries have something special and it's a pity there exists such animosiy.