I have been for some time trying to find the words that best describe my feelings about Turkey. This mixture of awe and desire to return.

Alter ego seem to be the best words to describe them. Turkey is where my alter ego resides. Un altro me, meandering in Istanbul, without really being able to grasp why this country smells of me. The food could have well been cooked by my grandmother, the music often has Greek lyrics, and I can sometimes fool myself that I understand written Turkish. A love and hate relation, almost exactly the same as the one that permeates my relation with the country in which I was born, Greece.

Every time I swear that this time I have had enough, or too much: too much noise, too many people, too much heat. Then, some time after, comes this feeling that despite, or because of that, I have to go back. Turkey is poor, divided, developed and developing, surprising and tiring, smelly and hot. But it can also be prosperous, decided, sharp-edge, relaxing and, depending where you visit, chilly as well (read the novel “Snow”, by Orhan Pamuk, for example).

But most of all, Turkey, as opposed to some geriatric European countries, has a very palpable pulse. It mutates, reproduces itself. It is alive. And it's heart beats in Istanbul.

Enjoy the pictures and the films!

Istanbul (flash slideshow)

Kappadokya (flash slideshow)

Kappadokya from above: a hot-air balloon flight (flash slideshow)


A Ramadan evening in front of Agia Sofia, by the fountain (.mov)

Jazz in Ramadan (.mov, 4k)


Göreme, the evening call of the muezzin (.mov,10k)

Unfortunately, the muezzin calls also at 05.30... (.mov)

After the muezzin call, a mule goes berserk! (radio edit, flash film, 9k)

Hot air ballooning in Kappadokya, Up in the air, at 700m (flash film, 11k)

Hot air ballooning in Kappadokya, another view (.mov)

And more Flash films: 1000m up, a bit noisy, in the valley, the smurfhouses, 180 degrees.

All my films are best viewed with Firefox. Wmv files have been removed.