Aug. 2007 : overwhelming warmth in east Turkey
They say that people in Turkey are warmer than in west Europe, but certainly in east Turkey they are the warmest of all !
I met Yusuf at the end of a long day in the mountains, there was a storm approaching and I was worried that I would not find a vehicle to go back to my base near Dogubeyazit some 40km to the north, ... but there was no way to escape, I had to accept at least a glass of tea from him, although I felt totally full with the dozens of teas offered to me that day in the 2 villages that I visited...
The problem was, Yusuf is the father of a large family, he does not work and is very poor, his wife is very much down to earth and refused to prepare the tea for him while she was busy with a huge laundry. Yusuf did not tell that, on the contrary he kept repeating that the tea would be ready within minutes, and after that I would be free to go.
We waited for a long time in front of this immense scenery, with a huge field of lava that can be seen over tens of km along the road.
He was regularly shouting his orders to his wife from the top of that hill; finally when the first drops of rain started to fall, we came to his house and I realised than that there was really no tea on the way, saw also how tired and busy his wife looked like, and met some others of his 7 children.
Yusuf was one of the most photogenic persons that I met during my recent travels to east Turkey, with such a warm expression on his face, - a Kurdish man, feeling forced to offer his glass of tea despite all his troubles and his difficult way to communicate with his wife.
(NB : not only the people, but also the weather was warm in east Turkey, hence some hail storms at the end of the days in the mountains...)