- What’s On
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Azize Ethem is a writer who lived on the shores of Lake Iznik, from where her diary ‘Village Voices’ was a regular Cornucopia feature. She is the author of Beyond the Orchard, which describes the trials and tribulations of starting a new life in the tiny Turkish village of Dereköy near Marmaris with her husband Selim in 1985. He died in April 2009, and in 2018, after 33 years, she moved away. Her last diary was written for Cornucopia 58.
What was Uncle Norman up to in Ankara, and who was Cicero? Azize Ethem puzzles over a hoard of family photographs, and is no less confused as the Ottomans return to an almost unrecognisable Istanbul.
Despite the drama of July 15’s coup, the rhythm of Azize Ethem’s life in Iznik has barely lost a beat. While the reintroduction of partridges and woodcock to the hills is welcome, less so is the new Yenişehir-to-Ankara highway cutting a swathe through the town. Meanwhile, in the garden the last bean crop has ripened
Azize Ethem recalls the fulfilment of a teenage dream– a longing to visit the ruineddesert city of Palmyra. Back home in Iznik, the lake plays host to its summer visitors: egrets and herons,kingfishers and ibis. Now it is time to make ready for the rigours of winter
After a wet and stormy summer, the Iznik olive harvest plummeted last winter and Azize Ethem’s neighbours fear for the future of a life on the land. On a cheerier note, there are biscuits to be baked and stories with happy endings
When Azize Ethem revisits the small village near Bodrum where she and Selim, her late husband, made their first home in Turkey, the memories flood back – not least the bizarre behaviour of tourists, newly arrived on the Aegean and causing consternation amongst her neighbours
Azize Ethem continues her diary with a look back over a spring and summer shared with many a visitor, both human and avian. While yet more travellers run marathons around the lake, she finds herself helping a local bachelor hone his courtship technique
Azize Ethem emerges from a wintry sea of mud to excitement over new archaeological finds – a Roman basilica and a mosaic floor – and local-election candidates wooing voters with lemonade and cakes. A trip to Iznik market, meanwhile, turns up those deliciously sweet little Turkish bananas
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