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Dalyan City

17 August 2018 Friday

I am the first costumer of the gym this morning. I don’t have a tiring program today so I can tire myself at the gym.

Closer to the midday I go to the center of Dalyan. I will do sightseeing in Dalyan. I start from the mosque which is very center of the town. I make a short talk with the clerk of the mosque Mehmet who has been providing a service at this mosque for 6 years. According to the records, the mosque is from the 18thcentury but the people of Dalyan believe that the mosque has been build long before that, during the Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent for the Rodos invasion.

I reach to the Casa Nova Restaurant via Market road. That is a very nice restaurant right next to the canal surrounded with bougainvilleas. I find out that the food here is as good as the decoration. After a very satisfying meal I throw myself to the streets of Dalyan. While walking to the street of bars, someone recognizes me from instagram and makes kind compliments. The media has a big role on this interest which is widely growing day by day.

I visit an accessories shop Piraye right before arriving to the street full with bars. The owner is a young woman that moved to Dalyan 4 years ago with her husband. She welcomes me very kindly and nicely. She also has been following me on instagram from the very beginning of the project. She accompanies me to the exit and while showing me their cute little house next door, she says “we ran away from the stress of Istanbul, we have some difficulties but we are happy”. Isn’t it all that we need; being happy?

Compare to the times that I visited at night, the street of bars is very different; so quite. The continuation of that street, the market street is no different. I take some pictures on the way but it is the people that make such photos beautiful and vibrant, just like the life itself and seems like there won’t be any attraction here until the evening.

I arrive to the Ottoman Karaoke Bar by visiting around. I see the billiard table at the corner of the bar but there are some British people playing. As soon as I stand up the game finishes, just by chance and I play a game with one of the guys. I play billiard once a year but I warm up very quick today.

 Craftsman Ali

After that visit I go to the shop of the Craftsman Ali. He is a skillful artist making handmade sandals. I know that he is a known person but I didn’t have a chance to visit him during the first 16 days. Today, I go to his shop right in front of the Ottoman Karaoke Bar, to get to know him.

His hand is swollen and full with paint. You recognize people working by hand as soon as you have a handshake with them. Ali is also like that, he has the effect of all those years on his hand. I ask him “how you became that famous, what is the secret of this success?” without being aware how much the answer will be dramatic.

While sitting at his small shop surrounded with shoes and sandals, he starts his sentence exactly like this, “I didn’t have a shoe when I was young, my parents wanted me to work in different places but I wanted to make shoes, not having a shoe was always a scar in me”.

Something cracks in my chest right at that moment. I hesitate but Ali continues telling. While listen him with sorrow, he pulls out his short legs compare to this body. At that moment I learn that he is disabled. He says, “I didn’t have shoes because my legs were like this”. I look around without really knowing what to say.

Ali made his very first shoes at the age of 13 where he was working as a shoemaker. He continues by saying, “they were badly made shoes but I was so happy”. Then he gets emotional. When he says “Efe, my life was very sad”, few British tourists come in to the shop. This break helps me to get together myself. They take their order. There is some kind of grief at the shop, apart from the tourist who is getting her new sandals, everyone else is quite.

Ali gets emotional and stares somewhere at the corner and says “When I was young people were not respecting handicaps, they were swearing at me, throwing stones…”

I hold my breath with a pain on my face and I can’t find a word to say.

“When I was young, working at a shoemaking shop, I had to pass from a street where they were throwing bones from butcher and that street was full of street dogs. We were poor so I didn’t have a wheelchair and I was going on my hands and knees, the dogs were thinking that I would steal their bones so they were attacking me. God knows, how many times and how many nights I waited for the dogs to leave and cried at that corner”.

“When my father asked once, what would you like to have, I said, just get me something to sit on. That little bike you see in front of the shop is that exact present I got from my father in 1974 and I still use it today”.

I was shattered at a shop that I got in only to have a chat.

It is impossible not to get sad to the inequality of this world.

I sit and think for a long time without doing almost anything after all that.

After having some tea at the tea garden of the municipality, Kaunos, right in front of the rock tombs, someone allows me to use their paddle-boat. Paddling at calm water, in front of a historical place feels nice.

At night something more attractive is waiting for me. Tomorrow the owner of the Ottoman Karaoke Bar, Okan, is getting married and today they have a traditional ceremony. They have a very big ceremony which we call, kına gecesi. There are 6 traditional drummers and 6 traditional clarions playing song to a big crowd.

Okan is very friendly with a warm heart. You can tell, as soon as you see his smile. Being able to have one of the first dances with him is a pleasure for me. And after that having those very delicious dishes is a luxury for my stomach.

I wasn’t able to stay too long at today’s ceremony but I will surely stay longer tomorrow at the wedding. If today’s ceremony is that impressive; I can’t wait to see the wedding tomorrow.

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