Here are some pictures of the aftermath this morning:
|One of the things that was spraypainted is "AKP = Party of Hungry Dogs". They got rid of this stuff pretty quickly this morning.|
I got my Iranian visa this week so I am all set because none of the other places that I am going have a requirement to get a visa in advance. Right now my plans are (roughly) to leave Istanbul next weekend (since my class finishes this week and our test is Friday). From Istanbul I will head across the Sea of Marmara to Bandırma, and take a train to Selçuk which is near Ephesus. From there I will head to Denizli which is near Pamukkale. Then Ankara for a couple of days, then a slow two day train trip to Kars in the far northeast corner of Turkey. Fortunately, in Turkey, a first class sleeper compartment is nice - and cheap too. Then Georgia and Armenia, then back into Turkey, then traveling along the black sea coast, and then the southeastern part of Turkey (Diyarbakır, Mardin, Lake Van) before going to Iran. I see that Lufthansa has a service from Tehran to Frankfurt and so right now I am thinking that, before going to Iran, I will buy a one way ticket to Frankfurt on Lufthansa so that I don't have to pay cash for it in Iran (because of sanctions, my ATM and credit cards won't work in Iran so I have to take all the cash I need there in US$ or Euros.).
One day this week, some of us went over to Kadıköy (a nice area on the Asian side of the city) after class and had lunch over there. One of my classmates just got a job teaching English here and she was relating a hilarious story about the school where she is working now. They are sending some of the students to work at a Pizza Hut somewhere in Texas to improve their English. Texas has a really bad image outside of the United States. For one thing, everybody outside of the U.S. knows Texas as the state that George W. Bush came from. I said that I think people will be try to speak Spanish to the Turkish students because most of them probably look kind of like they could be hispanic. To say nothing of the kind of English they will pick up.
We also had a class lunch (Iskender kebab) on Friday, with our teacher, near Taksim, not too far from where we have class.
I'm looking forward to getting out of this town and being on the road again.